Inspections and enforcement

​​​The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme helps business and consumers make informed purchasing decisions to reduce water use and save money on their water and energy bills.

Industry compliance is essential to the credibility and reliability of the WELS scheme and ensures consumer confidence in the information on the water rating label.

We work with industry to educate and inform, helping you to meet registration, labelling and installation requirements for products that we regulate​.

Make sure you meet these requirements to avoid penalties and enforcement actions.

Inspecting your business

We conduct inspections of businesses that supply regulated products in store​​, online and as part of new homes or property developments in Australia.
Inspections are an important way for us to ensure you are meeting your obligations to:

Our WELS inspectors will help educate you about your obligations under the WELS Act, including requirements detailed in Australian Standard 6400:2016 Water efficient products — Rating and labelling.

Issuing penalties and infringement notices

If you are supplying or displaying unregistered or unlabelled products, you may be subject to penalties under the WELS Act . This could involve infringement notices, civil penalties or criminal prosecution.

Everyone in the supply chain may be liable for penalties including:

  • manufacturers
  • ​wholesalers
  • distributors
  • builders
  • property developers
  • real estate agents selling new homes
  • retailers
  • auctioneers
  • installers, where the person installing the product is also supplying it.

Applying our legislative powers

The legal framework for the WELS scheme is established in the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005 (WELS Act) and associated legislation.

This legislation sets out the standards you are required to meet, and our powers to monitor and enforce these standards. It also establishes the functions and powers of the WELS Regulator.

Our approach to compliance is to educate suppliers and help you meet your legal obligations under the WELS Act.

Where a cooperative solution is not possible, or you continue to not comply, the WELS Regulator has the power to impose penalties and enforcement provisions outlined in Part 7 of the WELS Act.

WELS Regulator

The WELS Regulator is the First Assistant Secretary of the Water Division, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Functions of the WELS Regulator are to:

  • administer the WELS scheme
  • provide information and advice in relation to the WELS scheme
  • commission or undertake research in relation to the WELS scheme
  • monitor and enforce compliance with the WELS scheme
  • undertake other functions as conferred on the Regulator, including by the WELS Act or any other law.

​​​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

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