Certain plumbing products and whitegoods are regulated under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme and must be labelled with the correct water rating information. This includes displaying a water rating label which tells you how much water that product will use per minute, per flush or per load.
Regulated products include showers, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets and urinals, taps and flow controllers. Products are tested for water consumption and given a rating of up to 6 stars. The rating label is legally required to be displayed on the product.
At the top of the water rating label, the star rating shows the water efficiency of the product. Labels for different categories of products differ slightly but all show two key pieces of information:
- the WELS star rating – the stars indicate water efficiency: the more stars, the greater the water efficiency
- the water consumption or flow figures: either the average water consumption per use (dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, urinals) or the average water flow per minute (taps, showers, flow controllers).
For further information about the water rating system and to search for products, see waterrating.gov.au
Note that some council development control plans specify water efficient fixtures in new developments and renovations. Check with your local council on its requirements.