Coming from Manchester, infamous for its rainfall although factually not the wettest place in England, it used to puzzle me when North West Water as was (United Utilities as is) brought in hose pipe bans during the summers of my youth! The areas where I used to do weekend walking as a child with my family were scattered with reservoirs full to the brim!
Rainfall over the last 20 years has varied greatly but there is no trend upwards. Population however continues to increase meaning water companies have to work hard to ensure our most precious of resources is readily available to homes, businesses and industry.
Many are quick to criticise water companies for not doing enough to reduce wastage from leaks but surely we all have a responsibility not to waste water both from a domestic and commercial perspective.
Not only are there environmental benefits to saving water but clearly there are financial benefits with commercial water prices rising year on year.
There are a host of organisations offering advice and hacks on reducing water usage including
Eden Project (www.edenproject.com/learn/for-everyone/water-saving-tips)
Water Wise (www.waterwise.org.uk/save-water)
Here are a few of my favourite tips
At home :
Cut down on your shower time – if every home in the UK took one minute off their daily shower, collectively we would save £215mn a year
Cistern Displacement Devices – simple but effective in reducing the amount of water used to flush the toilet and usually available free from your water supplier
In the workplace :
Water saving devices such as automatic or sensor taps – because of the frequency of use of water fittings in commercial premises, the payback on water saving devices is typically a lot shorter than in the home
Education – make sure everyone in the workplace is effectively a water monitor to report leaks, turn off running taps, only boiling the water they actually need in the kettle
In April 2017, the structure of the industry changed and businesses in England were free to select their preferred retailer in a similar way as they select an electricity supplier by entering into a fixed duration contract. The difference currently from energy is that all retailers must charge the same wholesale rates. The variances (and potential savings) and in the mark up or “retail fee”.
My own experience is that savings for those in bands 1, 2 and 3 are minimal but in the higher bands savings of 3 – 5% are achievable. I expect the savings to increase in the medium to long term as the market becomes more competitive.
If you are a business owner and would like quotes for a business water contract or indeed any advice on water-saving ideas, just contact me.