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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

10 February 2005

Water scheme to cut consumers' water bills and greenhouse gas


Australian families and the environment are set to be the big winners with the Australian Government's Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme passing through Parliament, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell said today.

"The new mandatory national Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme is expected to save the community more than $600 million in water and energy bills by 2021," Senator Campbell said.

The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme the first of its kind in the world requires a range of water-using appliances or products to carry an efficiency rating label. This label provides consumers with important information about how much water the product uses and how efficiently it uses it.

"Consumers and businesses will be able to make informed decisions about which products will help them save water, with all washing machines, dishwashers, toilets, showers, some types of taps, and urinals carrying a star rating on their water efficiency. The scheme will also set minimum water efficiency standards for toilets."

Senator Campbell said efficiency labelling is projected to cut domestic water use by five per cent or 87,200 megalitres per year. A total of 610,000 megalitres more water than in Sydney Harbour will be conserved by 2021. Nearly half the water savings will come from washing machines, about 25 per cent from showers and 22 per cent from toilets.

"A water efficient washing machine uses two-fifths the water of a water guzzler," he said.

"An eight-minute shower using a regular showerhead uses around 120 litres of water, compared to a water efficient shower, which uses only around 70 litres. A water efficient dual flush toilet uses on average around eight litres less water per flush than an older-style 12-litre cistern.

"This scheme will help Australian families make informed decisions about which appliance to purchase and the water savings that are possible.

"The scheme will also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. By 2021 the amount of energy saved each year, approximately 570 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent gases, will be the same as taking around 150,000 cars off Australia's roads.

"Clever, water efficient designs will benefit consumers, the economy and the environment," Senator Campbell said.

A sample label can be downloaded at http://www.deh.gov.au/water/urban/scheme.html

Media contact:
Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos on 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia