Saving water and water efficiency have become more important than ever as we’ve become more aware of our environment. Climate change and the changes in weather patterns will affect our water resources in the future so it’s vital to think about ways to save water before it’s too late. As an organisation, Save Water Save Money takes this seriously because it’s not just water we’re wasting but energy and money, too. Not many people realise but heating water contributes £228 to the average energy bill and emits 875kg of CO2 per household per year.
So the faster we consider our water efficiency and take on board some water saving tips, the better. The amounts we could save are staggering, take showers as an example. Across Britain, we spend around £2.3 billion a year on heating water just for showers.
According to the Energy Saving Trust report ‘At Home with Water’:
“If every household in the UK took just one minute off one shower every day, it would save £215 million in energy bills a year.”
Whether it’s leaving the tap running while brushing teeth or not thinking about the way our toilet flushes, we all waste water. Yet at Save Water Save Money, we want to show people that saving water isn't difficult. There are many ways to promote water efficiency, and they mostly involve very small changes to our behavior. It’s about buying devices that you can fit and forget about to help save water. These could be anything from products you attach to your shower such as Aerated Showerheads, through to Dual Flush Toilets or even water saving Kitchen Appliances. Our range of water-saving devices include showerheads from Flowpoint Single Spray Showerheads to Mira Eco Showerheads or even Electric Showers, and they’re all equally effective ways of saving water. We also stock water-efficient bath and basin mixers and dual flush toilets. You can have fun at bath time and save water with our amazing inflatable bath toy – the ‘BathBuoy’. It’s a great way to aid water efficiency by saving up to 30 litres each time you bath your child.
At Save Money Save Water, we believe it’s our job to support water efficiency. Below are 11 water saving facts that you might not know. Saving water is really easy and inexpensive if you know how.
In order to be truly water efficient you need to understand your water usage better*:
1. Saving water starts in the bathroom. More than half the water we use in a day comes from there.
2. Across Britain, we use in the order of 840 billion litres each year.
3. Turning off the tap when you brush your teeth is an effective way to save water – up to 12 litres a day in fact.
4. A leaky tap can waste 60 litres of water per hour. Save water by checking and fixing any leaks you might find around the house or garden.
5. Water supplies are under pressure in parts of the UK and demand is growing by 1% a year. That’s why water conservation and learning water saving tips now is so important for the future.
6. Saving water isn't just about conserving the water we can see. Two thirds of the water we use is imported from abroad and embedded in the products we eat and wear.
7. Saving water will affect us all. An average household in the UK use nearly 350 litres of water every day
8. 23% of household energy is spent heating up water, contributing £228 to the average annual combined energy bill. Heating only the water you need will not only save on expensive utility bills, but can save water and energy, too.
9. Showers are the biggest water user in the house (25%), followed by lavatories (22%).
10. Of all the CO2 emissions in the UK, 6% are from water use. A massive 89% of this comes from heating water in our homes. The remaining 11% comes from pumping and treating water as part of the supply and sewage network.
11. Hoses and sprinklers typically use about 1,000 litres of water an hour. Investing in a watering can instead could help save a significant amount of water.
* Figures from Energy Saving Trust Report, At Home with Water 2013
Whether you live in a big home, alone in a flat or share a house, you can start saving serious money with a water meter. Your water company will install it at no charge – and you could significantly cut your annual bill. At the moment about 40% of houses in England and Wales have a water meter but this number is slowly increasing.
There are two reasons why you should consider installing a water meter where you live: environmental and financial.
As you’re probably aware, tap water comes from either beneath the ground or from the UK’s rivers. As a nation we’re abstracting too much that isn’t being replaced by rainfall, this will have an adverse effect on the levels and habitats of rivers and lakes.
It’s simple: with a water meter, you’re only charged for the water you use – in the same way as for gas and electricity. Why pay for other people’s use, which is what happens when you pay water rates which are based on an average, little more than a guess at how much you use.
Installing a water meter won’t cost you anything, but will make you more aware of how much water you use – and therefore save you money. According to the Environment Agency, installing a water meter saves between 5% and 15% on total water use. And people with water meters are more likely to have an idea of their consumption than those without.
Under the rates system, the amount you pay for water is based on the rateable value of your home in England and Wales, or your council tax band if you live in Scotland. These rates also include a standing charge to cover customer services, such as billing. You may therefore pay more – or less – than the amount of water you actually use.
According to Martin Lewis of moneysavingexpert.com :
“As a rule of thumb, if there are more or the same number of bedrooms in your house than people, consider getting a water meter.”
Bear in mind that in general, water meters will raise your awareness about usage – and therefore contribute to greater water efficiency.
Having a water meter installed is FREE – due to Government legislation. So, provided it’s practical and not uneconomic and you are happy for the water company to fit a meter in their preferred location, companies must fit a water meter for free within 3 months of your application. (If you have special requirements because of age, illness or disability, the company may fit the meter free of charge in a location that is easy for you to access)
Your water company will usually read your meter twice a year. If it cannot read your meter, it will estimate how much water you have used so that it can send you a bill. You can also provide a meter reading to your company yourself at any time. If you disagree with your estimated bill and want one based on your own meter reading, the company will send you a further bill based on that reading.
It is a good idea to read your meter regularly and give the company a reading so your bills are more accurate. It will also help you to track how much water you are using and make it easier to spot leaks. If the meter reading suddenly starts increasing much faster than usual, you probably have a leak.
So make a difference – save water and save money by contacting your water company today.
Once you have your water meter, you can then save even more with our FREE water-saving products.
Save Water Save Money Ltd has teamed up with the Energy Saving Trust and SHIFT to form the Sustainable Communities Partnership; a pioneering initiative introduced to dramatically reduce water and energy wastage in community housing, saving housing association tenants money. The Partnership may be one of the most significant breakthroughs in helping Housing Associations make a major impact on the environmental management and cost efficiency of social housing.
The Sustainable Communities Partnership brings together Water Companies, Housing Associations and Local Authorities, The Energy Saving Trust and industry specialists SaveWaterSaveMoney, in a beneficial programme to enhance the sustainability of the nation’s four million social housing tenants.
By making new, cutting edge water and energy saving devices, such as CombiSmart accessible to Housing Associations and Local Authorities, the partnership is able to deliver potential savings of more than 30,000 litres of water and 750kWH a year per household – which translates to up to £250 annual savings for tenants whose properties are on water meters, and up to £50 a year for those who are not. What makes these savings so notably high is the innovative, patented CombiSmart. It’s a simple, thermostatic valve that accelerates the heating process by holding back water while the combi boiler heats it to the right temperature. By doing this, it is able to dramatically reduce water wastage and utility bills. This represents a highly accessible solution that’s both affordable to Housing Associations and Local Authorities and effective for the millions of cash-strapped social housing tenants in the UK. And it’s not just helping them now – the savings will continue, helping to fight fuel poverty.
The Sustainable Communities Partnership offers the innovative CombiSmart at a discounted price to Housing Associations, as well as a number of water and energy saving devices free of charge for installation in tenants’ homes. But it will not stop there. Sustainable Communities Partnership will also offer Save Water Save Money’s experience in the water efficiency business.
Tim Robertson, Director of SaveWaterSaveMoney and creator of the Partnership, says:
‘The Sustainable Communities Partnership is a real opportunity to bring Water Companies and Housing Associations together to benefit social housing. As well as the significant savings in water and energy wastage, the financial advantage for tenants is undeniable.’
Andrew Tucker, Water Expert at Energy Saving Trust, says:
‘As much as 23 per cent of the average household fuel bills are as a result of hot water usage (showers, baths, taps). This shows the importance of saving water in the house, with simple water efficiency behaviours providing substantial fuel bill savings. Now more than ever saving water should be considered as a core business requirement to help householder suffering from high fuel bills and fuel poverty.’
Please visit the website to find out more about the Sustainable Communities Partnership.
When summer arrives that means more time in the garden but not necessarily more time out watering plants. With a few simple steps you can reduce your water use in the garden. Not only is this good for the environment, but if you are on a meter, good for your wallet as well.
Water saving starts right from when you are planning your garden. Mike Peacock, water resources manager for Affinity Water states
“It’s important to choose plants that thrive in dry conditions, such as lavender, marigolds and cornflowers. When planting try to make the most of moisture by adding a layer of tree bark, gravel or compost to keep the sun off the soil; this will help retain the moisture in the soil.”
Save Water Save Money sell a range of water butt kits with storage capacities ranging from 100 – 300 litres. We offer many different styles and features including space saving water butts, wall mounted water butts, wood effect butts, even a Moroccan terracotta water butt.
On top of this Save Water Save money sell a wide range of water butt accessories, you can filter out leaves and debris using a ‘Gutter Mate’, connect multiple butts together with a water butt link kit and keep your water fresh and free from viruses, bacteria, fungus and water borne diseases.
For those of you whose gardens are already planted and coming into bloom here are a few tips to make you all into super-efficient water saving gardeners
1) Make sure your lawnmower is set to a higher setting (approx. 4 cm) this will help develop thicker grass which will trap early morning dew and reduces evaporation.
2) Watering in the midday sun will mean more evaporation, try to water in the early morning or during the evening
3) Move your hanging baskets and containers to shady areas of the garden where possible
4) A few gel crystals mixed in with your compost are a great way of retaining water in pots and planters.
5) If your planting trees or other plants that have deep roots consider burying a short length of pipe alongside your plant; then if you water into the tube the water goes directly to the roots where the plant needs it most.
For more on our great range of drought resistant plants, water storing gels, hosepipe accessories and water butts check out our outdoors section. Let us help you achieve the look you want, without spending all day and night in the garden watering.
Did you know washing machines used to use as much water per wash as a person uses in an entire day - over 150 litres!
Advances in technology over the past 20 years, however, have succeeded in reducing the average water consumption to about 60 litres per wash - still quite a bit of water! Clothes washing now accounts for about 9% of the water that we use on our homes, so by reducing wastage in this area we can make significant water savings.
Washing machines vary tremendously in how much water they use per wash: when adjusted for capacity, some use as much as 20 litres per kilogram while others as little as 6 litres per kilogram!
Therefore, when buying a new washing machine it is important to make sure that the model is water efficient. SaveWaterSaveMoney sell a range of water efficient washing machines, all of which use less than 50 litres per cycle even our large capacity machines.
With any model, total water consumption will depend on how you use the machine. In order to minimise water and energy waste, follow these quick tips:
When using your washing machine, make sure to use a full load every time. Surveys have shown that a typical load of laundry is usually much less than the capacity of the model, so make sure to stuff in a couple of shirts with your next load.
Manufacturers advise that machines should not be overloaded; but many now say that because of better technology, fuller is better.
If you need to do a wash but don't have a full load, use the half load feature on your machine. Remember, though, that some half loads will use almost as much water as a full load, and that two half loads will use more water and energy than one full load. If you're purchasing a new machine, choose a model with a capacity that is appropriate for your situation. If you live alone, you're most likely to not need a model that can wash 10kgs of clothing.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers, suppliers and retailers do not provide information about the water efficiency of their models, so you may have to put in a little effort in order to find out. Make sure to ask about water efficiency data or manufacturers and retailers will continue to not provide them.
To figure out the water efficiency of a clothes washing machine, simply divide the model’s water consumption (in litres per standard cycle) by its capacity (in kilograms). You can find water consumption information on the EU Energy Label that is affixed to all models.
The best models will have a water efficiency of less than 7.50 litres per kilogram, while the very worst can exceed 20 litres per kilogram.
Taps and dishwashers account for about 27% of water used in the home, so there exists a huge opportunity here to reduce water wastage.
Kitchen taps vary tremendously in flow volume, from 2-25 litres per minute, and behaviours such as how much you twist the tap and for how long you leave it on influence how much water is used when you wash up.
For example, washing up under a running tap can use dozens of litres of water, but if you use a washing up bowl or plug-up your sink then you can reduce water wastage by 50 percent or more.
A common misconception is that dishwashers use more water; in fact, these machines can be water savers; if used wisely. In the 1970s, dishwashers used as much as 50 litres per cycle, but modern models can use as little as 16 litres – sometimes even less than washing up by hand.
Avoid installing a waste macerator in your kitchen sink because these require lots of water to operate properly. Instead, dispose of food waste in a compost pile or wormery. If you don’t have a garden, ask a neighbour with a garden/allotment if they would be interested in starting a compost heap with you, contact your local council to find out if there are community composting schemes, or start a wormery in your kitchen.
Always wash up using a bowl, or even two! One with soap suds for washing and another for rinsing afterwards. It’s much more efficient than letting the taps run.
Invest in tap aerators, these great little devices either attach to the end of the kitchen tap or screw inside the end of the tap. You may be able to get one of these from your water company.
Using a dishwasher can use less water than washing up by hand, but only if your model is efficient and only if you use the machine properly. Make sure to use a full load every time, don’t be tempted to switch it on half full, you’ll just be wasting water!
Experiment with the different settings on your dishwasher. Many modern machines offer ‘Eco’ or ‘Economy’ settings that use less water and energy while providing the same quality wash as the normal setting.
Avoid pre-rinsing. With many modern dishwashers and detergents tablets, you no longer have to pre-rinse your dishes before loading them into the machine – simply scrape off the leftovers into your rubbish bin or compost heap, before loading the dishes into your machine.
Manufacturers have seen market opportunities in improving energy and water efficiency. An investment in a dishwasher can repay itself over time because less water and less energy may be used.
Buy a dishwasher with a capacity that is suitable to your household size. If you live alone, a nine place-setting machine should be sufficient, but if you have a large family you may want to buy a twelve place-setting model.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers, suppliers and retailers do not provide information about the water efficiency of their models, so you may have to put in a little effort in order to find out. Make sure to ask for this information or else manufacturers and retailers will continue to not supply it.
To figure out the water efficiency of a dishwashing machine, simply divide the model’s water consumption (in litres per standard cycle) by its capacity (in place settings). You can find water consumption information on the EU Energy Label that is affixed to all models.
SaveWaterSaveMoney sell a range of water and energy saving dishwashers, all of which use less than 16 litres per cycle.
Showers have become very popular in the last 40 years, from less than 20% of homes owning a shower in the 1970s to around 90% ownership today. Nowadays, showers are the biggest water users in the house, accounting for around 25% of all the water used by a household.
By being water efficient in the shower you can save money not only on your water bill, but on your energy bills too, as all that lovely water has to be heated (unless your into cold showers!). Believe it or not heating water adds £228 to the average annual combined energy bill.
There are various ways of reducing the cost of your shower, 2 things to consider are volume and duration:
A worrying trend is the growth of power showers, thanks to how much water is pushed out of power showers each minute, these can easily use more water than a bath. Water volume used in showers can be reduced very easily without conflicting with your shower experience.
Aerated showerheads reduce the amount of water in the flow, but maintain pressure by mixing air in with the water. Just like a normal showerhead, they produce a steady, even spray.
By replacing your showerhead with a more water efficient model it is possible to reduce your water consumption by more than half, whilst still enjoying a great shower.
Average times spent in a shower vary a lot people generally spend seven-and-a-half minutes in the shower but according to the Energy Saving Trust 13% of people exceed ten minutes for their daily shower!
Cutting just a minute off our shower time could save £15 in energy bills, and a further £15 in water bills (if water is metered), per person, per year that adds up to £120 a year saved for an average four-person household.
Shower timers show how much time you have spent in the shower, and can help you save water. When the sand empties from the top, turn off the flow. If everyone used a shower timer, we would save enough water to supply one million homes every day.
Some water companies offer shower timers and even aerated shower heads for free! If you haven’t yet ordered a free water saving pack you can do so here.
Toilets use about 22% of the total water used in a household or around 76 litres a day!
There are around 50 million toilets in the UK, using an estimated two billion litres of fresh water every day. In a year, the average Water Energy Calculator household flushes the toilet about 4,600 times. That’s about 28,000 litres of water – enough to fill 350 standard baths. Imagine how much water could be saved with a few simple steps. Below are our top 3 tips for reducing your toilets water use:
These water saving devices are available for free from most water companies yet only 17% of suitable toilets are fitted with one! If you haven’t yet ordered a free water saving pack you can do so here. These devices are easy to install and are placed in the toilet cistern to displace approximately one litre of water every time you flush.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, only 41% of UK households have a dual flush toilet, yet these types of WC can save a huge amount of water.
All the toilets sold by Save Water Save Money Ltd are dual flush. These types of toilets have a split flush button giving the user the choice of pressing a button for a small flush or a button for a large flush depending on how much water is required to clear the toilet bowl. Look for dual flush toilets if you are considering purchasing a new toilet for your home.
Each year a leaking toilet can loose over 140,000 litres of water (enough to fill a 12m long swimming pool!). If your toilet is leaking, you could be wasting up to 400 litres of water every day, just imagine what that would cost if you have a water meter?
A leak isn’t always easy to spot with the naked eye, as the water just dribbles invisibly inside the cistern, down the pan and into the water.
The easiest way to check is with a LeakyLoo, a hassle-free way to see if the overflow in your toilet has a leak. A strip of biodegradable water soluble paper which flushes away without blockage or damage to the environment.
If you find a leak we recommend that you get a licensed plumber to fix any leaks. Plumbers know which seals and washers are right for different toilets. You can find a list of CIPHE qualified Plumber using our Find a Plumber service, simply type your postcode into the box and we’ll show you details of CIPHE registered plumbers within 10 miles of your home.