Save water to save energy

Did you know the average person in the UK uses over 140 litres of clean water per day? That's really high, and in Kent we actually use more than the UK average. It takes a vast amount of energy to treat and pump water to our homes, then more energy to heat it in our homes.

Water is one of our most valuable resources and due to climate change and increasing population size, it is also becoming one of the most scarce.

With water demand set to rise over the coming years, it’s more important than ever to do all that we can to reduce our water use where possible.

Find out about a water saving home visit from your water company.

Pipes and plumbing

Switching to a water meter will mean you only pay for what you use.

If you don't already have one, contact your supplier and request one for free.

Whilst you're on the phone, ask what other free water-saving gizmos they could send you.

If your water bill is higher than normal, it may indicate a leak.

Leaks can be discreet, and you may not always notice they are there. Wet patches or brown water marks on your ceilings or walls may be a sign of a leak. Of course, a leak may also be easily spotted by seeing excess water around taps, radiators, pipes or appliances.

How to check for a water leak

  1. Open your meter chamber, which is normally outside your home.
    Southern Water's guide to finding your water meter.
  2. Check you're looking at the right meter by turning your external stop-tap off, then run a tap to make sure no water comes out. If water flows, you've turned off someone else's water!
  3. Turn your stop-tap back on at the meter and make a note, or take a photo, of the meter reading.
  4. Don't use any water for 30 minutes then take another reading. If the number has increased, there is a leak.
  5. Turn off your stop-tap again, take a note of the reading, wait an hour and see if the number has changed again. If it has, the leak may be outside your home. For example, in the pipes leading to and from it.

If  you find a leak, you should arrange for repair as soon as possible.

To find a legitimate, reliable and trusted plumber in your area, use our TS Checked service.

In the bathroom

Just by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth, you can stop 8,000 litres of water going to waste and save approximately £15 a year!

Most household's largest use of water comes from toilet flushing. Dual-flush toilets are reported to use 4 to 5 litres of water per flush, and an older system can use up to 13 litres per flush.

Cut down your water use massively by only flushing every other time you use the loo.

It's easy to lose yourself in thought, or song, in the shower so try setting a timer to bring your focus back after 4 minutes. You'll save water, and make more time for yourself!

For many, an efficient shower takes about 4 minutes.

Installing a water efficient, regulated shower head could instantly reduce your water use, without affecting the pressure of your shower.

Sadly, these are not suitable for electric showers.

You could install a cistern displacement device.

These are bags full of crystals which inflate when wet: They take up room in your cistern so that when you flush the toilet, it needs less water to refill.

We're not going to weigh in on which is more relaxing, but it's been proven that on average a shower uses less water than a bath.

If you're lucky enough to have both, even replacing a couple of baths with showers will make an impact.

Push-button toilets commonly have undetected leaks. A leaky toilet can waste up to 300 litres of water a day – fixing it could save you approximately £500 a year on your bills.

So it can pay to know if your toilet is leaking. A higher than expected bill is often the first sign you’re using more water than normal.

How to check if you have a leaky toilet

  1. flush the toilet
  2. wait 15 minutes
  3. dry the back of the bowl with toilet paper
  4. place a dry sheet of toilet paper on the back of the bowl
  5. wash your hands
  6. leave for 3 hours without using the toilet (if possible)
  7. return to check the toilet paper.

If the test toilet paper is:

  • dry, then you don't have a leak.
  • wet,  then you have a small leak: Check it regularly to make sure it doesn't get worse.
  • broken up, you have a significant leak and should arrange for a plumber.

To find a legitimate, reliable and trusted plumber in your area, use our TS Checked service.

In the kitchen

When using the kettle to make a hot drink, only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need, rather than right to the top.

You'll save water and save energy. Also, you won't have to wait as long for your tea.

If you let the water run while using your sink, using a universal plug will help to save water when washing up or rinsing.

Or you could just use a washing up bowl.

Installing an aerator can make your tap’s water usage more efficient.

Aerators can be easily attached to your existing tap.

When using your washing machine or dishwasher, increasing the size of your load and reducing the frequency of washes can go a long way to reduce you water use.

Does it take a while for your taps to run hot? Fill up a bottle whilst you wait to water plants or cook with later.

You can steam your veggies with less water, rather than boil them. It will be healthier that way too.

In the garden

A hose gun will give you more control over the speed and pressure of the water your hose pipe releases.

To go the extra mile, use a watering can instead.

If you regularly water your garden, consider installing a water butt.

Water butts capture rainwater that you can then use in your watering can. An added bonus is that plants prefer rainwater!