Transitioning to new standard amendments

The WELS standard has been updated. The changes provide more accurate information to consumers about the water efficiency and consumption of products, more clearly connects the product being offered and the product’s WELS registration, removes inefficient products from the Australian market and expands the highest possible rating for efficient showers.

Changes in the amended standard include:

  • introducing five-star shower rating category (high pressure only)
  • minimum water efficiency measures for plumbing products aligned with the National Construction Code requirements
  • minimum water efficiency measure for dishwashers
  • labelling and text advice requirements for combination showers to display flow rate and star rating for both shower outlets
  • mandatory inclusion of the WELS registration number in all product text advice
  • WELS information requirements for building developments for buyers.

Transitional arrangements have been put in place to help you meet new requirements in the standard.

Five-star showers (high pressure only)

High-pressure showers with a nominal flow rate of more than 4.5L/minute and not more than 6.0L/minute, that are registered as four-star rated on 17 June 2022, which are eligible for a five-star rating, are allowed to maintain the use of the WELS label when offered for supply with a 4-star rating up to 21 July 2023.

These products can be offered for supply as 5-star at any time from 17 June 2022.

5-star showers labels and text advice must be updated for all retail and advertising media before 22 July 2023.

Correct labelling on product packaging must be in place before 1 January 2024.

Labels for combination showers having overhead and hand showers

The new labelling requirements will apply for WELS combination shower products registered for the first time after 17 June 2022.

Labels and text advice must be updated for all retail and advertising media before 22 July 2023.

Correct labelling on product packaging must be in place before 1 January 2024.

The specifications for the new design are in the Australian Standard 6400:2016 Water efficient products — Rating and labelling.

WELS Text Advice

Where text advice is used instead of a WELS label, the text advice must be updated to include the WELS registration number for all retail and advertising media before 22 July 2023.

Building Development WELS information provisions

Developers of buildings that include WELS products must inform potential buyers about the water efficiency of the WELS products.

The requirements recognise that the models of WELS products may not have been determined at the development application stage when buyers may be purchasing off the plan.

By 22 July 2023:

  • Star rating for WELS products must be committed to for each development and be made available to buyers, for example, in the product inclusions list or in displays.
  • Once the intended product models are chosen, information must be made available to buyers about the model details and water efficiency of the selected products.

Minimum water efficiency of WELS products

From 17 June 2022, the minimum water efficiency requirements for WELS products are:

  • Tap ware – 3 Stars
  • Showers – 3 Stars
  • Dual flush toilets – 3 Stars
  • Single stall/wall hung Urinals – 2 Stars
  • Dishwashers with less than 9 place settings – 2.5 Stars
  • Dishwashers with 9 or more place settings – 3 Stars.

From 17 June 2022, new applications to register WELS products that are below these minimum requirements will not be accepted.

For existing registrations of products that have a WELS star rating below the minimum water efficiency requirement, registration cannot be renewed.  These product registrations will expire on 21 July 2023. After this date, they can no longer be sold.

Approach to compliance and enforcement

To assist industry in transitioning to the changes, the WELS Regulator will focus on education and encouraging adoption prior to the dates that changes must be complied with.

Subsequent monitoring and enforcement of the changes will be conducted using a risk-based approach.

Regulator’s Communication

Publication details

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment , 2022

Transitional arrangements were established in the WELS Regulator’s Communication of 17 June 2022 .

Download

Document File size
WELS Regulator’s Communication - Standard Amendments, 17 June 2022 DOCX 508 KB

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​​​Water efficiency standard

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

You can download a free PDF version of the standard by registering with SAI Global.

Remember to change the product type from 'Hardcopy' to 'PDF' to download for free.

Download the standard

Last modified: 9 November 2017