Save water to reduce your energy bills
07 June 2023 Reading time: 5 mins
Given the cost of living crisis, we know that businesses more than ever before will be looking for ways to save money. Energy bills, in particular, have increased significantly and look likely to remain high for a significant amount of time. There are a number of ways businesses can reduce their energy use but one area that’s sometimes overlooked is water consumption.
Water plays a critical role in the running of many businesses and organisations and every time water is heated, it has an impact on energy use. Finding ways to use less heated water means businesses will see their water bills come down, and their energy bills too. It will also help to generate environmental efficiencies as the energy used to heat water impacts emissions.
How water affects your energy bill
According to research, the average UK business uses over 30% more water than they need to. Some of this water will be heated which impacts not only water bills but energy bills too*. Approximately 20% of a (gas heated) home’s heating bill comes from the water used for showers, baths and the hot water tap, so if you then consider the amount of hot water required by businesses doing the same thing, including hotels, leisure centres, shops and manufacturing plants, the link between water use and energy becomes clear.
Whether you’re a small to medium sized business or a large organisation with multiple sites, there’s never been a better time to understand your water usage so you can identify ways to make savings not just on your water costs but your energy costs too.
So, how can you ensure you’re using water as efficiently as possible?
We’ve listed some small steps below that your business can take to help reduce both your water and energy costs.
1. Monitor your water consumption
When it comes to water, understanding what you use is so important. If your business premises is eligible, you could opt to have a smart meter installed. By monitoring your water usage closely with the help of a smart meter, also known as an Automated Meter Reader (AMR), you can quickly identify your average usage and understand where costs can be cut. In addition, you can compare your usage to the average for your industry to see how you’re performing, as well as identify any spikes in consumption before it becomes a bigger issue. You can use our online Water Benchmark Calculator to compare your water usage to others in your sector. Once you understand your water use then you can take steps to reduce the amount you use.
2. Do a water maintenance check
By insulating your water pipes effectively, you can avoid using excess energy to heat water running through your pipes. This will also help to protect your pipes during the winter months when burst pipes become a far more frequent problem.
In addition, it’s always worth regularly checking for leaks. Leaks waste money by wasting water and can also cause serious damage to your premises over time if left undetected. General wear and tear or extreme weather can also affect your pipes and cause leaks when you least expect it. To find out how to check for leaks, follow our step-by-step Leak Detection guide.
Business Stream saved Glasgow Caledonian University £16,000 by alerting their maintenance team to an undetected leak during the Covid-19 lockdown.
3. Choose the most efficient appliances
If you don’t already have one, a key efficiency investment that your business could make is installing an eco-boiler. Heating water as you need it, while dispensing water instantly is a great way to save time, money and energy by reducing your water consumption in the long-term.
As well as investing in efficient appliances, using the correct setting on your heating system can make a difference i.e. 60-65 degrees Celsius is the optimum temperature for boiler efficiency. Using the eco setting on any dishwashers or laundry facilities within your premises won’t impact the cleaning effectiveness, but will use less energy and water. And, by ensuring dishwashers and washing machines are full before being switched on, or using the ‘half-full’ setting where available, it can also help your business be as efficient as possible.
It's also worth making sure water heaters are turned off when premises are out of use; for example, during holidays and at weekends, as this will also help to reduce energy and water use.
We offer a wide range of affordable and effective water efficiency products, including tap flow restrictors, aerated shower heads and automatic tap sensors, through our online shop. All of these products are easy to install and will help to ensure you’re using water as efficiently as possible.
4. Support your colleagues to use water wisely
Another important step is ensuring your colleagues are also aware of the impact water use can have on your businesses’ utility bills. By educating your colleagues about the importance of using water wisely you can help ensure everyone is playing their part to be as efficient as possible – while providing helpful tips that they can apply at home too. To help, we’ve created a number of free online resources including our workplace posters and a water efficiency colleague presentation and quiz.
We’re here to help
We’re committed to helping our customers reduce their water. In the past year alone we’ve saved our customers:
- Over £31million in water efficiency and energy efficiency savings,
- Over 7million m3 of water, the equivalent of 2,858 Olympic sized swimming pools, and
- £15million through customer discounts
Find out more about how to save money on water and energy by visiting our ‘Ways to save’ webpage. Whether you’re new to Business Stream or you’ve been with us a while, there are plenty of ways we can help you save time and money through managing your water services.
Alternatively, if you’d like to speak to one of our friendly, expert advisers to discuss ways to save on your water consumption and reduce your costs, get in touch here.