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

22 March 2006

Six stars for new appliance water efficiency ratings scheme


The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today marked World Water Day by urging Australians to support the new appliance water efficiency rating scheme that will be mandatory from 1 July 2006.

“The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme — or WELS — will label appliances rated for water efficiency, similar to the way that they are now labelled for energy efficiency. The more stars the better!” Senator Campbell said.

WELS is a cooperative scheme involving all Australian governments. So far NSW , Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania all have complementary WELS legislation in place. Western Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia are in the process of finalising or will soon be drafting complementary legislation.”

Senator Campbell said Australian families were being given a helping hand in their efforts to save water and save money on their water and energy bills.

“By using a 4-star washing machine compared to a 1-star machine every day, the average Australian household could save nearly 47,000 litres of water every year,” he said.

“Using a water-efficient showerhead standard with gas hot water will cost around $790 over a ten year period compared to $1500 for a standard showerhead in the same period — saving Australian consumers money.”

Appliances that will be labelled for water efficiency include domestic clothes washing machines, dishwashers, certain taps, showers, toilets, urinals, and flow control devices for use with taps.

Senator Campbell said the WELS scheme would reward manufacturers who develop improved and efficient products and the retailers who support this innovative scheme.

“We’ve had a fantastic response from many areas of industry and the retail sector. Both have been supportive of our efforts to promote products that are high performing and environmentally-friendly,” he said.

Manufactures and importers of WELS appliances will be required to label WELS appliances and retailers required to sell labelled products following the mandatory 1 July 2006 introduction.

WELS is part of the Australian Government’s overall strategy to conserve water across Australia.

“I encourage all Australians to take part in this scheme, and benefit themselves, their environment and our Australian industries,” Senator Campbell said.

For more information: www.waterrating.gov.au

Media Contact:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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