Showers the biggest user of water in homes

You’d be forgiven for thinking washing machines or dishwashers waste the most water – but showers are actually the biggest water use in the home, it was revealed today. Showers […]

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By Vicky Ellis

You’d be forgiven for thinking washing machines or dishwashers waste the most water – but showers are actually the biggest water use in the home, it was revealed today.

Showers make up a quarter (25%) of household’s water consumption while toilets are the second largest water waster (22%).

The statistics come from a survey of water habits drawn from information put into a “Water Calculator” by more than 86,000 households – the biggest ever review of domestic water use in Britain.

Called ‘At Home with Water’, the report shows that across Britain we use in the order of 840 billion litres each year and spend around £2.3 billion on heating water for showers.

Every year more than 740 billion litres – enough to fill 300,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools – is flushed down the loo. And our dishwashers and washing machines use 360 billion litres each year, costing households £1.6 billion in electricity bills.

When these figures are broken down, the average home uses nearly 350 litres of water every day and the EST says there is an “astonishing potential” to save water and energy with a few adjustments to how people behave.

By cutting down the length of one shower by one minute every day, each house would save £215 million in energy bills a year nationwide.

But campaigners must not “preach” about saving water says the EST which plans to start working with families to help them re-think how they use water.

Phillip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust wrote in the report’s introduction: “A new approach is needed to help people get control of water and energy use in the home. So rather than preach from the pulpit, we will continue this work by undertaking a ‘rethink’ about domestic water use.”