10 ways to cut your water bill in the heatwave
The average person uses 150 litres of water a day, with just 4% used for drinking. In London alone, more than 3.6 billion litres of water is used, which is enough to fill 146 Olympic-sized swimming pools or 46 million baths.
But during the heatwave, it’s no surprise we’re using more water to keep cool and stay hydrated.
Here are 10 ways to cut your water bill as the temperature soars:
- Analyse your household usage
In order to know where you can cut down on wastage and make the water you use more efficient, you’ll need to work out exactly how much water your household is currently using. Free digital tools such as the aqKWa Savings Engine will analyse your water usage and give you personalised advice in just a few minutes, helping you cut down your bill in no time. Over 200,000 households have used the engine, saving on average £88 a year.
- Recycle rainwater on plants
Data from 40,950 households shows that from those who water the garden, over half (57%) do so every day or every other day during the summer. When watering the garden, fill a watering can with rainwater from a water butt to help reduce your fresh usage. If every household in England collected just one water butt’s worth of water a year (160 litres), it would collectively save four billion litres of fresh water annually.
- Avoid hose pipes or sprinklers
A hose pipe or sprinkler can use up to 1,000 litres of water an hour, which is more than a family of four use in a day, so avoid using where you can. If you have to use a sprinkler, try to use it when it is cooler and evaporation rates are lowest, such as the early morning or late afternoon. Similarly, washing the car with a bucket and sponge will reduce the need to use a hosepipe.
- Water at the right time
Many of us over-water our gardens, upping household usage. To check whether your plants need watering, look at the soil about a spade-deep down. If it’s damp, it’s fine and if it’s dry, it’s time to water. However, it’s important to remember that clay soil might feel damp whether it’s irrigated or not and sandy soil can feel dry, even if it has water in it, so check for signs of water stress on your plants, such as when leaves change position or get darker.
- Don’t be afraid of a brown lawn
Going brown is the natural survival mechanism of grass. It naturally goes dormant after two to three weeks without water, and most lawns can survive up to four to six weeks. The grass will soon revive when it next rains, so avoid overwatering the lawn during dry spells to save water.
- Plant flowers that need less water
Some plants will need less water than others to grow, such as lavender, palms, mimosa and verbena. Planting low-water plants will help to reduce the need to water the garden throughout the summer.
- Turn the tap off when you brush your teeth
A running tap can use six litres of water a minute. By turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, a family of four could save up to £50 on metered water bills, as well as 17,520 litres of water per year.
- Cut a minute off your shower time
Cutting a minute off your shower time could save £15 in energy bills, and a further £15 in water bills (metered), per person per year, or £120 saved a year for an average four-person household.
- Invest in a water saving kit
There are a range of gadgets out there, available for free from your water provider that will help to cut down your water usage. A typical five item Water Saving Kit, which includes a ShowerSave, ShowerTimer, ToothyTimer, Tap Inserts and Save A Flush bag, will save a household on average £110 per year, on water and energy bills, and over 37,000 litres of water.
- Fix dripping taps
A dripping tap can waste more than 5,500 litres of water a year, so make sure your taps are properly turned off and if any are leaking, then arrange for them to be fixed. It would save you £15.95 per year.
Tim Robertson is CEO of Save Water Save Money