New product category nomination

The range of product categories regulated under the WELS scheme can be expanded to include new products.

This is so more manufacturers and suppliers can show that their products are water efficient and help consumers save more water.

It is expected that the regulation of a new product category would also apply to the WELS scheme operating in New Zealand.

Timeline

The nomination period is open annually during February to March.

In 2024, the nominations were opened on 5 February and closed on 15 March.

If you would like to nominate a product outside of this nomination period, you can contact us at wels@dcceew.gov.au.

Assessment process

Nominating a product does not automatically mean that the product can or will be regulated. All nominations will subject to the Stage 1 - Threshold assessment.

Products that pass the Threshold assessment will undergo Stage 2 – Prioritisation, then in order of prioritisation, Stage 3 - Preliminary assessment.

Products that pass the Preliminary assessment will move to Stage 4 - Preliminary cost benefit analysis. The WELS Regulator will then decide if the product category should move to developing an implementation pathway.

Stage 1 -Threshold assessment

The purpose of the threshold assessment is to determine if the product meets the minimum critical requirements. All nominated products will be tested against a series of yes/no questions. A product needs to meet all threshold criteria to proceed to the next stage. The threshold assessment questions are:

  • Does the product meet the WELS Act definition of ‘water-saving’ or ‘water-using’ product?
  • Is the product supplied or advertised for supply in Australia?
  • Is the product for either residential or commercial use?
  • Is the product a stand-alone item (i.e. not part of a system)?
  • Is the product provided in a range of models?

The Threshold assessment of product nominations will occur after the close of the annual nomination period. We will contact you if we need more information.

Stage 2 - Prioritisation assessment

This is to determine the order that nominated product categories should be assessed. The prioritisation criteria consist of three categories:

  • Potential water savings - water consumption and where and how the product is used.
  • Energy use - direct or indirect energy use (if relevant to the product).
  • Ease of assessment - alignment with other regulatory schemes, stakeholder support, data availability, existence of standards and availability of testing laboratories.

Stage 3 - Preliminary assessment

This will further evaluate and determine a product‘s potential water saving, energy use and ease of assessment. Where the product assessment shows potential benefit of including it in the scheme, a recommendation will be made to the WELS Regulator to progress to a preliminary cost-benefit analysis.

Stage 4 - Preliminary cost benefit analysis

If the cost benefit is demonstrated, the product will be presented to the WELS Regulator for decision to implement.

Implementation pathway

If the delegate decides to include a product in the scheme this will require:

  • engagement with impacted stakeholders
  • development of testing and performance standards (if not already published)
  • development of water efficiency rating specifications
  • development of product labelling requirements
  • amendment of the WELS Standard (AS/NZS 6400) and supporting legislation
  • modifying the WELS registration system to enable registration
  • preparation of a Regulatory Impact Statement
  • development of a product regulation transition plan.

Information required

Providing evidence, information, commentary and supporting data will assist in the assessment of your product category nomination.

The types of information to support your nomination includes:

  • product description
  • details of other Australian regulation that currently applies to the product
  • information about the product models that are available in Australia and New Zealand
  • data on the target market – e.g. who are the consumers, what is their level of demand
  • data on the manufacturing and supply market size
  • information about manufacturers, suppliers, consumers and end users who purchase the product
  • information on where the product is used or installed
  • information on how the product is used – e.g. frequency of use, level of end user input
  • data on product water efficiency (including across available models)
  • data on product energy use (if relevant)
  • details on standards which support the testing and performance requirements of the product
  • information on the availability of suitable test laboratories
  • information on industry views and support for the product category nomination.

Questions

Please email us at wels@dcceew.gov.au if you have any further questions.

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