Rising energy prices are never out of the news, and most of the emphasis around energy saving seems to be concentrated on central heating and insulation. There’s no denying that big savings can be made in these areas, but too often we forget about the very simple measures which can be taken in the bathroom and which can save you money on your fuel and water bill, and help save the planet too.
Ditch the Bath – unless you have a power shower
Having a shower rather than filling the bath to the brim is the most obvious way of saving money in the bathroom. The average bath uses 80 litres of water, and the average shower uses just 62. Recently there have been many articles in the press regarding the huge quantities of water used by some power shower brands, and if you have a particularly strong power shower and stay in there for more than the average of eight minutes, you could be using up to 136 litres.
There are two ways of drastically cutting the amount of fuel and water you use in the shower or bath. Firstly, if showering, limit the amount of time you spend in the shower. If you can get your daily shower down to 4 minutes, you could save £40 a year off your energy and water bills. Secondly, if you have one of the water-hungry power showers, consider switching it to a more eco-friendly aerating shower head which gives the feel of a power shower, but which uses far less energy.
We’ve all made the switch to low energy light bulbs in other areas of the house, but in the bathroom many of us have older lighting fittings or those using halogen bulbs or older bulbs which use far more energy. LED lighting is definitely the best option for bathroom lighting as the bulbs last for far longer than normal or halogen bulbs, and although it can be more expensive to install initially, the savings in electricity means LED lighting will save money in the long run. There are specific rules regarding what sort of lighting you can use in a bathroom depending on where in the room it is positioned, so always have this sort of light installation done by a fully qualified electrician.
It’s shocking to think that in the UK we use 2 billion litres of water every day just flushing the loo, with the average toilet using 9 litres of water per flush. If you are on a water meter, you are literally flushing money down the drain each time you pull the chain. Invest in a gadget like the Drop-A Brick, which you pop into the tank of the toilet, and it saves up to ½ gallon every time you flush. If you install one in each toilet in the house, you could save substantially per year on your water bill. And some water companies even give these types of devices away, free of charge.
Unless you live in a huge house with high ceilings and large rooms, you probably have a bathroom which is reasonably small in size. There is no point in having a huge radiator pumping out heat and keeping it at tropical temperatures, and many people prefer to do away altogether with a radiator in the bathroom and opt instead for a heated towel rail or underfloor heating. If you find that your bathroom window is permanently open, it is worth switching off all heating in the room, especially when it is cold outside.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Being eco in the bathroom doesn’t extend just to using less water and switching off the heating, it also means thinking in a different way about the things we consume. Do you really need to throw away that bathroom suite and replace it with a new one or would some new tiles and paint give the room a whole new look? Vintage and second hand items are hugely fashionable at the moment, and some vintage tiles or an antique shelving unit may cost less to buy, and will give your home an individual look.