Across the UK, water is seen as a virtually limitless resource. However, in spite of our infamously wet climate, parts of the UK are expected to suffer from water shortages this summer. That’s why we’ve taken a closer look at the amount of water we use day to day, and what can be done to reduce it. We’ve also listed some of the best ways how to save money on water bills and ultimately cut carbon emissions.

Why save water?

 

  • The average UK citizen uses a staggering 150 litres of water every day, a third of which goes to waste. This makes us one of the highest consumers of water in Europe, a luxury that many countries around the world cannot afford.
  • In the south and east of England, almost half of water monitoring sites have recorded significantly “low” levels in January. Cambridge typically sees less rain than Barcelona, and while demand for water is steadily growing nationwide, experts have predicted a shortage of water in these areas over the summer. So, improving water efficiency sooner rather than later will stand homeowners in good stead.
  • Addressing water efficiency is often overlooked for larger home improvements like insulation or microgeneration technologies. However, water constitutes a large proportion of our monthly household bills, so water-saving devices should be seriously considered.
  • Not only does sustainable water usage save money, it also reduces your carbon emissions. Hot water in homes makes up roughly 4% of the UK’s total carbon emissions[1]. Additionally, cutting 1m3 of water from the mains could save the equivalent to 340g CO2[2].

So, improving water efficiency is of growing importance for saving money, reducing carbon emissions, and for future generations having access to a sufficient water supply. Below, we’ve highlighted some of our top tips on how to save money on your water bill.

 

How to save water

1. Refer to the European Water Label

Similar to the energy efficiency rating on the back of electrical appliances, many water products now include a European Water Label on their packaging. This label clearly states how water-efficient a product is. It also lets you know which products use less hot water. Use this label when comparing bathroom or kitchen appliances. A low-flow appliance may be costlier upfront, but it can potentially save you a lot of money in the long run.

 

2. Take shorter showers (and avoid baths)

Showers and baths are usually the biggest culprits of expensive water bills. We should really be aiming to keep our daily showers to just 5 minutes long, but if you enjoy a long shower, consider switching to a water-saving or aerating shower head (under £25).

If you’re a ‘long soak in the bath’ lover, then you’ll be sad to hear that they use up many gallons more than showers do – cut them out completely if you can. If that’s a little too extreme, reduce the frequency of your baths to an occasional treat, and be frugal on your water level.

 

3. Filling the dishwasher

Surprisingly, efficient dishwashers use less water to clean dishes than washing by hand. Since they use electricity to work, they’re still not perfect, but filling the dishwasher each time is a great way to conserve water. Remember that after scraping any leftover food in the bin, rinsing before putting them in the dishwasher isn’t necessary – they don’t need washing twice!

 

4. Instant hot water systems

How many times have you let the tap run as you wait for the water to warm up? According to the Consumer Council for Water, a tap that’s left running can waste around 6 litres of water per minute.

If you’re guilty of doing this on a regular basis, consider getting an instant hot water system installed (also called a point-of-use hot water heater). As the name suggests, you’ll have hot water instantly, and it’ll save you money on your water bill over the appliance’s lifetime.

 

5. Faucet aerator

A faucet aerator reduces the water flow without reducing pressure. Most modern faucets come with these in-built, but if yours doesn’t then it’s a worthy investment for long-term savings.

 

6. Collect rainwater and use it to water your plants or car

Rain barrels attach to gutter drain spouts and collect rainwater. They’re great for watering plants or washing cars, and if you don’t relish the thought of a big green barrel outside your home, there are plant pot façades available too. (At least there’s one good thing to come out of all this rain).

 

7. Fix leaky taps

A leaky tap wastes over 5,500 litres of water over the course of a year[1]. If your tap is still dispelling water when it’s turned off, fix it sharpish!

 

What tactics do you use to minimise water waste in your home? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

[1] Sourced from Energy Saving Trust.
[2] Sourced from Water UK.

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