Water saving devices could save homes £225 a yearReport reveals how water saving can cut home bills

22 July 2009

Try not to let water run down the drain

Try not to let water run down the drain

Installing water saving measures could cut UK household utility bills by £225 a year, says a new report.

The joint publication from the Energy Saving Trust and the Environment Agency has analysed the carbon impact of domestic water use in the UK.

It concluded that installing water saving measures in the home - including pipe lagging, low-flow taps, water saving shower heads and water meters - and simple behavioural changes such as washing up in a bowl instead of under a tap would be needed to curb carbon emissions associated with water heating and use. It says that such measures could help cut carbon emissions by 30%.

Water savings

According to the report, replacing an existing 16 litre per minute shower head with a six litre per minute water saving shower head, together with replacing an old 9 litre toilet with a 4.5 litre one, could equate to annual savings of 67m3 water, and 371kg of carbon dioxide - knocking an average of £225 off energy and water bills.

Which?'s water saving products review outlines how to be more water efficient in your home - and tells you how to find the most water efficient washing machine, dishwasher and water saving shower head.

Hot water challenge

The average person uses 150 litres of water a day - and the majority of water-related CO2 emissions are coming from heating and using hot water.

Ian Barker, the Environment Agency's Head of Water, said: 'Currently, six per cent of the UK's annual carbon emissions are related to water use - nearly 90% of that is from hot water use in the home. It's clear we need to find ways of being smarter with the way we use hot water.'

Household behaviour

While improvements have been made in the energy and water efficiency of boilers, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets, the trend towards taking more showers, using power showers and more people living alone means that water use per person has not changed by much over the past 10 years.

Changing water behaviour - rather than simply installing water saving technology - could have the biggest potential to save water in homes.

The report said 'spending less time in the shower and washing up in a bowl rather than under a running tap can have more impact than installing water saving technology. Without addressing behaviour, technology alone may not deliver the expected savings.'

Visit Which?'s for more on green and environmental issues, including how to use less water.

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