Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme
Issue 2, 2023
Our newsletter is published to keep you updated on the latest developments. If you have any topics you would like to see covered, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Changes to text advice requirements in product advertising
Following an update to the WELS Standard AS/NZS 6400:2016 published in June 2022 all product advertising must include the WELS registration number when using text advice from 22 July 2023. Transitional arrangements were put in place for changes in the amended standard to help meet the new requirements before 22 July 2023. You can find the details on how to use text advice.
Compliance and enforcement action
In the 2022-23 financial year, we issued 14 warning letters to businesses that failed to meet their WELS compliance obligations. These letters provided examples of the non-compliant listings and the corrective action required.
After failing to respond appropriately to these warnings, three businesses were issued multiple infringement notices. The notices related to the supply of unregistered including expired WELS products, and products that were not labelled or correctly labelled.
Our compliance and enforcement approach is to first engage, communicate and educate, and provide reasonable time and opportunity to take corrective action. All parts of the supply chain are responsible for ensuring that WELS products are registered and labelled correctly before offering them for sale or supply. From 1 July 2023, the value of an infringement notice for a company has increased to $9,390 for each unregistered or incorrectly labelled product.
Read more on how to comply.
New product registration database under development
Our new product registration database is planned to be released later this year.
We will support businesses needing to register and renew product registrations through the transition to the new system by providing further information and training.
Industry and other users will have the opportunity to test the new system between July and August and provide their feedback before it is released.
The new system will use up to date platforms that will improve the user experience and their data security. Assessments will also be streamlined which will help industry get product to market sooner. Regular progress updates will be provided on our new product registration database over the next few months.
Review of product registration fee structure
We have engaged Callida Consulting to review how WELS fees are charged and recovered from industry.
The review will:
- assess if the charging structure is fit-for-purpose and if not, propose alternatives
- consider feedback received as part of consultation on the 2022-23 Cost Recovery Implementation Statement
- determine a suitable strategy to index WELS fees
- explore ways to reward product efficiency
- explore the recovery of indirect costs associated with the WELS scheme that are paid by the Australian Government.
As part of this review, Callida Consulting will be talking with stakeholders about how WELS fees are currently applied and potential future changes. Read more on the WELS scheme cost recovery arrangements.
Free online WELS course launched
The WELS team has launched a free online course that can help those in the building and plumbing industries learn about the important role they can play in saving water, energy and money.
This 45-minute course is also designed to help plumbers, builders and others understand their legal obligations under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Act 2005.
We are currently working with industry bodies and vocational institutions to promote this course. Please share it with those in your network who may find it useful.
WELS scheme featured in podcast for architects and designers
Our WELS Director, Teresa McMaugh joined Joe Vu and Laurence Ritchie on The Specification podcast on 29 March 2023.
They spoke about the WELS scheme, water efficiency and what designers and builders need to consider when specifying WELS plumbing fittings and appliances in projects.
Joe and Laurence also did a wrap up podcast of all the certification programs they have covered in Episode 37 on 12 April 2023 and gave our scheme the thumbs up.