Environmental considerations notwithstanding, the fact is this. When you save water, you save money.
If you are on a water meter, you already know this: your bills are based on the amount of water you use. But even if you don’t have a water meter, the same principle applies: heating water accounts for up to a quarter of energy bills.
At the time of writing, water companies are obliged to offer water-saving devices for free or at low cost – just like the energy companies are obliged to offer free or low-cost loft insulation.
So thanks go out to Miss Thrifty reader Hester, who tweeted me to point out that right now, Thames Water is giving away bags of free stuff. If you are a Thames Water customer, you can get:
- a showerhead to reduce the amount of water used without reducing the shower performance
- a “showersave,” which screws into the bottom of your shower hose
- kitchen swivel-tap accessories
- tap aerator kit, to reduce the flow of water from taps by up to 70%
- a “save-a-flush” bag of expanding crystals, which sit in your toilet cistern and save a litre of water every time you flush
- a shower timer
You can check out all the Thames Water freebies here. The other water companies are offering a selection of these freebies too, with the exception of Scottish Water (sorry, Scotland readers). I’ve just ordered a showersave, tap aerator kit, save-a-flush bag and shower timer from Yorkshire Water.
I particularly like the shower timer, which is as simple a water-saving fix as they come. It’s a waterproofed egg timer with a suction pad to attach it to the tiles. It runs out after four minutes. The idea is that by restricting shower-time to four minutes, as opposed to seven minutes (the UK average), a household can save up to £120 per year.
Here is a full list of all the water companies, with links to their freebies pages. Some are pretty stingy, restricting the freebies to the flush-a-saves, but others are relatively bountiful, giving away inflatable BathBuoys to save up to 30 litres of water every time you bathe your small child. Find your water supplier and see what is on offer:
- Affinity Water
- Anglian Water and Love Every Drop
- Bristol Water
- Cambridge Water
- Dee Valley Water
- Essex Suffolk Water
- Northumbrian Water
- Portsmouth Water
- Scottish Water
- South Staffs Water
- South West Water
- Sutton and East Surrey Water
- Thames Water
- United Utilities Water
- Wessex Water
- Yorkshire Water
P.S. If you don’t have a water meter right now, because you don’t think it would save you money, I recommend checking out this quick-but-thorough water and energy calculator on the Yorkshire Water website. You may be pleasantly surprised: I know I was. It turns out that despite running a daily bath for Thrifty Kid and having a hosepipe in the garden, we use considerably less water than the average UK household does. I suspect it helps that we wash our dishes by hand…
Image credit: Olivia.