Dishwashers are sold with two star ratings labels - a MEPS label and a WELS label:
- MEPS labels - Stands for 'Minimum Energy Performance Standard', and indicates the dishwasher's electrical energy efficiency.
- WELS labels - Stands for 'Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme', and indicates the dishwashers water efficiency.
WELS ratings for dishwashers
The WELS labels on dishwashers provide a star rating to dishwashers based on their water efficiency, as tested under the Australian Standard AS/NZS 2007.2:2005 - Performance of household electrical appliances-Dishwashers, Part 2: Energy labelling requirements.
Each dishwasher is given a rating out of six stars, with six stars being the most efficient. The ratings can also go into half-star ratings too - meaning a dishwasher could be rated at four-and-a-half stars, for example.
The WELS water rating label also indicates how many litres are used by the dishwasher per wash on a normal program, as well as how many 'place settings' the dishwasher is rated for. Place settings are a general indication of the capacity of a dishwasher - one 'place setting' includes one large and one small plate, a bowl, a cup, a saucer and cutlery for one.
The star rating given to the dishwasher is calculated by an independent National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory under standardised conditions at full capacity.
According to the WELS regulator, by 2016 WELS efficient dishwashers across Australia could collectively save nearly 1200 megalitres of water per year. This would account for a reduction of a very significant 6.5 per cent in the water consumption of the dishwashers sold between 2003 and 2016.
For more information, visit waterrating.gov.au.