The average person in the UK uses a whopping 150 litres of water a day! That’s a whole lot of H2O. This is not only hugely damaging for the environment, it can also see your water bills go through the roof. So, thoughtful people that we are, we’ve compiled five tips to help you use water wisely in the kitchen.
There are three certainties in life that unite us all. Death, taxes, and a hatred of washing up.
But if there’s one thing worse than a sink full of dirty dishes on a Saturday morning, it’s a sink full of dirty dishes that costs you more money than they need to. A running tap can waste more than six litres of water a minute, and when that water is hot it adds pounds onto your gas bill.
Thankfully there’s no reason for to lower your bank balance as well as your morale. Using a sink or bowl full of water to wash up twice a day, rather than constantly running your messy pots and pans under the hot tap. 10 minutes of rinsing dishes can waste 100 litres of water. Rinsing in a bowl only uses 10 litres. Try using the water from cooked rice, pasta or vegetables to rinse the greasiest pans!
You can save buckets of water by making simple changes to your cooking habits. To start, don’t defrost anything using the hot tap. Try and leave it in the fridge overnight. Similarly wash your vegetables in a bowl of water, rather than under the tap.
Make sure you only boil the recommended amount of water for what you’re cooking. In fact, you can afford to boil a bit less: most pasta, for example, tends to require less than the quantity recommended on the packet. Be sensible. You don’t need a swimming pool to parboil two potatoes.
If you really want to save water, do away with boiling altogether. Steaming your veg not only requires less water, but it also keeps loads more nutrients locked into your food. And we could all use more nutrients, right?
We know you want to use your favourite bowl (currently sitting dirty in the dishwasher) for your morning cornflakes fix, but hold your horses before you press that button.
Dishwashers use a great deal of water, no matter how full they are. And don’t give us the ‘I always run it on ‘half-load’ argument - it doesn’t wash (ahem). The ‘half-load’ setting will only save about 10-20% of water, and just as much energy, meaning it’s not nearly as efficient as waiting to run a full load. The rinse setting is often not needed with new models either! In fact, new models are generally much better so when it’s time to replace your dishwasher look for one with low-water consumption!
What’s even more efficient, however, is running a full-load on the dishwasher’s ‘eco’ program, if it’s got one. It uses less water and less energy, and the results are the same.
Fancy a cup of tea? Us too. Problem is we filled the kettle to the top, and it’s taking about a year to boil.
Not only is a full kettle a time sponge, it’s also an energy saving nightmare, using a large amount of electricity. Most, however, can boil as little as a mug’s worth, which can save huge amounts of water and electricity over the course of the year. All those caffeine hits add up.
It’s also one of our favourite money saving tips: If you can cut ‘kettle boiling time’ down from 10 minutes a day to 5 minutes a day (by using less water!), this could save £12 a year on your energy bills. If everyone in the UK did this, we could save enough electricity in a year to power every street light in the country for two months.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
You don't need to fix that leaky tap.
After all, it's only a tiny leak. What harm is it doing?
Although it is annoying. Very annoying.
Oh, and it actually wastes a colossal amount of water. A dripping tap that leaks just two tablespoons a minute mounts up to 5,500 litres of water a year! That’s more water per year than the average dishwasher. If it’s the hot tap, it could cost you over £18 per year in energy bills too!
Do the environment - and your sanity - a favour, and change your washer promptly if it starts to drip.
All the facts in this article were sourced by our partner, the Centre for Sustainable Energy. If you’d like more free impartial advice on anything from tips on energy efficiency and renewable energy to how to apply for grants and financial support just give us a call on 0800 408 6601 (mobile 0117 934 1999) to speak with an energy efficiency expert or you can email us.
*Savings calculations are based on electricity costing 15p per kWh
Simply enter your postcode and see how much you can save
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.