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How to make your home more water efficient.

February 10, 2022

Sustainability and building compliance expert. Specialising in low energy design, SAP, SBEM, BREEAM, and air testing for the construction industry,

Andrew Sadler

Water is a vital part of our daily lives. However the more we build, the more our water resources are stretched. It’s now more important than ever to make your home more water efficient.

Often, we focus purely on energy efficiency, gas and electricity when it comes to our homes; but what about water?

Water is vital for our daily lives, whether that’s for drinking, washing, generating energy or growing the food we eat: however, it is something that we take for granted. This precious resource is coming under growing pressure as more homes are built and we feel the effects of climate change, so it’s essential for us to reduce water waste and make our home more water efficient.

How can you make your home more water efficient? There’s a few simple choices that can be made to make a big difference to the water footprint in your home such as upgrading showers, installing solar panels and much more.

In this blog, we’ve rounded up some of our top smart upgrades, systems and day to day changes you can make to help make your home more water efficient.

Why do we need more water efficient homes?

There are many reasons that emphasise the need for more water efficient homes. Resources such as water play a major role in the life of a building. The more we build, the more our water resources are stretched. 

Without any action, there’s a 1 in 4 chance in the next 30 years that large numbers of households will have their water supply cut off for an extended period because of severe drought, according to the 2018 National Infrastructure commission report.

We’ve also got to highlight that water is also linked to energy. Many of us underestimate the energy water companies need to treat and pump water into our beloved homes. According to the Energy Saving Trust, Scottish Water is the largest user of electricity in Scotland. To make matters more urgent, UK water demand is set to rise in the next few years, so it’s getting even more important to make the most of what limited resources have. 

To help, in 2018, the prime minister launched the 25-year environment plan which is working to reduce water use in England. New homes will be built in a way that reduces demands for water, energy and material resources and the construction industry needs to make sure they are following regulations.

How can you create a more water efficient home?

There’s a few different technologies and general lifestyle habits that can help you to ensure that water is being used effectively and efficiently within your home. 

Upgrade your shower.

Did you know that the average shower in the UK lasts 8 minutes? In that time an estimated 60 litres of water is used to reduce water usage. We therefore recommend upgrading your shower to a water efficient shower head.

These shower heads work by restricting the volume of water that they allow to flow through them. Newer models can reduce the volume of water used by half, but will still provide an enjoyable showering experience.

In addition to upgrading your shower to a water efficient shower head, you could also control your shower with a timer to limit your shower time to 5 minutes max. By doing this, you could reduce your water consumption and hot water energy usage to just 37 litres, saving around £214 per year!

Fix your flush.

Dual flush toilets are a great way to cut water usage and save energy. Dual flush toilets are similar to regular toilets, but have an innovative dual flush valve installed which cuts your water down by just using enough water to adequately flush your toilet. A dual flush valve achieves this by allowing you to choose a full flush or a half flush. Overall, this will lower your environmental impact and save you money on your water bill too.

Choose more energy efficient appliances.

Dishwashers are energy intensive appliances and typically cost between £37 and £48 a year to run. The most efficient dishwashers cost around £7 less to run than lower energy rated versions of the same size and they use less water.

Make the most of your water waste

One way to make the most of your water waste is to get a Waste Water Heat Recovery system. The system works to extract heat from the water when you use your shower and repurposes it to warm the incoming mains water. For more information, head over to our blog ‘What is a Waste Water Heat Recovery System?’

Consider solar hot water.

Solar hot water systems are a sustainable and energy efficient way to harness free energy from the sun to heat your home and water all year round. They take energy from the sun and repurpose it to heat domestic water. This form of energy uses solar panels to absorb heat from the sun, straight into your home.

Take a Part G Water calculation.

Part G Water Calculations are a legal requirement to prove that a new build, extension or conversion is water efficient. Homes must not use more than 125 litres of potable water per person per day. Part G Water Calculations will help you to ensure that any new building project you create is as water efficient as possible. 

What are some ‘quick fix’ wins to reduce your water usage?

If you are unable to do any of the above, don’t worry, there’s a few quick fix wins that you can do to reduce your water usage now.

It might not seem a lot, but every little helps!

Can Buildpass help me make my home more water efficient?

Yes! There’s a range of different services we can offer to help you make your home more water efficient such as fitting solar panel systems, calculating your Part G calculation and much more. Book yourself in for a call with one of the team today. We can’t wait to speak to you.

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