New water efficiency label protect water supplies

A new mandatory water efficiency label is proposed for dishwashers, showers and washing machines. Taps, showers, dishwashers and washing machines could all have new water efficiency labels in a move to help save consumers over £270 million on bills over ten years.

A new mandatory water efficiency label is proposed for dishwashers, showers and washing machines. Taps, showers, dishwashers and washing machines could all have new water efficiency labels in a move to help save consumers over £270 million on bills over ten years.

The plans, subject to a 12-week consultation launched on 2 September by the UK Government and Devolved Administrations, will encourage the purchase of more water-efficient products. It will also help customers manage their water and energy bills.

Based on 2019 prices, the label could save £125 million on water bills and £147 million on energy bills over ten years. The labels will also save 1,200 million litres of water a day – the equivalent of 480 Olympic swimming pools.

Water Minister Steve Double said, “Water is a precious resource. We want to support consumers so they can make savings without having to make significant changes to their daily lives. These plans will help people to make the right choices to save water and reduce their energy bills.”

The proposals aim to introduce a separate water label from the existing energy label for display. They will be applied to toilets, urinals, kitchen sink taps, bathroom basin taps, non-electric shower outlet devices and shower assembly solutions, dishwashers, washing machines and combination washer/dryers.

Hot water is the second largest energy use in a home after space heating. Installing a water-efficient showerhead could save an average household 3,762 litres of water and £17.44 off their combined utility bills per year. A family of four could save 6,468 litres and about £30 off their combined energy and water bill each year.

In 2021, energy efficiency labelling and minimum performance standards led to energy bill savings of £75 for the average dual-fuel household.

Water efficiency labels to focus on importance of water

David Black, Ofwat CEO, said, “This summer has highlighted the importance of water. Water labelling is a key tool, helping everybody make informed choices that reduce their water use and bills. Managing water demand plays a role in tackling the pressures on our water system. It encourages water companies to reduce leakage and look at new sources and water transfers to increase our future water supply. We support the proposals and look forward to seeing the outcome of this consultation.”

Christine McGourty, Water UK Chief Executive, said, “The Government’s proposals on water efficiency labelling are a vital step forward in reducing the amount of water we all use and will allow customers to make informed decisions and save money and energy. Water companies are already working to tackle leakage from pipes and invest in infrastructure. Cutting water use will help make our water supply more resilient to the existential challenges of climate change.

The consultation launch follows a commitment from the Environment Secretary to introduce a mandatory efficiency label as part of wider plans to safeguard water supplies.

The package includes asking water companies to develop a consistent approach to fixing customer supply pipe leakage. They also need to develop a roadmap towards greater water efficiency in new developments and through retrofits.

Water efficiency labels aim to reduce water consumption

These measures will help meet the ambitions set out in the National Framework for Water Resources. This is combined with the work from water companies to reduce leakage by 50 per cent. It is intended to reduce personal water consumption to 110 litres per person per day by 2050, down from the current average of 145 litres.

This year has been the driest July across England since 1935. It has also been the driest July since records began for the East and South East.

Water companies must take urgent action to fix leaks. Ofwat has put clear financial consequences for companies that underperform on leakage. Water companies must use smarter technology to help manage water demand and reduce leaks.

This comes alongside ongoing action to hold companies to account for sewage spills.

You can respond to the consultation here.

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