“You can save money, energy and water by using a more efficient tap ware – check the star rating.”

Purchasing tips for taps & flow controllers

3 stars

4 stars

5 stars

Before purchasing a new tap, check the water rating. The more stars, the more efficient the model.

Your family's annual water savings can be up to 25, 30 or 35 kilolitres




Your family's annual energy savings can be up to 1200, 1400 or 1700 KWh




Your family's annual GHG* savings can be up to 1.2, 1.5 or 1.7 tonnes CO2




Your family’s annual money savings can be up to:




Many State governments, local councils and water utilities now offer rebates for water efficient products. To find out more, visit www.smartwatermark.info or www.habitathardware.com.au

$10 – $50

Operating tips for taps & flow controllers

Check to see if any of your taps leak. A simple two tablespoon leak per minute turns into 40 litres per day – 280 litres per week – 15,000 litres a year, fix the leak and you might save up to:

$15 – $20

If renovating your home, consider using flow controllers or aerators in key locations around your house to reduce the amount of litres of water per minute. You might save up to:

$10 – $50

Check your hot water system thermostat is not set too high. Adding cold water to cool very hot water is wasteful. Most hot water heaters should be set to 60°C, instantaneous hot water systems can be set even lower. Reducing the temperature from 70°C to 60°C might save you up to:

$15 – $25

Other tips for taps

Use a half-filled sink or in-sink container instead of running water to wash fruit and vegies or to rinse your razor during shaving. Soak your pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean. Don’t leave taps running when hand washing or brushing your teeth and be mindful to keep single tap levers to the far right to avoid hot water losses.

The average life of a tap can be over 20 years, so make sure you lock in the savings when you have the chance. See overleaf for tips to reduce your environmental impact.

All % savings on tap and flow controller related emissions are calculated according to the following assumptions:

Household: average Australian household of 2.5 people, tap is turned on full three times a day for three minutes and assumes half of water is heated to 23°C.

Product: comparison between a zero star (16 litres/minute), 3 star (8.25 litres/minute), 4 star (6.75 litres/minute), 5 star (5.25 litres/minute) kitchen/bathroom tap.

Costs: Australian national averages: energy tariff 15.36 c/kWh for electricity and 2.49 c/MJ for natural gas; water tariff $1.023/kilolitre. Hot water heater cost and associated GHG emissions have been included but exclude transmission, start-up losses, and embodied emissions. Total savings based on combining both purchasing and operating tips.

Average product life expectancy: actual life expectancy of product will vary depending on product type, use and maintenance.

* Greenhouse gas

Maintenance tips to reduce your environmental impact

Check for leaks regularly. Over the course of a product’s life, water seals will need to be replaced. If in doubt, get an accredited plumber to check.

Look for environmentally friendly labels when choosing cleaning and maintenance products.

When your product reaches the end of its life, pass it to an approved recycler or reseller.

What is the WELS scheme?

The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme requires certain water-using products to be labelled for water efficiency. The products covered under the scheme are clothes washing machines, dishwashers, showers, toilets, urinals and taps, with flow controllers optional. The scheme helps consumers make informed decisions when buying water-using products to save water and money.

What does the WELS label mean?

The WELS water rating label carries two important pieces of information to help consumers compare products:

·     a one to six star rating on the product’s water efficiency

·     a number showing the water consumption per use or the water flow per minute.

More stars and a low number = better water efficiency.

The products are tested by a National Association of Testing Authorities accredited laboratory. These results are used to determine the star rating for each product.

Can I get a rebate on WELS products?

Rebates may be offered on some WELS rated products by local councils and water utilities. Go to ‘Water Rebates’ at www.smartwatermark.info for more information.

Where can I find more information?

For more information on the WELS scheme and to view the full list of water rated products, go to:        


For more information on energy ratings, go to:


If you’re building or renovating and would like to know more ways to save, go to:


For more tips on living sustainably, go to: