How to save water: 11 ways and devices for saving water and money as experts say homes could save £300 a year

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💧 With simple changes at home, you could save over £300 a year
  • Water inefficiency could cost UK households over £300 annually, according to new forecasts
  • 88% of adults admit to wasting water
  • Common habits including leaving taps running while brushing teeth and taking unnecessarily long showers
  • Water regulator Ofwat is set to announce proposed bill increases averaging 49% by 2030, with some households facing hikes exceeding 70%
  • By using water more efficiently, households could offset these bill increases
  • Despite concerns about rising water bills, many people rarely think about their water usage
  • Water companies aim to reduce daily usage to 127 litres per person by 2030, though usage is predicted to rise

Water inefficiency could be costing UK households over £300 annually, according to new economic forecasts.

A survey of 3,000 adults revealed that 88% admit to wasting water. Among them, 34% still leave the tap running while brushing their teeth, and 38% take longer showers than necessary.

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Additionally, 23% fill the entire kettle when making just one cup of tea, and 35% rinse plates before placing them in the dishwasher.

On Thursday (11 July), water regulator Ofwat will announce its response to proposed bill increases from water companies for the next five years. These increases could average 49% by 2030 after inflation.

For some customers, the hike could exceed 70%, leading to even greater financial losses from water waste.

But modelling by economists at Cebr on behalf of Kingfisher - owner of B&Q and Screwfix - suggests that by using water more efficiently, metered households may be able to completely offset the proposed increases in bills to 2030. Here’s how...

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(Photo: Pexels)(Photo: Pexels)
(Photo: Pexels) | Pexels

How can I save money on my water bills?

Moving from a traditional flushing toilet to a dual flush could save £109 per year. Switching to a low-flow shower head could save £94 per year and shaving just three minutes off a shower could free up £61 annually - with energy bill savings on top.

Simply turning the tap off while brushing your teeth could return £37 back to your wallet and fixing a leaking toilet (which affects an estimated 5% of homes) could save £236 annually.

Thierry Garnier, Kingfisher CEO, said: “Avoiding water waste isn’t just the right thing to do from an environmental point of view, it’s also a way to save increasingly significant sums of money.

“By making simple changes in the home and being more conscious about how we all use water, it’s possible to offset the impact of coming bill rises and safeguard this essential resource for the future.”

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(Graphic: Kingfisher/SWNS)(Graphic: Kingfisher/SWNS)
(Graphic: Kingfisher/SWNS) | Kingfisher/SWNS

Water companies are targeting a fall from 140 litres per person per day today to 127 litres per person by 2030. But according to Cebr’s modelling, water usage per person is set to rise to 146 litres per day by 2030 without further intervention.

The consumer poll went on to find 72% are worried about the coming water bill increases. Despite this, one in five currently rarely or never think about how much water they are using, and over a quarter (26%) don’t know whether their billing is metered.

According to the research, 60% claim higher water bills would make them consider cutting back on their use, with 53% prepared to consider water-saving products for their homes. Although 44% wished they had more advice on the matter.

According to the stats by OnePoll, more than half (57%) weren’t sure how much water they used, and those who did guess believe they use an average of 49 litres per day, compared to the reality of 140 litres.

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Kingfisher’s water saving tips

Bathroom (accounts for 68% of water usage in an average home)

  • Shorten your showers – reducing your shower from eight minutes to five can save up to 30 litres of water.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth – a running tap wastes approximately six litres per minute.
  • Upgrade your toilet – Consider switching to a dual flush toilet, with two buttons allowing different quantities of water to flow. The lower flush option typically uses three to four litres of water per flush compared to more than six on the larger flush.
  • Install low flow shower heads – these can save up to 60 litres of water per shower.
  • Fit a tap aerator – this device mixes water with air, reducing the flow but maintaining the water pressure.

Kitchen (accounts for 22 per cent of water usage)

  • Fill it up – make sure your dishwasher or washing machine is fully loaded so that you make the most of the water being used. Avoiding pre-rinsing dishes can also help to reduce water waste.
  • Use a washing up bowl – if washing up by hand, use a washing up bowl rather than continuously running the tap.
  • Upgrade to a water-saving tap – taps designed to be water efficient can use up to 40% less water than a normal tap.

Outdoor areas (accounts for 10 per cent of water usage)

  • Use a watering can – using a watering can allows for more targeted watering. Watering the garden with a hosepipe can use 1,000 litres of water an hour – more than 12 baths.
  • Pick drought-resistant plants – consciously choosing plants that need less water, such as lavender or poppies, means you can more easily keep them healthy during dry summer months.
  • Reduce evaporation – using mulch and bark in your garden will help to reduce water evaporation by up to 75 per cent. Minimise evaporation by watering in the early morning or late evening, allowing the water to soak into the soil and reach plant roots.

We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts and tips on saving water in the comments section. How do you plan to reduce your water usage and cut down on your bills?

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