Brits wasting 2 billion litres of water per day in the shower

British homes are using nine billion litres of water every day, with showers being the biggest consumers of water in the home, according to the largest study ever conducted on household water use.

The report, At Home with Water, found that Britain wastes two billion litres of water a day in the shower while hot water use contributes £228 to the average annual combined household energy bill – more than £6bn across the whole of Britain.

Commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) Foundation and in partnership with Defra, Procter and Gamble, Thames Water, Consumer Council for Water and SaveWaterSaveMoney, the study presents the findings from more than 86,000 British households.

According to the EST, the report will enable consumers, businesses and government to understand how water is used in British homes, forecast future trends and take action to save water and energy.

It also highlights the connection between water and energy, calling the heating of water the “hidden element in household expenditure”.

The report found that an average shower lasts seven-and-a-half minutes. It also said that cutting a minute off that time would save British households £215m on energy bills each year.

However, the shower was not the only heavy user of water in the household. The report found that just over a fifth (22%) of household water is used in the kitchen, with washing machines, dishwashers, kettles and taps driving consumption.

Water strategy manager at EST, Andrew Tucker, said: “The statistics which have been generated will be invaluable to industry and policymakers over the coming years. At Home with Water will act as a window into consumers’ homes, showing where water and energy are being used, where they are being wasted and what savings could be made.

“With legislation increasingly demanding utilities help consumers cut their bills, At Home with Water can provide the tools necessary to start making big changes to the way Britain uses water – one of our least-considered natural resources.”

Leigh Stringer

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