Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme
Issue 3, 2017
The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme newsletter is published quarterly to update you on developments and highlight some of our achievements.
If you have particular topics you’d like to see covered in future, please let us know.
Successful strides in eBay compliance
As part of a joint compliance program with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, eBay has removed more than 3,000 non-compliant listings of products regulated by WELS.
Historically, a very small percentage of listed products on eBay complied with Australia’s water efficiency labelling requirement. Cleaning up online sales is now a key part of the WELS program and this major action taken by eBay clearly shows that the work is reaping results.
Some of these offending eBay suppliers are now working with the WELS team to meet registration and labelling requirements so they can sell in Australia once again.
This is a great result for Australian consumers who look to WELS-regulated products for water efficiency and as a cost saving measure in their homes. The scheme is predicted to save Australians $1.4 billion dollars through reduced water and energy bills by 2021.
WELS website update
The Water Rating website has been updated based on user feedback and testing to better assist supply chain participants in meeting registration and labelling requirements.
The new website is also mobile and tablet compatible.
If you supply water-using appliances, fixtures and fittings, visit the new website at waterrating.gov.au to understand your obligations and how to comply.
After exploring our new website be sure to contact us if you have any feedback or would like more information.
WELS focuses on labelling for new property developments
WELS inspectors have commenced a series of visits to display suites in capital cities to improve how water rating information is conveyed to customers.
Inspectors visited over 20 suites in Sydney between 30 October and 3 November 2017, with further inspections planned for Brisbane and the Gold Coast from 4 to 8 December 2017, and for Melbourne in early 2018.
WELS products included as fixtures or fittings in new buildings offered for sale must meet the same requirements as products in a retail store. Products must be registered and labelled in accordance with the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005 on inclusions lists and in display suites.
When non-compliance is identified, WELS inspectors initially provide information and education to help businesses correct the non-compliance. If the matter cannot be resolved cooperatively, penalties of up to $63,000 for a body corporate or $12,600 for an individual can apply for each unregistered or unlabelled product offered for supply.
Using water-efficient products in new buildings will help reduce water demand and keep our cities more resilient to future droughts.
Naming products consistently
Are you aware of the legal requirements for model names of WELS products?
The model name is required to be clearly provided on product packaging and it must match the model name registered in the product registration database.
For product displays and advertising in-store, online and in catalogues suppliers can change the model name from the registered model name as long as the registration number is included in the display or advertising. However, the packaging with the registered model name must still be provided to consumers.
This requirement allows consumers of WELS-regulated products to easily search the product database and confirm the information provided on the water rating label or WELS text advice.
Renewals close early December
The registration renewal period for regulated water-using products opened on 15 September.
This period closes on 5 December and payments for renewals must be made by 22 January to keep your products registered.
Products that have not been renewed will change to ‘ceasing’ status in our product registration database on 22 January 2018 and the registration will expire on 22 July 2018.