Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme
Issue 1, 2021
The InkWELS newsletter provides updates on activities and achievements under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme.
If you have any relevant topics you would like covered in future additions of InkWELS, please contact us.
2020 independent review of the WELS scheme - update
The third independent review on the operation of the WELS scheme is underway and being delivered by Allen + Clarke Consulting.
Public consultation has been completed through an online survey, submissions and stakeholder interviews.
The final review report is expected to be completed by June 2021 and will be published on our website www.waterrating.gov.au. The report will also be tabled in Parliament.
The Western Australian Department of Water and Environmental Regulation conducted a survey in August 2020 of the Western Australian building industry to determine the:
- level of awareness of the WELS scheme
- the compliance obligations under the scheme.
The survey will help to increase industry compliance with the WELS scheme - one of the actions under the Waterwise Perth Action Plan which sets the direction for Perth to become a leading waterwise city by 2030.
From 259 respondents, 60% were plumbers and 17% were builders or developers. Around 60% of the respondents supply or install WELS products. The results found that:
- around 90% of respondents were aware of the WELS scheme and the products regulated under the WELS scheme
- 84% of respondents knew WELS-regulated plumbing products must also be WaterMark certified
- 82% of respondents knew when a plumber supplies and installs a WELS-regulated product, the plumber is responsible for checking that the product is WELS registered and that the correct information is displayed.
However, more than 70% of respondents were unaware that if a developer supplies a dishwasher and contracts a plumber to install them, the developer is responsible for ensuring the products are registered and display the correct information.
Respondents were provided the correct information and survey findings. WELS will conduct a webinar covering compliance obligations of retailers and the building industry on Thursday 29 April 2021. You can register for the WELS webinar at www.waterrating.gov.au.
To discuss the survey or contact the Western Australian program, email email@example.com
Today’s consumers of plumbing products have more choice than ever before. WELS products such as taps and showers are supplied in a large range of colours, finishes and tap handles.
Making sure that all of these individual variants are registered and meet Australian Standard AS/NZS 6400 is a big job.
However, it’s important that all variations are registered so consumers can easily check that the products they are considering buying are registered and have the correct water efficiency rating.
To improve this, the WELS team has worked closely with registrants to simplify the process by enabling variants to be registered in bulk when applying through a variant model application. This now applies to most taps and showers. The team is also exploring further ways to streamline the process.
For example, WELS will accept a single image of the parent model registration as long as the image also shows the list of the variant options, such as the range of colours and finishes. Please note that all applications, including variants, must still comply with the WELS AS/NZS 6400 standard.
If you need assistance or have any questions about your applications, contact the WELS registration team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bulk applications will make it faster to register products and for the WELS team to assess applications and get the product to market.
Changes to the details of a registered WELS product model can be made through a model edit application.
If you are completing a model edit application, you only need to complete fields that have changed from the original model application. This will save you time and make assessing the application easier.
The fields that can be changed can be found under the “New Details” heading under the “Model Details” tab in the model edit application. See figure 1.
The Federal Court will consider whether 4 companies, including 2 under liquidation, and their sole director contravened the Water Efficiency and Labelling Act 2005 (WELS Act) by advertising products that were not registered or labelled in accordance with the scheme.
The current maximum civil penalties are up to $13,320 for an individual, and up to $66,600 for a corporation for each proven breach of section 33 or 34 of the WELS Act.
Compliance with WELS requirements are vital to maintain confidence in the credibility and reliability of the scheme. Compliance is also important to ensure the costs of the scheme are shared fairly across industry participants who must pay registration fees.
Our next issue will include an update from our recent inspections of businesses supplying WELS products in Adelaide.