Understanding Water and Energy Rating Labels

This is a guide on how to read the WELS Water Rating and Energy Rating Labels. Compare the efficiency of appliances at a glance.

With the rising costs of pretty much everything, pinching your pennies has never been more important. It’s vital when purchasing an appliance to make sure that it suits your lifestyle, and that includes considering how much it will cost you to run the appliance in the long run. It's common sense to select an appliance that's efficient, because water or energy efficient appliances will be cheaper to run.

Also huge considerations for many consumers are the conservation of water and the issue of sustainability. Being able to make an informed choice around how much water your appliances consume is part of being a responsible global citizen.

One of the fastest ways to quickly compare appliance water and energy consumption when you’re shopping is by checking the WELS Water and Energy Ratings Labels. Once you know how to read the labels you’ll be able to understand, at a glance, how much water or electricity (or both) any given appliance consumes.

In this blog I’m going to take you through each label and how to read it, so when the time comes you’re armed with all the information you need to make an informed decision. You'll be able to reduce your power bills while powering up your energy savings!

The Water Ratings Label: Finding Water Efficient Appliances

A Water Ratings label is a label issued by the Australian Government under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme, which is why they’re usually referred to as a WELS Water Rating. Products with a WELS rating label are registered with the WELS scheme and must be labelled with the correct water rating information.

Understanding the Label

At the top of the label is a star rating which you can use to quickly compare the water efficiency of different appliances. The more stars the product has the more water efficient it is.

Then there’s the rate of water consumption. For laundry, as an example, this is in litres used per wash.

At the bottom of the label are the registration and product details which include the licence number and registration number, and for laundry the model name and the wash program used for testing.

how to read a WELS water rating label


The Energy Ratings Label: Choosing Energy Efficient Appliances

The Energy Rating Label is a star rating label which you can use to compare the energy efficiency and running costs of appliances before you buy them. The Energy Rating Label is regulated by the Australian Government. The label is pretty intuitive to read, a higher star rating indicates which models are energy efficient appliances.

You'll find this label on any appliances that use energy and on appliances that use hot water. For many households the best place to start with reducing energy is the clothes dryer. Next time you're looking for a dryer compare the labels of a super efficient heat pump clothes dryer compared to the high energy use of vented dryer. You'll be amazed.

Understanding the Label

The star rating pictured on the label describes the product’s energy efficiency relative to other models of the same size and product type. More stars mean the product is more efficient when compared to other products of the same size.

The next part of the label describes the energy consumption of that particular product. This is how much electricity the product uses to actually run. It’s based on standardised testing required by law and conducted in line with the Australian and New Zealand Standard. The lower this number is, the less it will cost to run that product.

how to read an energy rating label

Now Go Forth!

Now that you have an understanding of what the WELS Water Label and Energy Labels mean and how to use them, you can go forth and make an informed choice for your water and energy efficient appliances!