NSW raises WELS rebate standard to 4.5-stars

By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: New South Wales will follow Western Australia by replacing its four-star WELS rebate scheme with a 4.5-star standard, to be introduced 1 August, according to Sydney Water.

In a release, Sydney Water announced from 1 August, only washers rated 4.5-star or above will be eligible for the $150 rebate, handed out previously to customers who purchased a washer rated four-stars or better.

The change is part of the New South Wales government’s $100 million Residential Rebate program, funded from the Climate Change fund, said Sydney Water.

Sydney Water will administer the rebates in its areas of operations, while the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change will administer them for the rest of the state.

Customers who purchase a four-star washing machine on dates up to or including 31 July will still receive a rebate, as long as they send their rebate application form and receipt to Sydney Water by 31 December 2008.

New South Wales’ move means it is the second state to mandate a minimum 4.5-star standard for a rebate, following Western Australia’s introduction in January this year.

The introduction of tighter regulations in Australia’s most populous state is sure to have a profound impact on the local washer market, with only a handful of 4.5-star-rated washing machines currently on the market.

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