User tools

Water rating

Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme

A joint government and industry program


New registration arrangements

In November 2011 the Standing Council on Environment and Water (SCEW), comprising environment ministers from States, Territories and the Australian Government, agreed its response to the 2010 independent review of the WELS scheme. SCEW approved the 2012-15 WELS Strategic Plan and the level of cost recovery. A number of changes have been made to the WELS scheme to implement these decisions, including the introduction of new registration arrangements.

The new registration arrangements commenced on 22 January 2013. WELS registrations no longer last for five years. It is now an annual cycle with all registrations having a common expiry date of 22 January each year.

The new registration arrangements are detailed in the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Determination 2013 (PDF - 207.09 KB) . There are no families of models under the new arrangements, though sets of minor products are still accepted.

All registrations that were current on 22 January 2013 were transferred into the new arrangements. As part of the transfer of information into the new database each model has been assigned a unique new registration number. Each registrant now has a complete list in the database of all their registered models. To support the transition to the new arrangements, no changes to the list will be possible in the first year. You will have the opportunity in the second year to select the models you wish to renew.

Models that are not certified to the current standard (AS/NZS 6400 including amendments 1-5) were transferred to the new arrangements as they were registered on 22 January 2013. You have 9 months to update certification for your models if required, as all models must be certified to the current standard to be renewed under the new arrangements. The renewal period opens on 15 September and closes on 5 December each year. Models that do not meet the current standard cannot be submitted for renewal.

New models can be added at any time in the new database. Please note that new applications submitted after 15 September when the renewal period opens may get up to 4 extra months of registration as they will expire on the second occurrence of 22 January.

Fees under the new arrangements

For more information see fees.

The new annual fee structure is being implemented in two stages to achieve the 80 per cent cost recovery level. Currently, fee levels are set to recover 50 per cent of WELS scheme operating costs. This takes into account a range of factors including that all models previously registered have been transferred to the new arrangements and must be paid for, and that no currently registered models can be allowed to lapse until the second year. The fee level will increase later in 2013 to recover 80 per cent of WELS scheme operating costs plus a portion of the costs associated with providing partial refunds of existing unused registration fees from the current five year arrangements.

An invoice has been issued for payment of the list of transferred models. Payment of the invoice is due by 11 April 2013 which is 80 days from the transfer date. Partial payment is not acceptable. Failure to pay the full registration fee will result in all registered models being deregistered. Offering an unregistered product for supply is an offence under Section 33 of the WELS Act. Please note that new applications cannot be processed until payment for the transferred models is received.


There will be a pro rata refund of fees for current paid registrations as part of the transfer to the new arrangements. The refund amount is $300 for each complete year remaining when the new arrangements begin. As each family of models only has one paid registration there will be only one refund per family.

Refunds of fees from the current arrangements have been deducted from all invoices before they were issued. Where the refund amount is higher than the registration fees required under the new arrangements, the difference will be refunded early in 2013.

Number of years of registration remaining4 or more yearsBetween 3 and 4 yearsBetween 2 and 3 yearsBetween 1 and 2 yearsLess than 1 year
Refund per paid registration $1200 $900 $600 $300 $0

For example if you have a paid registration with two years and 200 days remaining you would be entitled to a refund of $600. A paid registration with four or more years remaining would receive the maximum refund of $1200.

Renewals after the transfer to the new database (business as usual)

The renewal process, for the second and subsequent years of the new arrangements, will be very simple. The database will provide you with a list of all your models. To renew your list of models, you simply need to update certification (as required), delete models you do not wish to renew, and declare that the information provided is correct. To keep the process simple, there will be only one application for renewal that includes all the models you wish to renew.

Renewals will open on 15 September each year and close on 5 December. You can access your list of models at any time during the year to update details in preparation for renewal.

Once you have submitted your renewal you will be sent an invoice with 30 days to pay. The renewal will become effective after payment has been received and will last for one year. All registrations will expire on the common date of 22 January each year.