Shower savings

Shower savings

With increasing pressure on households to reduce their water usage and mitigate rising bills, greater emphasis is now placed on products that restrict water use. Steve Saunders offers an insight into the environmental role of the shower and explains why an eco friendly option doesn’t have to compromise performance.
When the Energy Saving Trust (EST) published its ‘At home with water’ report earlier this year, it positioned the shower as the biggest water user in the house, which was to be expected given that every member of the family is likely to spend time in the shower most days. With this observation in mind, installers should consider the market for eco showers a significant opportunity as homeowners become increasingly aware of the measures they can take to minimise water bills and their impact on the environment.
There are several top tips installers should consider when the opportunity arises to fit an eco solution in a customer’s bathroom.
Encourage the homeowner to drop any preconceptions
Arguably, one of the main reasons we don’t see an eco shower fitted in every home in the UK is the preconceived idea that reduced water use means reduced performance. This assumption is certainly far from the truth.
The latest generation of eco showers are capable of limiting flow rate to a maximum of six litres per minute while still delivering an enjoyable showering experience. By its very nature, a shower does not use as much water as a bath; however, we regularly see instances where one household might have multiple showers. This makes it even more important to ensure that water efficiency measures of some kind are implemented.
When it comes to showering and the opportunity to manage water usage, flow rates are a key consideration. The industry – including Triton – has been quick to react to this demand for water saving solutions by developing a number of eco showers. These showers are not only for those homeowners with a desire to increase their green credentials or save money but also to allow installers to work within the requirements of the Code for Sustainable Homes for the new build sector.
Consider the Code
Housebuilders and developers are now encouraged to aim for Levels 5 and 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, which brings with it a requirement to ensure that the maximum consumption of potable water is no more than 80 litres per person per day. Naturally, these demanding performance targets require the developer to think carefully about how they manage water use which is where shower choice has a huge role to play.
Using built-in flow limiter devices can reduce the flow rate to around 6 litres per minute without compromising on performance. Placing this in context, a 5 minute shower using an eco product would consume just 30 litres of water. Under the requirements of the Building Regulations Part G, which sets a whole building standard of 125 litres per person per day for domestic buildings, this leaves 95 litres available for uses such as the washing machine, dishwasher and other household appliances.
Triton’s T80Z Fast-Fit Eco is a great example of a product that combines full installation flexibility with an eco friendly flow rate. Incorporating the latest Swing-Fit technology, the T80Z Fast-Fit Eco offers left or right hand electric connections, while Swivel-Fit technology accommodates water connections from either the left or the right hand side of the unit. This combination means installers can benefit from the ultimate replacement solution while offering an eco friendly option.
Play the numbers game
Selling the benefits of an eco shower can often prove simple when the customer is presented with tangible cost savings. In order to do this, an assessment of the household’s occupants and their water use should be conducted. Showering habits such as frequency and duration need to be considered from the outset.
Whether working within the framework of the Code for Sustainable Homes or not, being able to assess the cumulative water use of a property’s inhabitants will allow the installer to explain how much an eco shower is likely to be able to save. Ultimately, money talks, and this is likely to be the biggest driver for a homeowner investing in a green technology.
Offer adaptability for end-users
For those customers who remain sceptical of the benefits a dedicated eco shower can bring, there are a number of electric showers on the market that feature a water saving or eco option that can be switched on or off depending on user preference. In addition, Triton’s T150Z thermostatic electric shower was introduced with an adjustable timed shutdown feature, which allows end users to limit their water use by instructing the shower to turn itself off after a predetermined period.
Adaptability doesn’t have to be confined to new installations either as there are options available to adapt the performance of an existing shower. For example, if a customer is keen to reduce their water usage but doesn’t have the required budget to upgrade their shower, an eco shower head can be used to reduce water usage. This is one quick, easy, and affordable way to enhance green credentials without completely replacing the shower.
As household bills continue to increase, interest in the ways homeowners can save money will grow. It is important installers are poised to use this to their advantage.