Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.
Well, it’s perhaps not as bad as this in the UK at present, it certainly could be a future possibility if we continue to be wasteful with water at home. But equally pressing is our current impasse about making the link between the water we use and the energy we use.
Our water usage at home is perhaps not the most obvious energy waste offender, but it may surprise you to read that heating water for use in taps, baths and showers makes up around 30 percent of your average heating bill – around £200 a year. An average household in Great Britain uses around 350 litres of water per day, and pays on average £340 a year in water bills. Not the smallest amount to come out of your wallet, especially when you can take easy steps to reduce it.
With the ever increasing gas and electricity rises, keeping an eye on you water usage may be something to take into much more consideration when looking to cut your energy bills.
Recent EU-funded research showed that around 90% of householders simply don’t make the link between the water they use and their energy bills. Other studies show relatively low levels of awareness around water-saving devices like efficient shower heads. However, it is promising that over 60 percent of people polled in a recent survey which we carried said they were interested in fitting water saving devices.
From our research, it clear there’s a demand for households to receive more information and support on the steps they can take to reduce their water consumption and reduce their energy bills while doing so. The Energy Saving Trust recently partnered with Southern Water to develop the UK’s first ever universal water metering scheme. This mean that around half a million new meters are going into Southern customers’ homes in the next five years, with the aim of 92 percent having a meter by 2015.
Southern Water aims to support households with information and advice on ways to save water, save energy and save money on their bills. They will be offering free energy saving advice for all their customers, so while they are getting fairer water billing they also receive water saving devices and advice, further reducing their energy costs. In addition, money saving assistance on insulation and renewable energy is also available through the Energy Saving Trust’s Advice Centres.
We calculated that by installing two simple devices – an water saving showerhead and dual-flush toilet – and by making three basic behaviour changes – replacing one bath a week with a shower, cutting a minute off showering, and washing up in a bowl – a four person household could save as much as £385 on water and gas bills each year and over half a tonne of CO2.
That’s about the same amount that would be emitted by driving 1700 miles: there and back from Portsmouth to Glasgow – twice.
There’s just loads you can do around the home to save water and your energy bills, so you can also choose the ‘self-service’ option to water and energy efficiency rather than waiting for your water company to knock on your door.
Why not take a look at a few of our Energy Saving Trust water saving tips to get you started, or make use of our Water Energy Calculator – you don’t have to be an internet whizz or a water company sustainability advisor to explore the home and see where you can make savings to help cut those bills. Give it a go. Go on, we dare you.