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  • Writer's pictureHelen Falk

A guide to understanding NSW’s Water Efficiency Certificate

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

LMN Plumbing has created this comprehensive guide to understand NSW water efficiency certificate, by providing more information for real estate agents, property management companies, landlords and owners in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie who want to reduce their water bill.

It is now part Fair Training requirements that sellers and landlords obtain a Water Efficiency Certificate to demonstrate the water efficiency of their property. In this comprehensive guide we outline the details of the NSW Water Efficiency Certificate and outline why it is important, how you can obtain it and what that means for buyers and renters.

Bathroom with white toilet, sink, with vertical mirror, two photos on the wall, a photo on a tiled vanity. A brown towel handing on the wall.
Taps and toilet that are tested as part of water efficiency certificate

LMN Plumbing is experienced in working with property managers in Newcastle to conduct water efficiency checks to ensure properties can be issued with a water certificate. We work to ensure properties are considered water efficient before a new tenant moves in to their new home. At the bottom of this guide are answers to a host of frequently asked questions:

When a tenant moves into a home water efficiency measure should appear in the condition report. In fact, a tenant can ask the property manager or landlord to provide evidence. The easiest way to do this is understanding water efficiency certificate requirements and conduct regular water efficiency checks to ensure the Fair-Trading standards are maintained, with a compliant water efficiency certificate to prove it. With these measures in place the landlord is able to pass the water consumption charges on to the tenant (but only if the property meets the minimum water efficiency standards) along with the benefit of minimising water wastage.

As a property manager or landlord, you should be mindful that if a rental property isn’t deemed water efficient, the landlord is not allowed to pass on the full water consumption charges to the tenant. Additionally, for the landlord to be able to pass on water usage charges to the tenant, the residential property must be:

1. The charges are not more than the amount the landlord is billed for by the water provider.

2. The property meets the NSW Fair Trading ‘water efficiency’ standards.

3. The property must be separately metered

If you as a tenant understanding water efficiency certificate can only help you and if would like a general idea if the If the tenant would like to check that the property meets the minimum standards, you can do this by:

1. Turn the tap on completely

2. Measure the water flow rate - this should be less than 9 litres per minute

We would recommend that a landlord use a licensed plumber to have a compliant signed water efficiency certificate so that have credible proof that the check has been measured against the minimum Fair-Trading standards.

Understanding water efficiency rating systems:

You may have seen a term, WELS rating and star ratings, we have set out here to explain the scheme and how you can use it to help you save money and conserve water. WELS, stands for ‘Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards’ Scheme. This is an Australian scheme to help consumers (both residential and commercial) to make informed buying decisions to reduce water consumption. Products under the scheme must be registered and labelled with water usage information at the point of sale. This is conveyed by using a star rating system for fixtures such as showers, taps and toilets, the labels will show a simple one to six stars to show increasing water efficiency as the stars increase. As outlined by the Victorian Building Authority, it is estimated that by 2030 the WELS scheme is expected to reduced household utility bills by $2 billion per year. Along with saving over 200 billion litres of drinking water per year. Its amazing to think that something so simple as a regular check can make such a significant difference to a homeowners pock and environmentally.

Changes to the residential tenancy laws started on 23 March 2020, with amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (the Act) and the new Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 (the new Regulation). These mean if you are a landlord or manage a property in Newcastle or Lake Macquarie that is currently being tenanted, we can organise to inspect the property to determine if it meets the requirements. We will provide you and your landlord a certificate of compliance and remind you annually to check for any changes.

As a partnership with our property managers, real estate agents and landlords we offer you a convenient service to keep your property portfolio compliant.

LMN Plumbing’s water efficiency certificate service:

  • Full home inspection of all taps and toilets in property.

  • Certificate of Compliance for both agent and landlord if compliant.

  • Acknowledgement of the work order.

  • Liaising directly with your tenant to ensure a convenient time for them and a quick turnaround for the landlord.

  • A courtesy call whilst onsite before carrying out any additional work including the installations of additional water devices that are required. If large scale works required we provide a written quote for the landlords review.

  • Images of assets with home.

  • Annual Reminder sent.

  • When you become a partner of LMN Plumbing, you can also access our 24 hour emergency service for all your properties, this is only offered to partner clients.

If you would like to book in a water efficiency service or discuss your property management needs further please send us email now at or give Helen a call today on 1300 029 183.

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