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Saving water

Many of us may not realise that our water use at home contributes to our energy bills.

Saving water can reduce your water bill (if you’re on a water meter), reduce your energy use and bills, reduce the impact on your local environment, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by using less energy to pump, heat and treat the water.

Water is intrinsically linked to energy. But most of us underestimate the energy water companies need to treat and pump water into homes - Scottish Water is the largest user of electricity in Scotland. 

When we use water, we are using energy, mostly to heat the water. Generating energy produces carbon dioxide emissions which is one of the main greenhouse gases causing climate change. Heating water for use in our homes makes up about 4% the UK’s total carbon dioxide emissions.

 

Water savers vs. water wasters

Which one are you - A or B?

Heating water

The hot water in your home is likely heated by one of two methods - a boiler or immersion heater - unless you have installed a renewable heating alternative such as a heat pump.

 

 

 

 

Save water at home

No-one likes to waste water. However, many of us don't realise that water usage contributes to energy bills. 

Simple water use changes can save you money.

 

 

Five quick wins to save money on your hot water bills

  1. Use less water, and hot water in particular.
     
  2. Insulate your hot water cylinder – a well fitted tank jacket could save you around £18 a year, more if you heat your water electrically. Insulating the hot water pipes will save more energy, and can help your taps to run hot more quickly.
     
  3. Controls - make sure you have the right controls, and have them set correctly to give you enough hot water when you want it, and not when you don’t. 
     
  4. Fuel switching – gas is cheaper than electricity or oil, so consider switching if you can. 
     
  5. Solar – once fitted, solar water heating can provide a good proportion of your hot water requirements with virtually no running costs. If you have a combi boiler, you may not be able to fit solar water heating, but you may be able to fit a Passive Flue Gas Heat Recovery Device (PFGHRD). This recovers additional heat from the boiler’s flue gases and uses it specifically to heat the hot water supply.
     

Water-saving products

Water-efficient showerheads

New water-efficient showerheads use technology that can produce water flows that feel far higher than they actually are - an easy way to save both water and energy. They are most effective on power and mixer showers with a high flow rate. You should not attach a low flow showerhead to an electric shower as this could cause possible damage to your shower unit.

Reduced-capacity baths

A standard bath has a capacity of around 80 litres, so even when it’s less than half full it uses a lot of water. If you’re buying a new bath, look for one with a lower capacity. Of course, you can always save water and money by taking a quick shower instead of a bath.

Water-efficient appliances

Looking to replace water-using appliances such as dishwashers or washing machines? Look for products with the new Water Efficient Product Label and/or the Waterwise Recommended Checkmark as these models can help you to save water, energy and money.

Lower flow taps

Taps with a low flow rate can be fitted to bathroom and kitchen sinks. Click point taps are better for kitchen sink taps; aerated or regulated flow taps are more suitable for a bathroom sink; but all work very well.

Flow tap aerators and regulators

If you’re not replacing taps or shower units, you can still save water by fitting flow regulators to showers and aerators to taps. Flow devices are easy to install. They often contain precision-made holes, filters or flow aerators to regulate the flow of water without changing how it feels to you. If you have an electric shower you should not fit a flow regulator as this could cause possible damage to your shower unit.

Water efficiency labelling

To help you identify water-efficient products, look for the European Water Label (pictured) that is an easy way to recognise bathroom products which, when installed and used correctly, will use less water, save energy and save money. Award-winning water-efficient products, may also carry the Waterwise Recommended Checkmark.


 

More information…