Major retailers agree on new water efficiency labelling

A group of DIY retailers, builders' merchants and manufacturers have agreed to introduce a voluntary labelling scheme to help consumers identify the water efficiency of bathroom fittings.

The new labelling will start to appear across a wide range of products such as taps, showers, WCs and baths next summer.

Brought together by WRAP, the companies involved include Argos, B&Q, Chandlers’ Building Supplies, Homebase, Travis Perkins, Saint Gobain, Wolseley UK and Southern Water.

The scheme will use the existing Water Label, which follows a similar approach to the Energy Efficiency Label found on white goods such as fridges and freezers.

The label, which is currently not used widely, will now be used on all bathroom fittings, enabling consumers to compare products on a ‘like for like’ basis and see which ones offer the greatest water savings.

Defra Environment Minister Richard Benyon said: “Customers will be able to choose bathroom products based on their water efficiency rating, which may help them to save money on water bills and protect this valuable resource for future generations.”

Water companies have shown their support for the scheme as they say it complements their own plans to help customers become more water efficient.

Southern Water chief executive Matthew Wright said: “The comprehensive use of the Water Label across bathroom products is a very significant development which is to be warmly welcomed.

“This will be the first time that customers will be able to clearly identify the most water- efficient products.”

Conor McGlone

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