EST advises less washing for proletariat

4 July 2013

showerToday, the Energy Saving Trust (EST) has decided that the best way for us all to save money on our ever-rising energy bills is to use less water.

Traditionally, of course, water is not so much classed as an energy bill, but that hasn’t put off the EST, who claim that the knock on effect of using less water could save up to £200 a year. Using data from a study of 86,000 households, the EST found that UK households* use nine billion litres of water every day, with a quarter of that used on showers alone. It’s like pouring your money down the drain.

More than 90% of people boil a kettle every day, and 40% of people make a brew five times a day or more, but boiling more water than you need costs £68m a year. Not each, clearly.

Andrew Tucker, water strategy manager at EST, said: "It's all too easy to turn on the tap and not think about the consequences.” We took a moment here to pause and think about the consequences. You might like to do the same.

Ian Morley, head of household division for P&G UK and Ireland, which helped fund the study, said: “This research clearly demonstrates how, just by making small everyday changes, every household can really make a big difference to the environment and their budget.

Simple things such as turning your washing machine to 30c can help you save energy, water and money."

We’re not sure how washing at 30c saves water- after all, it’s more likely to use more water when the lukewarm suds can’t get last night’s stain off your trousers, but there is, admittedly, an energy saving there as the water used is heated. Same thing goes for showers- the EST estimate that cutting a minute off shower time would save households £215m on energy bills each year. They even have water-saving recommendations on flushing the toilet.

But is this all a bit OTT? Seven and half minutes doesn’t seem an extreme amount of time for a shower, and for those of us with long hair, or large bodies, perhaps those  extra minutes soaping are well spent. If those of us feeling the pinch start playing fast and loose with washing bodies and clothes, won’t we all just become the great unwashed. Again. This advice stinks.

Still, if you want to risk running out of water before you’ve filled your cup of tea, that’s your business.

* actually the EST only covers England and Wales. We don’t know whether they have just assumed people in Scotland and Northern Ireland are the same as England or whether they have just been conveniently forgotten about.


  • fibbingarchie
    I like to spend at least 15 mins in the shower, but I make up for wasting all this water by squeezing the moisture out of my houseplants when I want a drink.
  • haggis
    Cue jokes about the Scottish and Northern Irish not showering anyway...
  • Touchwood
    No water metering in Scotland.
  • Can't m.
    You stupid English wankers have water meters. ha ha ha
  • Rubbermaid
    Those "stupid English wankers" also tend to have a summer.
  • Joulupukki
    @ Can't spell Tennants total moron I went on a water meter and my water bill went down from £50 a month to £20. Carry on getting ripped off, wanker.
  • Patrick
    I'll start saving water when: (a) the govt makes the water companies pay taxes - most don't at present (b) there is competition between water companies (currently they have local monopolies) (c) the water companies stop making excessive profits I'm currently on unmetered water and have no intention to move to a meter whilst they're charging excessive prices for water in order to keep their hedge fund owners happy.
  • Gof M.
    Its bloody cheap
  • fibbingarchie
    I also own shares in a selection of water companies, so the more water everyone uses, including me, the more I get back in dividends.....uh, WINNING!
  • digibanger
    I have a bath once a month whether I need it or not
  • TeddyEdward
    My water bill is less than £25 a year. I shower once a week, do the washing up when I've run out of plates and only flush the toilet when I have a dump. Ok the whole place stinks of piss but I'm proud of doing my bit for the environment.

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