For energy saving advice and support
in the Bristol and Somerset area:
0800 082 2234

Showerheads and hot taps

The hot water you use in your home represents a significant part of your energy bills.

The average person uses around 150 litres of water per day, and over a quarter of this is hot water used for baths and showers. Add to this the energy it takes to heat water for washing-up, doing the laundry and cleaning the house and you get an idea of how much water heating contributes to your fuel bills.

According to Waterwise (www.waterwise.org.uk) domestic water heating is responsible for 10-25% of a typical household’s energy bills and 5% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions. So by reducing the demand for hot water in your home you will reduce the amount of energy used for heating it and therefore your energy bill.

New water-efficient showerheads and taps can help you do this. They work by introducing a flow of air into the water stream which reduces the volume of water which passing through, but not the pressure. Therefore the flow of water feels far greater than it actually is. They typically cut the flow of water by about half, and can save as much as £50 per year on your fuel bills.

If you don’t want to replace your taps and shower heads you can still fit an aerating device to your existing ones. Tap aerators cost less than £5 each and aerated shower heads about £15. You could also contact your water supplier as many provide discounted or free water saving packs. Be aware that aerating devices are unlikely to be compatible with electric showers.

Other ways to save water (and energy)

  • Take a shower instead of a bath; this can save around 40% of the water that you use. And shorter showers will save even more. You can buy a 4-minute ‘egg timer’ that can be stuck to the bathroom tiles to keep track of how long you’ve been in the shower.
     
  • Fix that dripping tap. It’ll drip around 90 litres of water every week, or 4,680 litres a year! That’s a lot of waste, and costly too if you are on a water meter.
     
  • A running tap uses more than six litres of water a minute, so make sure you turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face – and use cold water if you don't need hot.
     
  • Make sure that washing machines and dishwashers are full before you switch them on. It is much more cost-effective to do a full wash once every two days, than a half-full wash every day. If the appliance has an economy setting this will use less water and less electricity as well.

Frequently asked questions

Is it more energy efficient to leave my immersion on all day for hot water?

There are a variety of water heating systems. As a rule it is more efficient to use these on demand, rather than leaving them on all the time. If your hot water cyclinder does not have a timer of its own you might be able to use a timer plug to control when your electric immersion comes on. If your central heating system heats up your hot water it is best to use a timer/programmer to time your space heating and your hot water at the same time. Hot water storage cylinders should always have an insulating jacket or solid foam around them to reduce heat loss.


Need more help?

We can advise you about saving energy, or help you understand what grants and support you're eligible for:

Contact us Or freephone: 0800 082 2234


Next question

View all frequently asked questions

How do I work out the running cost of an electrical appliance?

A kilowatt (kW) is 1000 Watts. If you know the rating of the appliance in kilowatts then you can simply multiply this by the length of time the appliance is being used (in hours) to give you its kilowatt hour (kWh) consumption. A kWh is the same as one unit of electricity on your bill. The price per unit will be on your bill. You could also plug your appliance into an individual appliance monitor. This will show the electricity consumption when the appliance is switched on. You can also get energy monitors that tell you how much electricity is being used in your whole house at any given time.


Need more help?

We can advise you about saving energy, or help you understand what grants and support you're eligible for:

Contact us Or freephone: 0800 082 2234


Next question

View all frequently asked questions

Which is more efficient for cooking - gas or electric hobs?

Electricity is around four times more expensive per unit than gas but you'll use fewer units cooking with electricity. A typical household might spend around £40 per year more by cooking with electricity as compared with gas. Also gas cooking appliances are traditionally more controlable than electric. However modern electric hobs heat up extremely quickly, reducing efficiency losses. With electric hobs make sure you match the pan size to the hob. Using a 6" diameter pan on an 8" diameter hob will waste up to 40% of the heat produced. Keeping lids on saucepans will allow you to turn the hob down and thereby save energy.


Need more help?

We can advise you about saving energy, or help you understand what grants and support you're eligible for:

Contact us Or freephone: 0800 082 2234


Next question

View all frequently asked questions

Need more help?

We can advise you about saving energy, or help you understand what grants and support you're eligible for:

Contact us

Need advice about saving energy? Want help with grants and support?

Send us a message and one of the team will get back to you as soon as we can*:

Data Protection: I understand the information supplied on this form will be stored by the Centre for Sustainable Energy. I understand that I may be contacted by the Centre for Sustainable Energy for the purpose of giving impartial energy advice. I understand that the Centre for Sustainable Energy will not pass my details on to any third parties.

* We aim to respond to your enquiry within two working days.

Translate this page

 

Download the PDF

Download this PDF document

This information is available as a freely downloadable PDF from this page.

For more domestic energy advice, view all our advice pages.

Water saving

Want to know how you could save more water and keep the water bill down too?

Read this leaflet for more tips.