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How to save almost £300 a year by changing your water habits

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Halving your daily shower time from 10 minutes to five minutes can save you up to £200 on your annual water and energy bills, according to the Consumer Council for Water’s (CCW).

Research by the group also found reducing the number of loads you do in your washing machine by two each week could save your household about £40 a year.

Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth could save more than 8,000 litres of water a year – shaving about £30 off your water bill.

However, the savings can only be realised if you have a water meter. If your property has a water meter fitted, you’ll only be charged for the amount of water you use. But if your water bill is calculated using your home’s rateable value or an assessed charge, your bill isn’t impacted by how much water you use.

Weird water habits

The CCW research Lifting the Lid: The Secrets of Our Water Habits also uncovered some “weird” water habits that Brits have owned up to.

For example, almost one in five people have left the tap running to drown out the sound of them using the toilet, while others admitted to leaving the shower running to ‘get some peace and quiet’ from the rest of the household.

Some of the most common habits included flushing the toilet twice after having a ‘number two’ (90%), using the washing machine or dishwasher when it was not full (67%), taking a bath or shower to cool down (66%), washing an item of clothing that wasn’t dirty (65%), staying in the bath so long it needed topping up with warm water (59%) and killing a plant by overwatering it (58%).

Karen Gibbs, senior leader for the environment at CCW, said: “A good quality, reliable water supply is an essential part of our daily lives from the moment we wake up to when our head hits the pillow at night – but what our findings reveal is that many of us are wasting water without even realising.

“Last summer’s drought brought into sharp focus the need for everyone to value water and use it wisely, which is why it’s encouraging that the majority of people said they recognised the need to do more to reduce their water use. It’s up to the water sector to help guide households towards simple actions that can make a big difference when it comes to saving water.”