Tips to reduce your water usage and save energy

Hot water running

We all know that wasting less water will reduce your water bill, but it can also have an effect on how much you pay for electricity or gas. Depending on how the water is heated in your home, you could actually be spending a large chunk of your energy bill on it. According to United Utilities the typical family spends a quarter of their energy bill heating water – that’s on average £228 per year! So what can you do to use less water (and spend less heating it)?

Fit tap aerators

These nozzles are easy to install and cost very little – in fact some water providers offer them to customers for free. They work by splitting the water into smaller streams – introducing air into the mix and reducing water flow. You likely won’t feel any difference because the pressure will remain the same but you can reduce the amount of water your household uses dramatically.

Install an eco shower head

Most models of eco shower heads are designed to save water in the same way as a tap aerator and can be easily fitted to most showers. You can also find models which work by pulsing the water in order to give a similar feel to a standard shower head whilst reducing the volume of water used. You could also use a shower timer to monitor how much water you are using or remind yourself when it’s time to get out.

Insulate your hot water tank and pipes

By adding a jacket to your hot water tank and insulating the pipes coming out of it you can reduce the amount of heat lost – keeping the water hotter for longer and reducing the need to use more energy reheating it. You can learn how to do this in our guide to insulating your hot water tank and pipes.

Reduce the temperature of your water thermostat

Whilst it won’t cut your water usage, reducing the temperature your system heats it to will save energy. The Centre for Sustainable Energy recommends that domestic hot water cylinder thermostats should be set at 60-65 degrees celsius. This should be high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as Legionella but not hot enough to scold.

Check for leaks

If you think your taps, toilet or shower could be leaking try and identify the problem and fix it as soon as you can. A leaking tap can waste up to 15 litres of water a day which really adds up annually.

Fit a Cistern Displacement Device

Although these devices look like simple plastic bags, they will actually reduce the amount of water used each flush when added to your toilet cistern. These can also be picked up very cheaply or in many cases for free from water providers.

Use washing machines and dishwashers on full loads

If you only fill your washing machine or dishwasher with partial loads, try and run them on a reduced load setting to avoid wasting water and energy. Alternatively try and run them only on full loads when you can, as this will use the same amount of water but reduce the number of loads needed over time.

Replace an old boiler or hot water tank

If your hot water tank is very old it is likely inefficient in comparison to new models, so it is worth considering replacing it. The same goes for boilers – replacing and old G-rated boiler with an A-rated model along with a set of heating controls could save you around £320 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust.

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