Product research

​​​​​​​​​​​​Since the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme commenced in 2005, we have commissioned a number of projects aimed at reviewing the water efficiency and regulation of water-using products in Australia. Projects explored the costs, benefits and opportunities of including different products in the WELS scheme.

Some of these products were added to the scheme, or regulatory settings for the products were changed. For other products, regulation for water efficiency was not considered necessary or appropriate given the information available at the time.

Domestic irrigation controllers

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Potential for Expansion of the WELS Scheme to Include Domestic Irrigation Controllers

Publication details

Irrigation Australia and Hydro-Plan Irrigation Consultants, for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts, 2008

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts commissioned Irrigation Australia and Hydro-Plan Irrigation Consultants to complete a report on the regulation of irrigation systems in Australia and the feasibility of including domestic irrigation controllers in the WELS scheme.

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Potential for Expansion of the WELS scheme to Include Domestic Irrigation Controllers PDF46590 KB
Potential for Expansion of the WELS scheme to Include Domestic Irrigation Controllers DOC462.67 MB

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WELS Expansion — Domestic Irrigation Controllers

Publication details

The Allen Consulting Group, for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts, 2009

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts commissioned The Allen Consulting Group to complete a report on water management policies in Australia and the possible expansion of the WELS scheme to regulate domestic irrigation controllers.

The report concluded that the market was already delivering fair and equitable outcomes and regulation was not required.

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WELS Expansion - Domestic Irrigation Controllers PDF28434 KB
WELS Expansion - Domestic Irrigation Controllers DOCX28205 KB

This publication is not owned by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and may not meet accessibility requirements. If you need an accessible version, please contact the author. For more information, visit web accessibility.

Evaporative air conditioners

Technical Background Research on Evaporative Air Conditioners and Feasibility of Rating Their Water Consumption

Publication details

Saman, W, Bruno, F & Liu, M, for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts, September 2009

Report on the use of evaporative air conditioners in Australia and the feasibility of rating their water efficiency under the WELS scheme, commissioned by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

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Technical Background Research on Evaporative Air Conditioners and Feasibility of Rating Their Water Consumption PDF481.23 MB
Technical Background Research on Evaporative Air Conditioners and Feasibility of Rating Their Water Consumption DOC482.67 MB

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Hot water circulators

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Consideration of Hot Water Circulators for Inclusion in the WELS Scheme

Publication details

Coomes Consulting Group, for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts, 2009

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts commissioned Coomes Consulting Group to complete a background research project considering the inclusion of hot water circulators in the WELS scheme.

This technical report provides the basis for the preparation of a cost benefit analysis and regulation impact statement on the potential inclusion of this product into the WELS scheme.

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Consideration of Hot Water Circulators for Inclusion in the WELS Scheme PDF621.50 MB
Consideration of Hot Water Circulators for Inclusion in the WELS Scheme DOC622.14 MB

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WELS Expansion — Hot Water Circulators

Publication details

The Allen Consulting Group, for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts, 2009

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts commissioned The Allen Consulting Group to complete a report on WELS Expansion - Hot Water Circulators.

This cost benefit analysis found that whilst hot water circulators have the potential to save water, they cannot be rated for water efficiency because all hot water circulators will provide similar levels of water savings when assessed under identical 'test' conditions.

The Allen Consulting Group supports the conclusion made in the Coomes (2008) report that while hot water circulators can make a contribution to national water conservation, they are not a suitable product for inclusion in the WELS scheme because the notion of relative performance (of hot water circulators ) does not apply.

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WELS Expansion — Hot Water Circulators PDF26417 KB
WELS Expansion — Hot Water Circulators DOCX26158 KB

This publication is not owned by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and may not meet accessibility requirements. If you need an accessible version, please contact the author. For more information, visit web accessibility.

Instantaneous gas water heaters

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Water Wastage of Instantaneous Gas Water Heaters

Publication details

Szann, A, for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts, 2008

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts commissioned Access Product Information Consultants to complete a report on the water wastage of instantaneous gas water heaters.

The study found that instantaneous gas water heaters wasted substantial quantities of water and there were significant differences between water heaters in respect to the quantity of water wastage. These factors warranted the consideration of including the products in the WELS scheme.

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Water Wastage of Instantaneous Gas Water Heaters PDF521.86 MB
Water Wastage of Instantaneous Gas Water Heaters DOC523.76 MB

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Water Efficiency Labelling for Instantaneous Gas Water Heaters

Publication details

Szann, A, for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts, 2008

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts commissioned Access Product Information Consultants to complete a report examining the possibility of including instantaneous gas water heaters in the WELS scheme.

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Water Efficiency Labelling for Instantaneous Gas Water Heaters PDF10240 KB
Water Efficiency Labelling for Instantaneous Gas Water Heaters DOC10372 KB

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Toilets

Analysis of Australian Opportunities for More Water-Efficient Toilets

Publication details

Schlunke, A, Lewis, J & Fane, S, for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2008

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts commissioned the Institute for Sustainable Futures to provide an Analysis of Australian Opportunities for More Water-Efficient Toilets.

This study explores whether there are opportunities for even more water efficient flush toilets than the current (2008) WELS scheme four-star rated toilet models sold in Australia. It specifically examines what would be required to introduce WELS five and six-star rated toilet models. The study addresses flush toilets solely and therefore excludes vacuum and dry toilets.

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Analysis of Australian Opportunities for More Water-Efficient Toilets PDF67471 KB
Analysis of Australian Opportunities for More Water-Efficient Toilets DOC6748 KB

This publication is not owned by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and may not meet accessibility requirements. If you need an accessible version, please contact the author. For more information, visit web accessibility.

Urinals

Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Scheme — Requirements for Urinals

Publication details

Szann, A, for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2008

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts commissioned Access Product Information Consultants to:

  • assess current performance requirements for urinals
  • recommend improvements that address current deficiencies, to make it easier for industry to meet their obligations and for the WELS team to enforce requirements.

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Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Scheme — Requirements for Urinals PDF8168 KB
Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Scheme — Requirements for Urinals DOC8276 KB

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Washer-dryers

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Water Consumption of Washer/Dryers

Publication details

Szann, A, for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2008

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts commissioned Access Product Information Consultants to report on the water consumption of washer-dryers.

The report found that the drying mode of this product uses significant volumes of water to dry washing and consideration should be given to including the dryer component in the WELS scheme.

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Water Consumption of Washer/Dryers PDF15268 KB
Water Consumption of Washer/Dryers DOC15612 KB

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WELS Labelling of the Dryer Component of Washer-Dryers

Publication details

Szann, A, for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2008

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts commissioned Access Product Information Consultants to report on the labelling of the dryer component of washer dryers.

The report found that as WELS already required registration of the washing component of this product, and since the drying mode of this product uses significant volumes of water to dry the washing, consideration should be given to labelling the dryer component.

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WELS Labelling of the Dryer Component of Washer-Dryers PDF21756 KB
WELS Labelling of the Dryer Component of Washer-Dryers DOC210.99 MB

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Minimum Water Efficiency Standards for Clothes Washers and Water Efficiency Labelling for Combined Washer-Dryers: ​Regulation Impact Statement

Publication details

Wilkenfeld, G & Associates, for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts, 2010

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts commissioned George Wilkenfeld and Associates to complete a report on the regulatory impacts of the decision to enforce minimum water efficiency standards for clothes washers and WELS labelling for combined washer-dryers.

This Regulation Impact Statement analyses costs and benefits of introducing minimum water efficiency standards (WES) for clothes washing machines and minimum WES for dishwashers, as well as extending the WELS scheme to the water used in the drying function of combined washer-dryers.

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Regulation Impact Statement: Minimum Water Efficiency Standards for Clothes Washers and Water Efficiency Labelling for Combined Washer-Dryers PDF126552 KB
Regulation Impact Statement: Minimum Water Efficiency Standards for Clothes Washers and Water Efficiency Labelling for Combined Washer-Dryers DOCX126396 KB

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