Reducing water consumption at home

  • 12 May 2020
  • 5 replies
  • 411 views

Here on the Community there have been fantastic discussions about increasing our homes' energy efficiency - including switching to LED lights, debating about electric boilers, and what temperature we use to clean our clothes.

Saving water can also be a fantastic way to save energy, reduce your carbon footprint - and may become increasingly important in the face of hotter Summers!

Of course we're all at home a lot more at the moment due to COVID-19 so small, simple ways of reducing water consumption could see an even bigger impact right now 👍

These include turning the tap off while you brush your teeth, fixing any dripping taps around the house (these can waste up to 15 litres of water a day🤯) and investing in a water-efficient shower head.

It doesn't just have to be indoors either - as we move into Summer and spend more time outside, going back to basics and using a watering can instead of a hose is a quick and efficient way to instantly reduce water waste. 🌸



Have you found ways of reducing your water usage?
It'd be great to share any tips and tricks to save water and with it, save energy 🙂.

5 replies

Good idea for a new thread Nat.

Showing my age here, we used to have a Hippo, however, we were changed to one of the newer 'slimline' water saving cisterns back in 2013.

A few years back we signed up for a water meter, as Kate's condition meant we were permitted a 'capped' rather than 'estimated' usage - as it turns out, despite Kate being in the shower for approximately an hour a day, we use both less than the 'average' used to create our 'estimate,' and less than the figure used to calculate the cap.

Our water bill went down from £10.50 a week, to £23 per calendar month!

I leave a couple of large 'builders buckets' in the garden to collect rainwater for later use.

My friend has a tarp 'moisture catcher' set-up in his allotment.
Userlevel 7
Badge +10
hi Nataly
if you don't have a meter your bills are based on legacy rateable value, irrespective of how much you use. If you have a large bath, hose your car regularly, and water the garden in summer no matter how much you use your charges will be the same. Thus there is no financial incentive to save water. There is of course still an environmental incentive.

The basic rule of thumb is that if there are fewer occupants than bedrooms you'll probably win by getting a meter. It's a bit more complicated than that because it depends on your water use habits...

You need to try to calculate approximately but fairly what you use, (then add at least 20% as an error margin). Then you need to look at what your water company charges per cubic metre and for sewage and drainage and see how that compares with what you're paying.
Hey @Gwyndy

Getting a water meter can definitely help - going to £23 a month is a huge saving 😯 definitely worth it then, in your opinion?

Apparently the average UK household uses 345 litres of water a day (according to the energy saving trust), which seems like a lot!

Collecting rainwater is definitely a good idea in the UK!
How does the moisture catcher work? I haven't heard of that before... maybe showing my lack of gardening skills there 😁
Nataly;53876:
Hey @Gwyndy

Getting a water meter can definitely help - going to £23 a month is a huge saving 😯 definitely worth it then, in your opinion?

Apparently the average UK household uses 345 litres of water a day (according to the energy saving trust), which seems like a lot!


Hi Nat.

What I was told when the meter was fitted was 'unless you have a swimming pool, or a hot tub, that you are constantly refilling, you will be better off with a meter' - I'd been intending to get a water meter for years, but as I'm in a council bungalow and the water charges were included in the rent, I believed I couldn't - shame I can't get the £2000 or so I've overpaid since '05 back.

Welsh Water's 'Unmeasured Charges' are explained here, I assume it's the same logic that allows OFGEM to think I use 1778kWh a year of electricity, only with the opposite result.



(Side note, that looks awfully expensive to me, I'm not paying PP £90 a month for my current usage of 5341 kWh)


Welsh Water has a charges calculator, which can give you an estimate, I presume other water providers have a similar thing.

Nataly;53876:

Collecting rainwater is definitely a good idea in the UK!
How does the moisture catcher work? I haven't heard of that before... maybe showing my lack of gardening skills there 😁


There's a very high tech example here:
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/this-tower-pulls-drinking-water-out-of-thin-air-180950399/


If I can find a photo of my friend's I will post it, it's basically an plastic groundsheet set on poles above a patch of his allotment, angled towards a bucket, it catches the condensation and evaporation from the allotment on the underside, which then either falls back onto the ground, or runs into the bucket. I presume it also catches rain, but I suspect that overflows the bucket.
Gwyndy;53883:


Welsh Water's 'Unmeasured Charges' are explained here, I assume it's the same logic that allows OFGEM to think I use 1778kWh a year of electricity, only with the opposite result.

4185

(Side note, that looks awfully expensive to me, I'm not paying PP £90 a month for my current usage of 5341 kWh)
.



Anyway, I had a look at the prices, for a fixed 2 year contract:

16.95p per kWh

24.02p per day standing charge.

OVO must be trying to get the purchase price back in a hurry.

​​​​​​​

Reply