The Water Efficiency Rating Scale (WERS) Timeline

The program continues to be developed under the tutelage of several industry stakeholders and has already been used within the State of New Mexico for over 3 years. Additionally, The Coalition has worked with Santa Fe Community College to offer a training program for use of the WERS program, verification procedures, and certification. Finally, four manufacturers have partnered with WERS to offer discounts on water-efficient products: Evolve Technologies, EcoVie, Flow-Know®, and Pearl’s Premium.

WERS Timeline & Accomplishments

  • In 2015, WERS won an award from the Sustainable Santa Fe Commission.

  • From the start of 2015 through July 2018, WERS sessions have been presented at the following national or regional conferences: Home Performance Coalition (4x), StormCon, Passive House, EEBA (2x), ARCSA, AWRA, ABX, WaterSmart Innovations (2x), NGWA, IA, 2016 Land & Water Summit, AWWA ACE (2x), SWMC and Florida Section’s Conference, New Mexico Housing Summit, Home Performance Conference (Portland), Localizing California Waters, WaterCon, MEEA’s Annual Codes Conference, the National Energy Codes Conference, the Getting to Zero National Forum and Energy Out West.

  • In November 2015, a NM homebuilder used his WERS report in conjunction with his building permit application, and that helped him save significant time and approximately $2,000 in permit fees. We certified two other properties in Santa Fe in 2016.

  • The City of Santa Fe, NM passing an ordinance that incorporates the WERS program into their residential green building code. As of March 1, 2017, a WERS of 70 or less is now required for all new single family projects.

  • The NM state legislature extended their very popular sustainable building tax credit. When they did, they added a water conservation requirement. WERS was cited in the tax credit’s rules as a way to determine the degree of water conservation.

  • GreenStar, an upper Midwest green building program, has decided to utilize the WERS program as the water component of their overall program.

  • We have an agreement with ARCSA to partner on education, training and promotion.

  • In early March 2016, the first WERS training course was held in Santa Fe, NM, and 10 students passed both the written and field exams. Three other courses have been held since March 2016.

  • In January 2017, WERS was granted a service mark from the USPTO.

  • The WERS Consultant designation was created, and WERS Consultant class debuted in Q2 2018.

  • The 3rd annual Next Generation Water Summit was held on June 12 – 14, 2019. This unique, 3-day event brings together the building community, policy makers and land use planners to network and discuss applicable water efficiency initiatives.

  • A portion of the WERS calculation was able to assist a single-family project in Minnesota obtain LEED for Homes Platinum and GreenStar Gold.

  • Triconic, UL and Intertek entered into an agreement with the Green Builder® Coalition to expand WERS beyond New Mexico to all U.S. states and potentially other countries.

  • RayLee Homes became the first large-scale homebuilder in the U.S. to commit to submitting all new homes through the WERS certification process.

  • On August 14, 2018, the Santa Barbara (CA) City Council adopted an ordinance that would enable WERS to administer code compliance of ultra-high water use efficiency multifamily projects.

  • In late 2018, Built Green Canada decided to utilize the WERS program as one of two paths for the water component of their overall program. The first international WERS Verifier course took place in May 2019. Full adoption is expected in 2020.

  • In December 2019, the State of Vermont announced that WERS could help homebuilders comply with the new state energy code through their “Package Plus Points” compliance option.

  • In April 2020, the 2020 National Green Building Standard was released and it includes a Water Rating Index in both Chapter 8 and Appendix D. The WRI is primarily based on the WERS methodology, and enables jurisdictions and water utilities to utilize a proven water rating that is also part of an ANSI standard.

We’re very proud of the WERS,” said Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “We’re also interested in collaborating with municipalities who have a need or interest in conserving water. The WERS program can be valuable to those communities as either an incentive or regulation.