Water habits could be costing customers more than they think! 

27th November 2023

From running the tap to cover the sound of using the toilet, to keeping the shower going longer to get some “peace and quiet”, some of our water habits might be costing us more than we think. 

With colder temperatures leading to more homes turning up their central heating, Severn Trent is sharing some advice to help keep household bills low during the winter months and some of the water habits which may be costing more money than we might think.

In a study from the Consumer Council for Water (CCW), 90% of people said they flushed the toilet twice after having a ‘number two’, 66% took a bath or shower to cool down and 21% showered straight after a bath, while 67% used the washing machine or dishwasher when it wasn’t full.

But the results also showed that 63% of people felt they could be more water efficient and with Christmas just around the corner – and to ensure everyone has a bit of extra cash if they can for an extra mince pie - Severn Trent is reminding customers that there are some simple ways to save water around the home, which could add up to big savings on their energy bills. 

Sophie Evans-Young, Customer Demand Lead at Severn Trent, said: “With Christmas coming up and presents to buy, this is a good time to think about simple ways to save a bit of money and water use is one of them and savings can be had.  

“Customers could see a saving on their water bills, just by taking a few really simple steps to reduce their water use, like cutting a shower from 10 minutes to five, and only running the dishwasher when its fully loaded. 

“There are a range of free ways that Severn Trent can support customers, too. Our Vyn app lets you send a video of a suspected leak on a toilet, tap or shower directly to one of our engineers who will come along to make a repair if they can. You can also book a Home Water Efficiency Check, where one of our expert team will visit your home, have a chat about water use and leave behind some water saving information and fit products that could help cut down on daily water use, such as low-flow shower heads.”

CCW hopes that by shining a light on some of these habits it can support people in making changes that will not only save water but also, in many cases, cut people’s water and energy bills too.

Karen Gibbs, Senior Leader for the Environment at CCW, said: “A good quality, reliable water supply is an essential part of our daily lives from the moment we wake up to when our head hits the pillow at night - but what our findings reveal is that many of us are wasting water without even realising.

“It’s encouraging that the majority of people said they recognised the need to do more to reduce their water use and it’s up to the water sector to help guide households towards simple actions that can make a big difference when it comes to saving water.”

Severn Trent isn’t asking customers to do this on their own, and in its business plan for 2025-2030, has committed to its largest-ever investment – of £12.9 billion – to upgrade its network twice as fast as before and install enough new water mains to go from Land’s End to John O’Groats twice. This will mean that 100 million more litres a day will get to where it's needed the most.

Sophie added: “We’re investing billions of pounds into improving our network of pipes to cut down on things like leaks and bursts, but with growing pressures from climate change and population growth, we’re asking everyone to work together to make sure there’s plenty of water available whenever we need it.”

By making a few small changes to the ways that they use water, an average family of four could see savings of over £1,000 a year by: 

·         Cutting daily shower times from 10 to 5 minutes - £570 a year

·         Switching off taps when brushing their teeth - £100 a year

·         Fixing a leaky toilet - £300 a year 

·         Changing to a low-flow shower head - £100 a year

·         Running the dishwasher twice per week with full loads - £70 a year

·         Running the washing machine twice per week with full loads - £80 a year

·         Dripping tap (2 drips/sec) - £15 a year

·         Constantly dripping taps - £90 a year 

Customers may see an additional saving by switching to a water meter free of charge, as they only pay for what they use, which could generate savings vs a flat-rate bill. 

For more information on how to report a suspected leak using the Vyn platform, click here or visit stwater.co.uk and click on Send us a video of your problem or issue on the homepage.

If customers have any questions or to book a home water efficiency check, they can call 0330 159 5070 between 8am - 4pm, Monday to Friday to speak to one of the team.