By reducing the amount of hot water you use in and around your home, you could reduce your energy bill. It’s great for the environment, too.
Water is a precious resource here in Australia, we can all do our bit to reduce everyday consumption and help protect our part of the planet. Beyond the environment, there are good bottom-line reasons to use less water at home, as you could save money on both your water bill and energy bill.
The big picture with saving water
Think about how water gets from the local reservoir to your house. Energy is involved, no doubt. Whether it’s to treat the water or to pump it to your home, the nation’s water corporations use energy to provide you with a safe and steady supply of H2O.
If you would like to contribute and play a part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, you can start by using less water at home. Unless, of course, you collect your own water in a rain tank – in which case your water is emission-free.
Once the water gets to your house, the main culprit from an energy consumption perspective is hot water. Heating up water consumes energy. How much? It depends on the type of hot water system you use and your hot water habits.
How using less hot water saves energy
In Australia, the average household uses about 25% of its total energy consumption on heating up water.1 That’s one quarter of your energy bill, spent on hot water.
Say your annual energy bill is $1500. Using the average above, you’d be spending $375 each year heating up water. If you halved the amount of hot water you use – and perhaps change the way you heat that hot water – you could save significantly in the long run.
There are some easy fixes and behavioural changes you can make to reduce your hot water consumption. You might also want to think about investing in a more energy-efficient hot water system, like solar.
Can solar hot water heaters help?
Solar hot water systems, which harness free energy from the sun, could help to lower your energy bills in the long run (as long as you live somewhere that gets plenty of sunshine).
Depending on the model you choose and your local climate, a solar hot water system could provide up to 90% of your home’s hot water.2 Think about how much that could slice off your energy bill each year.
Solar hot water systems typically come with a gas or electric booster to top up the hot water on cloudy days or when you’re using more hot water than usual. So you’ll still pay for some energy consumption. Plus, solar hot water systems generally cost more to buy and install, so you need to weigh up these costs when calculating long-term cost savings.
The final word
There is a link between water usage and energy consumption. By reducing the amount of hot water you use in your home – or by switching to an energy-efficient system for heating up water – you could lower your annual energy bills.
- “Water Heating | Energy Rating.” http://www.energyrating.gov.au/products/water-heaters. Accessed 25 July 2018.
- “Water Heater Calculator | South Australia Government.” https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/energy-and-environment/using-saving-energy/water-heaters/water-heater-calculator. Accessed 21 May 2019.