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Water Efficiency Guide

Water Supplier (1)

Currently, the average water bill for homes in the UK is around £396.60 [1] and we use approximately 345 litres of water per day. Being more efficient in the way that we use water can help us reduce household bills and it will also positively impact the environment.

Why is water efficiency important?

When thinking about the benefits of reducing the amount of water we use in our homes, we often only consider the impact that it will have on our water bills. However, using water efficiently can also help to lower your energy bills. Around 28% of the average property’s heating bill is spent on heating water — that equates to around £125 per year [2]. Efficient water use can help to lower these costs.

Additionally, energy is used to treat, pump and heat the water that we use in our homes and this contributes to the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions. By being more efficient with your water use, you can help to tackle climate change.

How can I increase water efficiency in my home?

There are plenty of quick and easy measures that can help you increase your household’s water efficiency. These include:

  • Replacing baths with showers — By sticking to showers instead of baths, you could save up to £10 a year on your utility bills [2]. Additionally, by reducing the time you spend in the shower by just one minute, you could save up to £8 a year [3].

  • Stop the drips – According to the Energy Saving Trust, a dripping tap can waste over 5,000 litres of water on a yearly basis. Prevent this by ensuring that all your taps are closed properly [4].
  • Say no to running taps — A fair few of us have a habit of leaving the taps running whilst we shave, brush our teeth and wash our face. Kicking this habit and turning the tap off can help us save a significant amount of water.
  • Fully load your washing machine and dish washer – By filling these appliances up as much as possible, you are making the most out of the water that is used. You should also try to select the settings and cycles that are the most water efficient.

  • Use a bowl – Using a bowl to wash your dishes instead of running water will help to increase your water efficiency.

  • Reduce your temperatures – Use cold water or a lower temperature when hot water isn’t needed. This can help to reduce energy usage from your heating system.
  • Insulate your hot water cylinder – Lagging your water pipes will help to keep water warm for longer periods, which means less work and energy usage from your heating system. Visit our Heating efficiency guide to find out more on how you can reduce energy usage when heating your home.

There are also a number of products that you can buy to help you reduce your water usage. Such as:

  • Water meters - Water meters help you keep track of your water usage and provide you with more accurate water bills; similar to the way that smart meters help to measure energy use. Contact your water company to find out if you are eligible to have a water meter installed.
  • Efficient shower heads – Fitting a shower head that delivers water efficiently can save you up to £38 a year on energy used to heat water [3].
  • Low flush & dual flush toilets – These flush functions will help to regulate the amount of water that your toilets use.
  • Tap aerators – These tools can be fitted to the end of your taps or applied inside of the spout. They mix in air with the water flow to reduce the amount of water that is supplied without affecting the pressure.

If you want to reduce your utility bills, switching energy suppliers and getting a better tariff can help. Our quick and easy comparison tool could help you find a deal that is best suited to your home and needs. Alternatively, to find out more about energy saving, visit our helpful energy guides.

Caveat 

[1] https://www.water.org.uk/news-item/average-water-and-sewerage-bills-for-england-and-wales-to-fall-by-17-in-2020-21/

[2] https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/saving-water

[3] https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/energy-saving-quick-wins

[4] https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/blog/why-water-efficiency-matters

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