A water-saving bathroom isn’t just good for the environment, it’s great for your purse too. But just how much cash could you save? We found out…
These days around 40% of households in England and Wales use a meter that lets them know how much water they’re using on an annual basis. Similar to an electricity or gas meter, a water meter gives an accurate reading on the amount of water you’ve used (rather than a standard charge based on your home’s rateable value). Checking your water meter—which is officially read twice a year—can show you how, by making small changes in your home, you can reduce your water bills quite considerably.
According to Moneyhelper.org.uk, the average UK water bill (including water and sewage) was £408 a year or £34 a month in 2021/22. That’s around £194 for water and £204 for sewage costs. And the bathroom is where we use the most water—approximately two-thirds (or 68%) of the entire household usage, according to not-for-profit agency Waterwise.
If you never check your water meter, so have no idea how much money you could save by following water-saving tips and using water-saving products, read on. And, even if you don’t have a water meter, these water-saving tips can help save on your overall energy costs, whilst allowing you to do your bit for the environment.
Water-saving products to save you pounds
If you plan on redesigning your bathroom any time soon then considering just how water efficient you can make it, makes sense. Certainly, it will pay off in terms of your water bill over the next decade or so, but products such as smart or digital showering systems can also help cut down your energy bills. But it’s also a moral issue—we simply can’t afford to continue wasting water.
So, what products are out there and how do they work? You may be surprised to learn that many of them perform the same as standard equipment in terms of water pressure, but use less water to achieve this. It means you can have an eco-friendly bathroom and still enjoy a long, relaxing soak in the bath or a nice, warm, powerful shower first thing in the morning.
When shopping for your bathroom, keep an eye out for the icon above. This shows the product is part of our Eco Bathrooms range, designed to save water and/or energy
Dual flush toilets and cisterns
Dual flush toilets don’t just save water, they’re also great at reducing your energy bill too. Around one third of all water in a household is used to flush the toilet. That’s because we use around 13 litres of water each time we push in that button or pull the handle. For a family of 4, that could easily mean using up to 100 litres of water every day, just for flushing the toilet. It’s why, if you’ve had a new toilet installed within the last 2 decades, you’ll find it probably already has a dual flush mechanism.
The dual flush toilet works in a similar fashion to a standard toilet, only it allows you to choose a full (6 litres) or half flush (3 litres). Take the Ideal Standard ProSys toilet cistern, for instance. Available in a huge range of sizes for back to wall toilets and wall hung toilets, it works by using a smart valve (which delays the toilet filling up completely). It can easily be adjusted to a low water volume and used to upgrade current systems with standard flush valves.
These systems currently cost between £189 to £329* to buy, but you’ll recoup your cash over subsequent bills since you won’t be using as much water. Another impressive product—this time with bowl included—is the Ideal Standard Strada II wall hung toilet and cistern. This comes with a dual action flush plate as well as soft-closing toilet lid and retails for around £685*. A less expensive version is the Ideal Standard i.life—a rimless back to wall toilet with ProSys cistern and dual flush plate.
Of course, there are plenty of less expensive options, with many dual flush close coupled toilets available from around £99*.
The Orchard Eden close coupled toilet—one of just many stylish toilets that feature a dual 3 or 6 litre flush
Taps with flow limiters
Install an aerator kit into your tap and you’ll save on the amount of water you use every single time you switch it on. Also known as a flow restrictor, the tap aerator controls the amount of water going through the tap but doesn’t alter the water pressure. This is achieved by adding air into the water stream. Some taps, like the Ideal Standard Tesi cloakroom basin mixer tap, come with flow restrictors already fitted.
The Ideal Standard Tesi cloakroom basin mixer tap features a regulator that limits water flow to just 5 litres per minute
Water-saving baths (smaller capacity)
Baths and showers use up more water than anything else in our homes—around 34% of the total, in fact. If you have a physically smaller bath to fill, then you are automatically going to use less water. The standard bath uses around 80 litres to fill but with a smaller bath you’ll certainly save water—how much depends on its size. The Ideal Standard i.life water saving single ended bath measures just 1700 x 700mm and has a bath depth of 390mm. It retails at around £231*.
In much the same vein, the Ideal Standard Concept Space shower bath (pictured below) has a unique space-saving design which also reduces the amount of water required for a nice deep soak. It costs around £565*.
Available in left or right handed options, the Ideal Standard Concept Space shower bath holds 164 litres of water
These days it’s possible to control the temperature of your shower and the water pressure using intelligent showering technology. Leading brands, such as Mira Showers and Aqualisa, with their remote digital easy temperature and flow control options, means you can make sure your shower is exactly the way you want it before you even get out of bed.
That’s because the smart LED display lets you know exactly when your desired temperature has been reached. And the remote works from up to 10 metres away. So, just like certain supermodels, who won’t get out of bed for less than a certain sum of money, you don’t have to throw off the sheets either until your shower is exactly 38 degrees centigrade (or however you prefer it).
The Mira Platinum range of digital showers work with both high pressure or combi water systems and come with an eco-function, so you can set the flow and save water without compromising on performance. Prices start from around £519*.
The Mira Platinum digital shower comes in both rear and ceiling fed versions along with your choice of standard or pumped models
Digital valve and controller kits
If you don’t want to splash out on an entirely new shower system, then why not consider retrofitting your existing Mira Showers kit with the brand’s Platinum digital shower valve and controller? That way you’ll still get the programmable temperature and flow functions, as well as the possibility of upgrading to a remote system. The digital functions also allow you to set your shower to go off at a particular time, making sure you don’t over-run your allocated water usage.
Both the shower kit and valve/controller (retailing at around £479*) come with 5 year guarantees. Some systems also allow you to control the temperature using an app from your smart phone.
Eco shower heads
We’ve talked about digital control, but maybe you’re not bothered about technology, yet still want to cut back on the amount of water you’re using when showering? Well, apart from cutting your showering time, you can easily retro-fit an eco-spray shower head onto your current showering system. This works in the same way as the aerated taps we mentioned earlier, mixing water with air. The result is that it practically halves the amount of water you’ll use in your shower (and, at the same time, reduces your energy usage). Despite using less water you’ll still experience a fast flow—in fact, it will feel softer and more pleasant on your skin.
When you consider that the average shower takes around 10 minutes and uses 12 litres of water every minute, then that’s 120 litres of water in total. Fit an eco-shower and you’re getting 2 showers for 120 litres.
To give you a more accurate break-down of water consumption, based on the type of shower you’re using, consumer agency CCW (Consumer Council for Water) calculate that a power shower uses 13 litres of water per minute, a mixer shower 8 litres, and an electric shower, 5 litres.
With an “air-in” function, the Mode Air shower head could save you money in the long run and even comes with a “pause” button, which stops the flow when you’re shampooing or stepping away from the shower
Commercial water saving systems for Trade customers
It’s not just homeowners who are keen to save on their water bills—unsurprisingly, business owners in commercial properties are too. So too are property developers and landlords, anyone, in fact, who doesn’t want to spend a fortune on their water bill and who is concerned about current—and future—eco matters. So, on that note, here are some water-saving ideas for Tradespeople:
Yes, you did read that right. It’s possible to get waterless urinals these days. Actually, they’ve been around for at least 2 decades but the global movement towards eco-consciousness has brought them to the fore of the bathroom industry.
Understandably, you may be curious to know how they work (and you can find this out in our blog post about waterless urinals). But first, this type of urinal can save an average of 170,000 litres of water a year (based on a few dozen male employees each using the urinal three times daily).
A waterless urinal is very hygienic, eliminating urinal odours and doing away with the possibility of flooding. There’s no flushing cistern needed. Instead, each wall mounted ceramic bowl has an individual cartridge and waterless waste system.
The shape of the bowl prevents the urine from pooling at the bottom, ensuring it flows through a grate at the bottom and into a small reservoir (or “trap”). At the top of this reservoir sits a layer of oil-like substance. This traps the odour of the urine which sits in a round well before seeping into the bathroom drainage pipe.
While waterless urinals can be ideal for any busy restaurant, pub or office, there are more conventional urinals which come with water-saving features, like the Armitage Shanks Sphero urinals (pictured below).
With their shapely design, Sphero urinals from Armitage Shanks look great, whilst helping keep water bills down
You may know them by a different name, but non-concussive taps have been around for a while now. However, with both workplace hygiene concerns and water-saving concerns, they are certainly growing in popularity—especially in commercial environments. That’s because they prevent water being left on and wasted as a result.
The stylish Kirke Non-concussive basin tap (pictured below) works using a push down mechanism which closes automatically. It’s suitable for either a cold or pre-mixed single water feed, as well as high volume installations. Sensor taps are also available—these switch water on for a limited amount of time when they detect motion from hands.
Similar to the non-concussive tap, in the sense that the water will switch itself off after a set time, a non-concussive valve can also be used for a shower. This times how long the shower will flow for. It’s ideal for using in gyms, health clubs and swimming pools.
More water saving tips
- Shower rather than take a bath
- If you do want to take a weekly bath then shallow fill it (rather than all the way to the top)
- Check there are no leaks in your toilet cistern
- Use a smart showering system to time your shower so you can spend less time in it. Even reducing it by 1 minute will save you around £45 a year for a family of four)
- Switch to an aerated shower head and save around £92 a year. You’ll never notice the change in water pressure
- Turn off the taps securely to prevent drips or switch to taps with ceramic disc cartridges
- Never put cotton pads etc down the toilet as this can result in blockages. Instead try to think of the 3 P rule—only poo, pee and paper should go down the toilet
- Save up to 5,000 litres of water by using a cistern displacement device
- Get a toilet with a dual flush system and save a similar 5,000 litres of water every year
- Turn the tap off between brushes when cleaning your teeth and save 6 litres a minute or a huge 8,500 litres of water a year
- Turn down the pressure in your shower if you don’t have an aerated shower head
Total money savings using eco bathroom products and tips
The following figures are based on a family of 4 in the UK:
- If your loo is leaky (trickling water when it’s not in use), fix it and you’ll save around £162 a year, according to Thames Water. Or, you can knock this problem on its head for good by getting a new toilet and cistern.
- Fit a smart shower and get everyone in the house to cut short their shower time by one minute and save £45 a year. Add an aerated shower head and save a further £92 a year.
- With a dual flush toilet it’s possible to save up to £100 a year, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
- Fitting a non-concussive tap on your bathroom sink could save up to £50 a year.
That makes a total saving of £449 per year.
Shop water-saving eco bathrooms
To make all these savings and more, why not browse our eco bathrooms? Carefully curated, this collection contains all the very latest in water and energy-saving products for your bathroom, including dual flush toilets, digital showers and reduced capacity baths. Click on the image below to begin browsing.
More money-saving advice for your home
With soaring energy bills and an inflation rate that (at the time of publication) is the highest it’s been in 41 years, we could all do with a little help when it comes to saving money. Here at Victoria Plum, we’ve used our many years of experience to bring you expert advice on cutting your household spend, both in the bathroom and other areas of your home. Click on any of the links below to read a blog post.
- How to save water in your home
- Victoria Plum’s top 5 water saving tips
- Save water, save the world with these eco bathroom ideas
- Introducing our eco-friendly, water-saving bathroom range
- How to save heat in your home
- How to save energy in your home
- Can underfloor heating save you money?
*Prices correct at time of publication