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Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme

A joint government and industry program


Second independent review of the WELS scheme

Department of the Environment, 2015

About the report

This report presents the findings and recommendations of the second independent review of the WELS scheme, undertaken by Aither Pty Ltd, led by Senior Associate, Tom Mollenkopf for the Australian Government Department of the Environment. The Joint Governments’ Response to the recommendations within the review is also available.​

The WELS Scheme is a government-administered consumer advisory scheme that ensures water efficiency information (labelling) is provided for certain water-using products supplied across Australia. Products covered include showers, certain tap equipment, flow controllers, toilets, urinals, dish washing machines and clothes washing machines.

The WELS Scheme aims to reduce water consumption by promoting use of more water efficient products. It does this by providing consumers with water efficiency information (specifically a star rating label) at the point of sale. Some products are also required to meet a minimum water efficiency standard, and registration and labelling is mandatory for all products covered by the Scheme.

The WELS Scheme is enabled by the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005 (Cwlth) (WELS Act 2005). Section 76 of the WELS Act 2005 requires an independent review of the Scheme be undertaken every five years. The first review was completed in 2010. In November 2014, Tom Mollenkopf was appointed by Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham (former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment) as the Independent Reviewer to undertake this Review.

The Terms of Reference for the Review require an assessment of the WELS Scheme's appropriateness, efficiency and effectiveness, and the extent to which its administration has met the objects of the WELS Act 2005.

This report was prepared by Aither Pty Ltd, led by Senior Associate, Tom Mollenkopf.

Further information

2015 WELS Scheme Review