Water bills are tricky, so much of the costs relates to the infrastructure more so than the actual usage costs, making it often a tricky place to save money. That said there are other reasons for reducing water usage other than saving money. Maybe you’re using tank water as your supply and thus rely on a finite amount of water, or maybe you prefer to use an environmentally sustainable amount of water.
As with all Cutting Cost tips you may find that not all of the tips offered suit you or your lifestyle but I’d rather be thorough with listing tips in the greatest hope of helping the most amount of people. Adopting even one of these tips will hopefully help you reduce some of your expenses.
- Collect water while waiting for hot water to come through the system. Once the habit is formed its easy to remember to have a container ready for collecting the cold water while awaiting the hot water to come through before having a shower or doing the dishes. Most times I collect around 2L of water which provides plenty of drinking water for myself throughout the day. I don’t tend to drink the water collected while waiting for the shower to warm up because our older taps imbue a coppery taste. Instead I use that water for filling up the cistern after flushing the toilet.
Saving = 2-4L/day 14-28L/Week 728-1456L/year
Potential yearly saving=$2.55-$5.11
- Collect and redistribute grey water. This tip can be dependent on your location as some local councils don’t allow grey water usage. Grey water is considered water that has previously been used, it’s things like your bath or laundry water which can be reused particularly in the garden. Utilising grey water does need to be done with caution as the detergents used may be detrimental to the environment. Grey water is great for helping keep your lawn green but caution is recommended if you decide to use it for watering fruit or vegetable crops.
Saving = 70-980L/week 3,640-50,000L/year (calculated from efficient model with once a week runtime up to a less water efficient model and daily washing)
Potential yearly saving= $12.77-$175.50
- Reduce your shower time. If reducing the amount of time spent in the shower isn’t feasible, can you turn the taps off while soaping up? We have a shower inside a bathtub allowing me to collect the water for Little Mister to have his bath at the same time I shower.
Saving= 7L/minute 49-98L(or even more time reduced)/week 2,548-5,096
Potential yearly savings=$8.94-$17.88 per person (5 person household could be up to $89 saving or more per year)
- Turn that tap off when you don’t need it. This is the basic advice – you don’t need the tap running while you are brushing your teeth for example.
Savings= 5L/minute 140-280L/week 7,280-14,560L/year
Potential yearly savings=$25.55-$51.10
- Check for leaks. Check your water meter and jot down the number it is at. Then use no water for an hour and recheck the number – if it has increased you likely have a leak somewhere. Sometimes this isn’t a feasible means of checking, for example if you are reliant on tank water or live in older units with a shared meter.
Potential yearly savings=$18.25-$91.26
- Install water efficient appliances. Washing machines, shower heads, toilet cisterns and taps all have more water efficient counterparts. Whilst the initial outlay may seem counterproductive, they will make their cost back over time due to the difference in savings from water (and possibly electricity) bills.
Savings=2L/min 14-28L/week 728-1,456L/year or more if multiple appliances are installed. Added benefit – if you are renting out a property water efficient appliances are required in order to pass the water usage charges onto the tenants.
Potential yearly savings $2.55-$5.11
- Don’t buy bottled water. Not quite a water bill slashing idea as it will add extra usage to your bill – however comparatively a 600ml bottle of water usually costs between $1-$3 depending on where you buy it. 600mls of water will set you back approximately 0.002c and also will help you reduce your footprint on the environment.
Savings = environment and loads of $$
Potential yearly savings = $1,092-$3,276 based on 3 bottles (1.8L) per day.
So while individually it is seemingly a minor reduction in the bills – from a worst case scenario it’s possible to save up to $365 off your yearly total – or almost $100 per quarter – and up to $3,500 if you stop buying disposable water bottles and instead invest in a decent reusable water bottle. Not to mention the benefits the above tips would all have on the environment long term.