See how you can do your bit for the environment and reduce your energy bills by saving water around your home on a regular basis.
Why should you conserve water?
Many home-owners across the UK might feel they have enough to worry about without the stress of keeping an eye on regular water consumption; especially if you and your partner have a high workload or you live in a house where there are a number of people to keep in check. But no matter your lifestyle, saving water is still important.
According to the Energy Saving Trust (www.energysavingtrust.org.uk), the average UK home uses around 360 litres of water a day; and that is usually around 10% more than is absolutely necessary. Using too much water means water companies and providers have to keep up with demand, and this also means updating, maintaining and repairing complex machinery and equipment that delivers water straight to your home – all of which uses up energy at a rapid rate. Plus, constant water consumption will only add more money to your energy bills – something you could definitely do without!
Water Saving Tips in the Home
So what are the best ways to save on water in the home? Well, to get you started we have sourced the following pieces of advice from around the web, each of which are relatively small changes to make but which still have a real impact on how much water you and your family could save on a regular basis:
- Firstly – and this made sound obvious – but get the household to turn off taps when possible. This includes when brushing your teeth (even after you have rinsed the first time), and when washing up. Using a bowl for washing plates and cutlery actually uses a lot less water than leaving the hot tap running for a prolonged period of time.
- Secondly, keep an eye on how long water is being used for and/or where water is being wasted. This might mean making sure people are having shorter showers (especially for larger families) – you can even purchase a waterproof shower timer to attach inside the cubicle that tells people when 5 minutes is up (all the time you really need to shower properly!). Alternatively, for those who love baths, make sure you re-use the bathwater where possible – this might be especially useful for watering the plants and flowerbeds outside!
- Always opt for full loads when packing the washing machine or dishwasher – this prevents water being pumped into the machinery and going completely unused (and therefore wasted).
- Equally, always keep an eye out for leaky taps or drips from internal pipe-work (whether water is gathering under a u-bend or on a ceiling somewhere!) Leaks waste water on a daily basis and add money to your water bill without you gaining a single use from the water you’re paying for; so get them fixed as soon as you notice them!
- For all the keen gardeners out there who don’t want to use their soapy suds and bathwater for the flowerbeds, why not look at installing a brand new water butt instead? These heavy-duty plastic vestibules collect rainwater for you to use whenever you need – eliminating the need for a hose and once again helping to reduce your water bill.
- If you think you already get most of the above done and are stuck for what else you can do, fear not: the Thames Water website (www.thameswater.co.uk) has a dozen or so freebies and/or water saving devices you can invest in to help reduce your property’s water consumption, from expert showerheads to cistern-displacement devices.
- Finally, always revert your water-usage technology to “economy” or “eco” settings where possible. This won’t only reduce the heat-level of the water (saving you extra money on other utility bills), but will also use less water per load – especially with newer models. In some cases, these settings might even prove more efficient than traditional hand-washing up!
If you are unsure about how much water you use in your home and whether or not your water saving techniques are proving effective, you can always switch from a fixed bill tariff to a water meter; this might appear more costly on paper, but it does help you keep track of what you use and can help change your family’s water-using habits in the long run.