Most people don’t equate their water use with their carbon footprint, but the emissions involved with heating, supplying and disposing of water actually account for five percent of the UK’s total - that’s the same as all our aviation traffic. If you care about the environment (and your water bills) you might want to consider investing in the following ten products, each of which is designed to help you use water wisely.
A water butt catches and saves rainfall over time, giving you access to a free water source for plant-watering and car-washing, and saving on wasting the treated water that comes out of your taps. Just one water butt holds enough rainwater to fill a watering can 25 times and average rainfall can fill your water butt up to 450 times a year. Buy one. No ifs or butts.
Alternatively, if you can’t wait for a heavy rainfall, you can use one of these clever recycling kits to turn wastewater from your bath or sink into a nice long drink for your plants. It might not be the most appetising thought, but trust us, they’re not fussy.
Using a hand siphon pump, it allows you to suck water out of the bath or sink and put it to good use, taking all that used grey water and turning it green. It’s a fantastic way to make use of every drop of water, and can come in especially handy during a hosepipe ban.
Nowhere uses more water in the home than the toilet, which accounts for 30% of the average water bill. Every time we answer a call of nature we are flushing away a whopping six litres.
Try then, if you can, to ignore the silly name, because installing a Hippo Water Saver into your toilet cistern can save you buckets of water. The good people of Hippo claim it can save you up to 3 litres of water per flush. Easy to install, it’s a great way to cut down on your water and energy consumption.
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that taking a shower is better for the environment (and your bank balance) than having a bath, but modern power showers can easily use 20 litres of water a minute, meaning a five minute shower actually uses up more H20 than a long, hot soak. Using a shower meter like the ECO Showerdrop will help you keep a beady eye on just how much water you’re using.
Like the ECO Showerdrop, this rather futuristic looking device also monitors every drop of water going down the plug hole when you shower. Using your first shower as a benchmark, it indicates, via a set of traffic lights flashing from green to red, when it’s time to bring your heartbreaking rendition of Nothing Compares 2 U to a close, stop showering and towel off. The killer USP is that it automatically reduces the length of each shower you have by a fraction, tricking you into using less water without even realising it.
Of course, the best way to save water in the shower (and not have to compromise your precious showering time) is to install one of these bad boys. A DEFRA approved water saving shower head can dramatically cut down on the water your shower uses. What’s that you say? You don’t want to wake up every morning to a depressingly limp, trickle of water? Fear not. Most water saving heads are designed to maintain water pressure while saving on water, helping you stay both clean and green.
When it’s time to say goodbye to old faithful, your trusty washing machine that has finally, mercifully packed up, make sure to take your time over picking a replacement. Remember, when purchasing a new machine, that some are better than others when it comes to saving water. The average machine uses 10 litres of water for every kilogram of cottons it washes, but there are many models that are designed with both water and energy saving in mind. An energy saving washing machine will typically cost around £15-£20 per year to run, compared with some that will add around £35 to your annual energy bill. Take one for a spin, you and your wallet won’t regret it.
An aerated tap slows the flow of water by mixing it with air as it fires its way towards the sink. Every time you run a plate under the hot tap you’re not only wasting water, but heating energy. The less water you use, the less money gets added to your energy bills. Simple. Amazingly, aeration does not reduce the water pressure, only the volume of water, so you can still get those pans spick and span at half the cost.
A hose trigger allows you to control exactly when and where a flow of water escapes from your hose, limiting unnecessary water wastage and (just as importantly) preventing you from getting one of those annoying cold thumbs every time you need to make a spray.
It might be old fashioned. It might be annoying. It might not be as stylish, or technologically innovative as some of the other products on this list. But few things can save as much water as doing the washing up the old fashioned way. A house that uses a bowl or sink to wash up twice a day instead of running dishes under the tap could save around £35 on their gas bill and a further £30 on their water bill. One of our favourite money saving tips.
OVO Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879
Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.
1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount. All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas). All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.
33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.
3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/
95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Based on all new customer signups between 01/02/2016 and 31/07/2016
94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.
uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year: OVO energy was voted and awarded 'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.