Skip to main content
Blog Post 18 August 2022

How saving water at home can help you save energy too

This article was co-authored by Energy Saving Trust and Water UK. It was first published on the Water’s Worth Saving website.

Though it may feel like the UK has a lot of water, it’s a precious resource that can’t be taken for granted.

In fact, droughts have recently been declared in parts of southwest, southern and central England, and all of eastern England.

What’s more, many of us may not realise that our water use at home contributes to our energy bills and our household carbon emissions. In fact, water is intrinsically linked to energy.

What’s the connection between water and energy?

Each time we use water, we also use energy. An average household will use around 17% of its total energy consumption to heat water – so using less water means using less energy too.

And that’s just in our homes. There’s also all the energy that’s needed to treat, pump and deliver water to each home in the UK.

So, by saving water, you’re saving energy too – which is good for your wallet and the planet.

How do we use water?

We all need water and use it in so many ways around the home. Through cooking, washing our hands and showering, the litres of hot water soon add up.

We often need to use cold water too – from cleaning and gardening, washing the car to flushing the toilet. Reducing this can save on our water bills (if you have a water meter) and carbon emissions that are produced when transporting fresh water to our homes and treating our wastewater.

With the summer holidays in full swing and hose pipe bans already in place in some parts of the country, it’s time to get the whole family involved in saving water – helping to save money, energy and the planet.

Water and energy saving tips

In the bathroom

You might not be surprised to learn that showers are the biggest source of water going down the drain in the home, while we spend billions each year heating the water for them.

But did you know that spending just one minute less in the shower could save you £35 on your energy bills each year, in a four-person household? If you’ve got a water meter, it’ll save you an extra £30 on your water bills too as you’re using – and paying for – less water!

If you’ve got a family member who likes to take long showers, challenge them to a 4-minute shower. Set the timer for 4 minutes, or find a song that’s about the right length, and challenge them to finish showering before it ends!

Replacing the average shower length in the UK with a 4-minute shower could knock £115 off your annual energy bill, and an extra £100 off your water bill if you’re on a meter. That’s a total saving of £215.

You might also want to consider upgrading your shower head with an energy efficient one. A regulated shower head could save you £55 on your energy bills and an extra £45 on your water bills, if you’re metered.

In the kitchen

Washing our clothes and dishes also accounts for a big chunk of our energy and water use. Fortunately, there are some quick and easy changes every family can make to their washing habits.

Washing your clothes at 30 degrees rather than higher temperatures could save the average household around £14 a year on their energy bills. This is because washing at 30 uses an impressive 57% less electricity than washing at higher temperatures – and your clothes will be just as clean!

In fact, if everyone in the UK switched from higher temperature washes down to 30 degrees, together we could save over £410 million on electricity bills each year.

Another tip for your next wash is to try and fill your washing machine before setting it off. Making sure the machine is full and cutting back your washing machined use by just one run per week could save you £14 a year on your energy bills – and an extra £5 if you have a water meter.

Why we should use water wisely

We know that no-one likes to waste water. But it can be harder to realise that our water use contributes to our energy bills.

Finding ways to reduce our energy consumption is more important now than ever before, with energy prices set to rise again in October and households facing a steep increase to annual household bills.

Using water wisely can not only help to preserve our supply, but it also saves energy, money and reduces our impact on the planet. If you’re looking for more ways to save water and energy this year, visit our water saving advice page.

Latest blogs

Go to blog

Simple ways to save water at home

19 January 2021

If you want to get to grips with water consumption in your home, our tips can help reduce the amount of water…

Water saving products to help you cut water use at home

21 January 2021

We take a look at seven water saving products to help you save energy and water in the kitchen, bathroom and garden.

Invest in our planet: why water is always worth saving

22 April 2022

On Earth Day 2022, we spoke to our water efficiency project coordinator, John Kelly, about why water is always worth saving.

Last updated: 18 August 2022