The WELS label displays three key pieces of information (see Figure 1):
- the product manufacturer and model
- a star rating of water efficiency out of six
- a water consumption or water flow figure in litres.
The Regulations have different labelling provisions depending on the product type, whether it is unpackaged or packaged, and special provisions for items offered for supply online.
Schedules 1 and 2 of the Regulations specify the information required and the form a WELS label must follow. Product labels must include the following:
- brand name
- model identifier
- star rating
- water consumption
- rated load capacity (for clothes washing machines)
- rated capacity (for dishwashers)
- stated wash programme (for clothes washing machines and dishwashers).
Schedule 3 of the Regulations sets out labelling options for each product class. The information must be displayed in a way that is easily readable and clearly visible and attributable to the equipment when the products are on display for sale or physically on display for promotional purposes. The options are outlined in Table 1.
There are different sized labels specified to facilitate use on larger and smaller products and packaging, and together with the energy-rating label. There is a separate warning label design for zero-rated products.
Table 1: Summary of labelling requirements by product class
|Clothes washing machines |
|Unpackaged clothes washing machines and dishwashers must either carry their WELS label on the product itself or on both sides of a swing tag affixed to the product.||If the product is packaged, the WELS label for that product must be displayed on the packaging.|| |
For products offered for sale online, either a reproduction of the product’s WELS label must be displayed or, text information may be used which:
The WELS label for these products must either:
How to access the labels
The label artwork can be downloaded from http://wels.brandfm.com/home/welcome. The artwork files are supplied in editable PDF and EPS formats in the spot colours, dimensions and font specified in the Regulations. The style guide (available online at http://wels.brandfm.com/home/welcome) has a step-by-step guide to downloading the files and examples of all the label types with their dimensions and font point sizes.
The label files need to be opened in a graphics programmes such as Adobe Illustrator in order to enter the variable data (eg, brand, model, water consumption). This is probably best done by a professional designer or the prepress department of a printer. Once the variable data has been entered the labels can be prepared either for print or for online use in brochures, advertisements and so on.
Additional information – ancillary components
Where lavatory, urinaland tap equipment, and showers, require an ancillary component or components to achieve their stated rating, they must be supplied with additional information that sets out what these components are and instructions for their installation or assembly.
For example, this applies to showers that can be used on either mains or low/unequal water supply systems with the installation, or not, of a flow restrictor. The product must be supplied with additional information stating where and how the flow restrictor must be installed. If the shower had both a high and low/unequal water-rating label, then it should also be supplied with the flow restrictor. In the case of lavatory and urinal equipment components in supplier-nominated combinations, information must be supplied about what ancillary component(s) are required to achieve the stated rating and any necessary assembly/installation instructions.
Compliance and enforcement
Manufacturers, importers and retailers of WELS products in New Zealand will have responsibilities under the WELS Regulations.
The Commerce Commission is responsible for enforcement of Consumer Information Standard Regulations under the Fair Trading Act 1986, including the WELS Regulations. Offences under the Fair Trading Act may attract fines of up to $200,000 for a company and $60,000 for an individual per offence.
Anyone, including consumers and competitors, is able to inform the Commerce Commission if they suspect breaches. The Fair Trading Act also enables individuals to take prosecutions through the courts for suspected breaches of the Regulations.