Water efficiency: meet legislation, reduce your bills

0630A perspective

Did you know that, in the UK, we use 55% more water than we did 25 years ago? As the effects of climate change increase, it becomes ever more important to use water wisely, and to build homes that conserve water as much as possible.

According to government legislation, all new dwellings must comply with Part G regulations, i.e. that no more than 125 litres of water should be used per person, per day. There are numerous ways to achieve this, including fitting a wide range of water-efficient fixtures around the property. In our extensive assessment experience, the most effective include:

– Newer acrylic baths with a slightly smaller capacity: the water stays hotter for longer, and less water is needed to fill it.

– Water-efficient shower heads and lower-flow taps: the amount of water released while the tap or shower is running is reduced significantly.

– Grey water recycling units: water from showers, basins and baths can be reused for flushing toilets. Since it is estimated that a third of all water usage comes from personal washing (showers, baths and basins; see http://www.waterwise.org.uk), and an additional third from flushing the toilet, this can represent a huge saving.

– Modern WC units, especially dual-flush toilets: older toilets can use up to 13 litres of water for a single flush, whereas a modern unit uses only around 6 litres to flush. Dual-flush units use only between 4 and 6 litres per flush.

– Flow-limiters for water pipes: these are installed within the pipe itself, and reduce the flow of water from the tap or shower.

How can we help?

Our team of assessors is fully qualified to advise on water efficiency at any stage of your build process: we can suggest measures to include at design stage, ensuring your property plan will meet Part G regulations, or view the property after completion to calculate current water efficiency and suggest improvements. We have experience with all types of water-efficiency fittings, and will work hard to make your build as cost-efficient as possible.

Water usage at home

There are many simple ways you can reduce the amount of water you use in the home. Try some of the following and watch your water bill decrease!

– Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. Leaving a tap running for five minutes uses 18 250 litres of water a year, but using a tumbler for rinsing instead can save 16 425 litres per person, per year.

– Take a shower instead of a bath – this can reduce your water usage by up to 40% – and try reducing the time you spend in the shower by one minute. This will decrease your water and heating bills simultaneously.

– Put the plug in when washing hands or shaving. It can reduce water usage by half.
Insulate pipes and know where your stop taps are, to reduce the amount of wasted water and damage in case of a burst pipe.

– Don’t use the toilet as a waste bin: putting items like makeup wipes, dead spiders and the contents of your hairbrush into the WC can add up to many wasted flushes a day.

If you’d like any more information on water efficiency, or would like our assessors to visit your property, contact us now on 01454 317940. We’d love to hear from you.

Or for more general information and advice, try these online sources:

http://www.water-efficiencylabel.org.uk/bewaterwise.asp

http://www.waterwise.org.uk/pages/at-home.html

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

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