Want to save a few hundred pounds a year and help conserve a scare resource? Want to give less of your money to a big company and keep more yourself? Simple! Just think about water. And specifically, think about getting a water meter.
Why should I get a water meter?
Over the years I watched in amazement as my annual water bill went up and up and up again. In one year it was £237. Then £247 the next. The one after that there was a giant leap to £304. As I live alone, shower in my health club most mornings and work abroad three months of the year, I thought something was not right.
Then a plumber friend told me to have a water meter installed. But this wasn’t straightforward. First I had to register for an Optional Metering Scheme, which involved phone calls and paperwork. Then I had to wait for three months. But it was worth it.
“When the water meter man arrived he extolled the virtues of the meter. He was a man who loved his job. He told me that “This meter will make you very aware of how much water you use and what it costs. You’ll not only save a lot of money, but you’ll find yourself using less because you will think of water differently.”
He was right. My annual bill went from £304.00 to £96.00, for starters. Over two hundred pounds less! And I started paying attention to how I used water.”
How to save water
Here are a few ways you can save water:
- When cleaning you teeth, turn off the tap. Every minute you leave the tap on wastes 6 litres of water
- Put a few bricks or a Save-a-flush in your toilet cistern to save up to a litre per flush
- Shower rather than bathe. That can saves hundreds a litres a week
- Fix dripping taps to save dozens more litres a week
- Keep water in the fridge, meaning you won’t have to run the tap for ages to get a cold drink
- Make sure you have a full load in your washing machine. The average wash needs about 95 litres. A full load uses less water than 2 half loads.
- When you boil an egg, save the cooled water for your houseplants. This also gives them nutrients released from the shell
- Only fill your kettle for your needs, not to the brim. This will reduce your fuel bills too
- The dirty water after cleaning a fish tank is great for your houseplants, and is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus
- When you buy a new washing machine or dishwasher, choose the new water efficient variety with an A rating
Finally (after you stop boring your friends with the tale of how you saved money with your water meter!) enjoy it by spending wisely or saving it.
Also, spare a thought for people who can only dream of turning on a tap to have clean water. You might want to send a celebratory contribution to one of the charities that help provide water to the developing world. Check out www.wateraid.org.uk
This is a guest blog from journalist Tira Shubart
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