Compare the water efficiency of products

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme uses a rating system to help you make informed choices about the water efficiency of products you buy in a store or online.

Compare the water efficiency of products we regulate​ by:

  • checking the water rating information supplied with each product
  • searching our product database to confirm water rating information, and make sure products have been properly tested and registered with us.

Buying more water efficient products will reduce your water and energy bills and help protect our environment.

Read product labelling

Retailers, including online stores selling to Australian customers, are legally required to display details of the water efficiency of regulated products they sell.

Look for water rating information in:

  • a ​water rating label adhered to the product or packaging, or included on the product page for online stores
  • text advice on a tag attached to the product or in the product description for online stores.

Check the label for the water efficiency star rating, details of the product’s water consumption rate and the cycle tested (dishwashers or washing machines only).

Understanding the water rating label or text advice is simple — the more stars, the more water efficient the product.

Check our database

Products that are regulated for water efficiency under the WELS scheme must be registered with us.

Our most recent review of the WELS scheme showed that most suppliers are meeting registration and labelling requirements, but some suppliers might still provide false or misleading rating information.

Check the details in our product database to make sure you aren’t being misled by false water rating information, particularly if you are shopping online or buying products from an international seller.

If you can’t find your product in our database, it may not:

  • be registered
  • deliver the indicated performance
  • meet other requirements such as WaterMark certification.​

Confirm WaterMark certification

Plumbing products regulated under the WELS scheme must be certified by WaterMark before they can be registered with us. If these products are in our database, it means they have been WaterMark certified.

You can also check the WaterMark Product Database to make sure plumbing products you are considering buying are properly certified.

WaterMark certification is required before a licenced plumber can install regulated plumbing products.

Save water and money

The water rating label will tell you how much water that product will use per minute, per flush or per load.

Use the consumption information on the label and our water use figures to estimate the savings you can make on your water bills.

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Showers

Flow rates for showers will be expressed on the water rating label in litres per minute (L/min).

Every 1L/min difference will save a typical family of four nearly 12,000 litres (12kL) of water and $35 each year.

For this family of four, replacing their shower that flows at 15L/min with a new:

  • 3-star shower that flows at 9L/min will save 70kL and $210 each year on their water bills
  • 4-star shower that flows at 6L/min will save 105kL and $315 per year on their water bills.

Depending on energy costs, they may save an equivalent amount (or more) each year on energy bills because less water will be heated for showers.

Assumptions: each family member showers for 8 minutes per day, at an average water price of $2.99/kL (the national average price reported in the 2014–15 Australian Bureau of Statistics Water Account).

Taps

Flow rates for taps will be expressed on the water rating label in litres per minute (L/min).

Every 1L/min difference can save a household nearly 2,000 litres (2kL) of water and $5.50 each year.

Replacing an old inefficient tap with a flow rate of 15L/min with a new:

  • 3-star tap that flows at 9L/min will save 11kL and $33 each year on water bills
  • 6-star tap that flows at 4L/min will save 20kL and $60 each year on water bills.

Depending on energy costs, they may save an equivalent amount (or more) each year on energy bills because less water will be heated.

Assumptions: tap runs for 5 minutes total per day, for tasks including handwashing, tooth brushing, rinsing dishes, rinsing fruit or vegetables, at an average water price of $2.99/kL (the national average price reported in the 2014–15 Australian Bureau of Statistics Water Account). Time the tap is running to fill a basin is not included.

Toilets

For toilets, the water rating label will tell you how much water is used in an average flush.

Every litre less water that a toilet uses in an average flush, will save a typical family of four nearly 6kL and $17.50 each year in water supply charges.

If this family replaces an old single-flush toilet with a flush volume of 12L with a new 4-star toilet with an average flush volume of 3.5L, this will save 50kL and $148 each year on their water bills.

Assumptions: each family member flushes 4 times per day, at an average water price of $2.99/kL (the national average price reported in the 2014–15 Australian Bureau of Statistics Water Account).

Clothes washing machines

The water rating label will tell you how much water is used per load, and what cycle was used for the tests (‘normal’, ‘eco’).

For a family that runs one load of washing per day, reducing water use by 10L per load will save 3.7kL and $11 each year.

Choosing a 6kg load capacity washing machine with a 6-star rating that uses 30L per load instead of a 3-star machine using 80L per load will save this family 18kL and $54 each year.

Assumptions: figures are based on average water price of $2.99/kL (the national average price reported in the 2014–15 Australian Bureau of Statistics Water Account).

Dishwashers

The water rating label will tell you how much water is used per load, and what cycle was used for the tests (‘normal’, ‘eco’).

For a family that runs one load of dishes per day, reducing water use by 10L per wash will save 3.7kL and $11 each year.

For a dishwasher that holds 14 place settings, choosing a 6-star machine that uses 9.5L per wash instead of a 2-star machine using 19L per wash will save this family 3.5kL and $20 each year.

Assumptions: figures are based on average water price of $2.99/kL (the national average price reported in the 2014–15 Australian Bureau of Statistics Water Account).

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