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Blog Post 22 March 2021

Helping householders save water, energy and money – and reduce carbon emissions

It’s obvious that water plays an important part in so much of our lives. We use it every day for cooking, cleaning, drinking, taking a shower and flushing the loo.

Today, on World Water Day, we’d like to take a closer look at how Energy Saving Trust is helping householders in Scotland to not only save water, but energy and money too – at the same time as reducing carbon emissions.

The facts

  • On average, each person in the UK uses around 140 litres of water a day. But this can increase to around 165 litres per person per day in Scotland. This volume of water use is higher than many European countries. In Germany, for example, average water use is 120 litres of water per person per day.
  • The water industry contributes to 6% of UK carbon emissions – and 90% of those emissions relate to the energy we use to heat water at home.
  • Around a fifth of the energy we use at home is used to heat hot water.
  • Climate change has meant our weather is less predictable. There’s a higher probability of flooding or prolonged dry spells, both of which impact our water supplies.
  • By reducing the amount of water we use every day, we can keep our energy bills down, reduce carbon emissions, and protect our natural environment and water supply.

Helping to save water in Scotland

Energy Saving Trust manages Home Energy Scotland, a programme funded by the Scottish Government that provides free, impartial advice to help householders reduce fuel poverty and tackle climate change.

Home Energy Scotland also helps with advice around transport, renewables and water efficiency – delivered to householders through face-to-face engagement and, due to current Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, through successful webinars. They also offer a dedicated free phone line for householders.

In 2017, Home Energy Scotland teamed up with Scottish Water to help householders reduce their energy bills and carbon footprints by taking actions to save water.

The project targets specific areas in Scotland where water is more expensive to produce and distribute to households, or where there may be ‘water stress’ during prolonged dry spells. Through the project, householders in these areas receive free water saving packs that contain advice and devices, including regulated shower heads, kitchen tap aerators and garden hose guns.

Credit: Scottish Water

The results

Since the start of the project, Home Energy Scotland has engaged with more than 54,500 householders. In order to better understand how our advice has impacted on behaviour and awareness, we carried out a detailed evaluation survey.

The results were impressive:

  • 86% of respondents have adopted some behavioural changes or have installed a water saving device after receiving advice.
  • 91% of respondents felt they’d saved water and/or energy, and had changed their behaviour as a result of Home Energy Scotland’s advice.
  • In one case study produced as part of the evaluation, a householder reported reducing their energy bills by around £10 a month after receiving advice.
  • 93% of the respondents were either very satisfied or satisfied with the water saving advice they’d received.
  • During 2019/20, we estimate that, in total, the project has helped customers achieve lifetime savings of up to £500,000 and 1,050 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) through reducing the amount of hot water they use.

Working with communities

The Scottish Water project has also helped communities through local water efficiency campaigns and various activities, including challenges, events and tailored communications. Our evaluation also showed that:

  • 71% of respondents felt that being part of a community-focused campaign had encouraged them to take action they might not normally take.
  • More than 80% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the water efficiency campaign made them feel that their community was a good place to live.

It’s clear that saving water has numerous benefits for both individuals and the wider community.

This World Water Day, why not think about playing your part? You can start by checking out these water saving top tips, or why not think about installing these water saving devices to save water, energy and money at home.