DWER survey results highlight developer awareness about WELS

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation carried out a survey in August of the Western Australian building industry to determine the level of awareness of the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme and of the compliance obligations under the scheme.

The WELS scheme helps to promote water efficient appliances, fixtures and fittings by specifying and enforcing standards and labelling.  Increasing industry compliance with WELS is one of the many actions under the Waterwise Perth Action Plan, which sets the direction to transition Perth to become a leading waterwise city by 2030.

The survey was sent to over 28,000 building industry members, including property developers, plumbers, builders and other trade professionals, via mailing lists and newsletters by key regulatory and industry stakeholders including the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety and Property Council WA.

The survey has now closed, and received 259 responses, 60 per cent of which were from plumbers, and 17 per cent from builders or developers.  Around 60 per cent of the respondents were involved in supplying or installing WELS-regulated products. The results showed that:

  • There was a high level of awareness of the WELS scheme and the products regulated under the WELS scheme (around 90 per cent of respondents).
  • Most respondents were also aware that:
  • ­WELS-regulated plumbing products must also be WaterMark certified (84 per cent);
  • ­Supplying, displaying or installing WELS-regulated products that are not registered or correctly labelled can attract penalties (73 per cent);
  • ­Where a plumber supplies and installs a WELS-regulated product, the plumber is responsible for checking that the product is registered and that the correct information is displayed (82 per cent);
  • ­The best way to check whether a product is registered is via the WELS rating web site, www.waterrating.gov.au (67 per cent).

However, most respondents (72 per cent) were not aware that in the case where a developer supplies some dishwashers, and contracts a plumber to install them, it is the developer who is the responsible for ensuring that the products are registered and have the correct information displayed (not the plumber).

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation would like to thank all those who participated in this survey. 

For further information on the WELS scheme and compliance obligations, please go to the DWER website or the WELS regulator’s website, www.waterrating.gov.au.

This story was provided by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.