The functions and requirements of the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme are established through legislation and associated standards.

Water efficiency standards detail the criteria for testing, rating and labelling products regulated under the WELS scheme.

The WELS standard, and the powers and functions of the scheme, are established through legislation.

Guidance for implementing water efficiency labelling programs is now embedded in an international standard.

International Standard

ISO 31600:2022 Water efficiency labelling programmes – Requirements with guidance for implementation has been published by the International Organization for Standardization.

The purpose of ISO 31600 is to provide a set of best practices and guidance for the preparation and implementation of a water efficiency labelling program for plumbing products and water using appliances.

ISO 31600 aims to globally encourage the development of national standards for water efficiency labelling, which will further lead to development and marketing of water efficient products, and enable consumers to make an informed choice, positively influencing manufacturers to improve the performance of their products through consumer demand.

The intention is to provide an understanding of the essential requirements for the development of an effective water efficiency labelling program. The WELS scheme is referenced in the standard, as an example for the determination of water consumption and other important test procedures and requirements that form the critical underpinnings of a water efficiency labelling program. Which countries may utilise to formulate their own water efficiency labelling program, to meet the requirements in the ISO standard.

WELS standard

The WELS standard is Australian Standard 6400:2016 Water efficient products — Rating and labelling.

Requirements detailed in the WELS standard include product testing, rating, labelling and display, such as information that must be on the water rating label (star rating, water consumption, flow rates).

An update to the WELS standard was published on 17 June 2022. Changes included:

  • provisions for registering 5-star showers
  • new labelling for combination showers
  • minimum water efficiency measures for plumbing products and dishwashers
  • mandatory inclusion of WELS registration number in product text advice.

These changes came into effect upon publication. Transitional arrangements are in place to assist industry adopt the changes in the amended WELS standard (Australian Standard 6400:2016 Amd1).

​​​Water efficiency and labelling standard

Product testing, rating, labelling and display requirements are detailed in Australian/New Zealand Standard 6400:2016 Water efficient products — Rating and labelling.

You can access a free PDF or Web Reader version of the standard courtesy of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Download the standard

Product-specific standards

The WELS standard is supported by a range of product-specific standards that set additional requirements for product testing, performance, labelling and display.

Last modified: