Selling water efficiency

Selling water efficiency

A lack of understanding about water usage among homeowners means that they often are not as aware of the differences that water saving products can make to their bills as they perhaps should be. By making good use of statistics and possible savings, installers can educate and convince customers on the benefits.
With the housing market slowing all the time, an increasing number of homeowners will be looking to improve and update their existing properties rather than moving on, which will create opportunities for bathroom installers to find new work.
Plumbing work still remains an area that few DIY enthusiasts will take on themselves due to the technical nature of the work, and potential risk of leaks if it goes wrong. With this in mind, pro-active installers should expect to capitalise on this common viewpoint.
Undertaking work when fitting or refurbishing a new bathroom presents the ideal opportunity to influence the homeowners’ decisions and encourage them to install water efficient products where possible. For many, this will be a new concept but the increasingly popular idea of energy efficiency throughout the home should enable an initial conversation.
Making savings add up
As many as 45% of properties in the UK are currently on a water meter and it’s expected that this figure will continue to rise. One of the best approaches will be to highlight the potential financial savings that can be made through simple options such as fitting a dual flush WC.
For example, within the iflo Capra range, there are WCs that provide 6/3 litres per flush compared to a traditional ‘Victorian’ single flush WC, which uses 13 litres of water every time it’s a flushed. This means that fitting a WC with dual flush cistern capacity of 6/3 litres can offer savings of up to 60 litres per day for the average household.
In fact, it’s worth letting customers know that it’s possible to request a water meter and that water companies are obliged to fit them free of charge (except in Scotland) unless its justifiably impractical. In some circumstances – especially if they are fitting water saving measures – it may be worth discussing this option with your customers in order to maximise any reductions in overall usage.
Research has shown that as much as 70% of domestic water usage is from the bathroom, making it an ideal place to concentrate when looking to make savings – both in terms of money and water. Once customers are made aware of these figures and the alternative products that are available, it becomes easier for them to decide on more efficient options. Often, it can simply be a case of people underestimating the amount of water that they are actually using – and only when this is made apparent does it become possible to convince them that changes should be made.
Interestingly, a recent report reinforced this view by highlighting that although a high percentage of homeowners admitted that they were conscious of the amount of water they were using on a daily basis, many were worryingly oblivious to how much that actually was. Waterwise – the leading authority on water efficiency in the UK – estimates that the average daily usage is 150 litres per day; yet many of those questioned wrongly believed that they use just a fifth of that.
In reality, it is unsurprising that people have little concept of their water usage, meaning that having the statistics to hand can make a powerful selling tool for the installer. Knowing simple facts – such as a running tap uses five litres of water per minute or the average shower (lasting eight minutes) uses over 60 litres of water, will not only make an installer seem informed but will put wastage into context for the customer. Informative sites such as www.waterwise.org and www.bathroom-association.org are valuable resources to bring in useful facts and figures to a conversation with a homeowner.
Maintaining performance
A popular concern among customers is that fitting water-saving products will impact performance – but new technological developments are making this an increasingly redundant viewpoint.
For example, by using an iflo eco-click tap with two flow rates, the resistance within the unit means that it is natural to open it to the water efficient setting, but it can be simply clicked into a more upright position for increased flow, meaning that there is the potential to save up to 32 litres of water per day.
Having established that it is very possible for customers to reduce their water usage, it is essential that as a pro-active bathroom installer, you’re able to introduce the right products to achieve the necessary savings. As already discussed, choosing to install dual flush WCs is a very simple and straightforward way to reduce the amount of water that is wasted in a home.
However, it is also possible to replace taps, showers and even baths to ensure that the bathroom can become as efficient as possible. This is all done without impacting on style or performance, which is so crucial for people looking to invest time and money in to improving their homes.

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