Water Meters

Water Meters

Whether you live alone in a flat or share a house, you can start saving serious money with a water meter. It’s cost- and hassle free – your water company will install it at no charge – and you could significantly cut your annual bill.

Why install a water meter?

Water Meter's the way forward?

Why is my water company installing water meters?

There are two reasons why you should consider installing a water meter where you live: environmental and financial.

Environmental

As you’re probably aware, tap water comes from either beneath the ground or from the UK’s rivers. Since as nation we’re abstracting too much that isn’t being replaced by rainfall – owing to climate change – this will have an adverse effect on the levels and habitats of rivers and lakes.

Financial

This is simple: with a water meter, you’re only charged for the water you use – in the same way as for the gas and electricity. Why pay for other people’s use, which is what happens when you pay water rates which are based on an average, little more than a guess at how much you use.

Environmental + Financial = Perfect Sense

Installing a water meter won’t cost you anything, but will make you more aware of how much water you use – and therefore save you money. According to the Environment Agency, installing a water metersaves between 5% and 15% on total water use. And people with water meters are more likely to have an idea of their consumption than those without.

When to install a water meter

Under the rates system, the amount you pay for water is based on the rateable value of your home in England and Wales, or your council tax band if you live in Scotland. These rates also include a standing charge to cover customer services, such as billing. You may therefore pay more – or less – than the amount of water you actually use.

Bear in mind that in general, water meters will raise your awareness about usage – and therefore contribute to greater water efficiency.

How to get a water meter

All water meter installations are free – due to Government legislation. So, provided it’s neither impracticable nor uneconomic, companies must fit a water meter within 3 months of your application.

So make a difference – save water and save money by calling your water company today. Once you have your water meter, you can then save even more with our water-saving products.

Images of Wonderful Water

Gallery

This gallery contains 20 photos.

SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE PICS SO FAR: We’re now two weeks into our ‘Wonderful Water’ photo competition, an amateur photography competition designed to raise awareness for the Gorilla Organization who work building water filtration systems in central Africa. The winner will … Continue reading

Wise Watering Tips to make your Garden Bloom!

Summer is here and that means more time in the garden but not necessarily more time out watering plants. The sun has been out shining this week so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to remind you of some of the ways you can reduce your water use in the garden. Not only is this good for the environment, but if you are on a meter, good for your wallet as well.

Water saving starts right from when you are planning your garden. Mike Peacock, water resources manager for Affinity Water states

“It’s important to choose plants that thrive in dry conditions, such as lavender, marigolds and cornflowers so look for the full sun symbol on the plant labels when buying new plants as this indicates their tolerance to dry conditions. When planting try to make the most of moisture by adding a layer of tree bark, gravel or compost to keep the sun off the soil; this will help retain the moisture in the soil.”

And for those of you who’s gardens are already planted and coming into bloom here are a few tips to make you all into super-efficient water saving gardeners

  • Make sure your lawnmower is set to a higher setting (approx. 4cm) this will help develop thicker grass which will trap early morning dew and reduces evaporation.
  •  Watering in the midday sun will mean more evaporation, try to water in the early morning or during the evening
  • Move your hanging baskets and containers to shady areas of the garden where possible
  • A few gel crystals mixed in with your compost are a great way of retaining water in pots and planters.
  •  If your planting trees or other plants that have deep roots consider burying a short length of pipe alongside your plant; then if you water into the tube the water goes directly to the roots where the plant needs it most.
  • Water butts are a great way of storing unused rain water for a later date and if you are on a water meter, they will save you money.

For more on our great range of drought resistant plants that will help you achieve the look you want, without spending all day and night in the garden watering check out our outdoors section.

http://www.savewatersavemoney.co.uk/section/outdoors

Gardening Tips that will Save you Water

A few tips to save you water while working in the Garden

 

 

WATER SAVING, CAN IT BE AS EASY AS CHILDS PLAY?

Here at SaveWaterSaveMoney.co.uk we’re continuously shouting from the roof tops about  water efficiency and using water effectively. We’ve always found saving water to be fun but are aware that this isn’t necessarily everyone’s view! So we’re glad of a current trend that appears to be sweeping the world, water saving games. World Water Day which took place on March 22nd began the International Year of Water Co-operation and what better way to co-operate than playing with your friends?

Water saving is 'Gaming' the answer?

Water saving is 'Gaming' the answer?

In areas of the world as different as Colombia and India groups of school children and villagers are gathering for ‘Games Nights’. Simulating real-life decision making on how to use water effectively for their villages as a whole. These are not decisions that can be made in isolation as there is a finite amount of fresh water to go around. These games are being promoted to improve collective water management by a collection of academic bodies including the Foundation for Ecological Security in India, Universidad de los Andes in Colombia and Arizona State University.

For example in India groups of five men and five women from each village must choose what to grow throughout a year’s seasons with an eye toward their chosen crops’ water requirements. If growing strategies use too much groundwater, the game ends—similar to real life where groundwater tables are falling, and the cost of pumping irrigation water is rising.

Here in the UK Paula Owen consulting, someone we’ve mentioned here before, has been leading the way in this area with SE2 a sustainability ‘leadership led’ schools project to bring sustainability and water efficiency to the school children of the UK through ‘gamification’ the new buzz word in eco-efficiency.

Our opinion is this can only bring positive results. Whichever way you look at it water management and water efficiency is only going to become more important, not just here in the UK, but across the globe. Anything that can promote the sustainable use of this most precious of resources in a fun and entertaining way is definitely a positive sign for the future.

Why are water efficient shower heads not suitable for electric showers?

 

At Save Water Save Money we always aim to offer tips on how to save water and affordable water efficient products to help our customers conserve water. However with most of our water efficient showerheads we advise that they are not suitable for electric showers. Why? There are two main reasons.

Firstly, electric showers have to heat water from the cold supply up to a comfortable shower temperature (about 40 degrees centigrade), which takes a lot of energy. Even at a rating of 7.5-10 kilowatts this means that electric showers can only handle a relatively low flow of water through them, from 3-9 litres per minute, with an average flow of 6 litres per minute. Since most water efficient showerheads and flow regulators are set to a flow rate of 7.5-8 litres per minute there are no savings to be made by fitting these to an electric shower.

Secondly, there have been concerns about possible damage to showers due to any flow restriction devices.

So, electric showers already fall into the “water efficient” range, which is great to know. However, at 7.5-10 kilowatts electric showers use electricity faster than any other electrical item in the home. One unit of electricity (one kilowatt hour) will power a 40 watt light bulb for 24 hours. It would only power a 10 kW electric shower for 6 minutes. So, even with an electric shower, saving water through shorter showers will also save money and electricity.

You can see our full range of electric showers starting at just £118.90 at

http://www.savewatersavemoney.co.uk/section/bathroom-shower-and-bath

Electric Showers

To go Electric...?

 

 

WHY WATER SAVING SHOULD BE BIG BUSINESS

Well today is the 20th Anniversary of World Water Day. An idea formed from a UN Environmental conference held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992.  Over the years there have been various different themes on topics as varied as ‘Groundwater – The Invisible Resource’ in 1998 to ‘Water and Food Security: The World is Thirsty Because We are Hungry’ last year.

Today Save Water Save Money has been supporting WaterAid to promote the plight of the 743million people around the world that still do not have access to clean water and sanitation. We are giving 10% of profits from today to support their work in the developing world along with The Gorilla Organization.

But in this article I wanted to talk to you about some of the less highlighted water crises around the world, it’s not just the global south that suffers from droughts and water shortages. Saving Water is becoming more crucial in areas of the world where we have previously taken this critical resource for granted.

The United States (one of the largest users of water, per capita, in the world) is being ravaged by drought, which has laid waste to much of the Corn Belt, driving up grain prices and causing sleepless nights for farmers. And the situation does not look like improving any time soon, on Thursday NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) warned that the hot, dry conditions are unlikely to ease before the middle of this year. The cost of the drought is estimated at above $50bn, greater than the economic damage caused by hurricane Sandy1.

In 2003, Australia began the worst drought on record, not only did this devastate farming but forced city’s like Melbourne into punishing restrictions on water usage. The drought officially ended on 27th April 2012. By this point the Federal Government had spent $4.5 Billion in drought assistance2. Not a small chunk of change

Is there enough water to go around?
Is there enough water to go around?

And the fault cannot all be placed at the door of climate change. One of the biggest problems facing the world in the 21st Century is our love of a juicy steak! As the world gets richer we’re all eating more meat and the planet is struggling to keep up with our growing demand for water. It’s not just farming, by some estimates producing a new set of tyres uses over 10,000 litres of water3.

And the moral of the story, water is going to become more valuable across the world. It’s a precious resource and should be treated as such.

So next time your brushing your teeth, make sure you don’t leave the tap running!

 

SOURCES

1)      http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/21/noaa-outlook-drought-worse-2013

2)      http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/minister-declares-end-of-drought-20120427-1xpgi.html

3)      http://thegoodhuman.com/2012/04/02/how-much-water-does-it-take

How to Prevent Burst Pipes

 

Preventing burst or frozen pipes

Brrrrrr. It’s been a pretty mild winter so far but temperatures are starting to take a tumble and the first shoots of spring are still a long way off. We recommend you take some time out from snuggling up in the warmth to prepare you and your family against a frozen or burst pipe. Use our burst pipe prevention check list to protect your home.

Burst Pipe Prevention Check List

1. First of all you should look at what insulation you already have – take a close look at your pipework, cistern and tanks.

Pipe Lagging - Summary

If your pipes aren’t insulated then invest in a quality, waterproof foam lagging. Armaflex Pipe Lagging  makes a good choice – it’s easy to install, lightweight and flexible.

2. Regularly check that all stop taps and valves are working as they should be. You should find your main stop tap where the pipework enters your house.

Ideally you should label all your stop taps and valves so that you can locate them easily in an emergency.

3. Even really well insulated pipes can freeze in a prolonged cold snap. The best solution in a really icy spell is to isolate and drain down external pipe work, outside taps and any exposed plumbing.

Call in a professional

If you’ve still got problems, we suggest that you contact a local plumber for their expert help and advice.

You can search for an approved local plumber on the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering’s website or here.

 Get stocked up for winter

We’ve got a great range of winter products including lagging, plant jackets, tap guards and even sledges for when the white stuff finally arrives.

Ideas for fun and games in the bath

Saving water is a hot topic on our blog for obvious reasons, but while we save water we like to have some fun too and what better for place for children to make a splash than the bath?

Bath time gives children the chance to burn off the last of their energy before bedtime and it’s a chance for parents to join in the fun, especially if you can live with getting soaked in the process.

Over on our BathBuoy website we have lots of downloadable colouring sheets like this one based on our Penguin Island BathBuoy. Simply print off and share with your children and if your little artist is particularly pleased with their work then you can send it to us and we’ll pop it onto our gallery.

When it’s time to wash the felt tip pen from those sticky fingers here are some ideas for fun and games in the bath:

  1. Children love their bath toys but they can grow tired of them quickly. Keep things fresh by rotating the toys and having some just for bath time. You can also add variety cheaply by using something from the house like a plastic kitchen utensil or containers.

    Pirates of the Tub bath toy

    These cheeky pirate are the perfectly playmates for our Pirate Island Bath Buoy

  2. Look out for educational bath toys so your children can learn while they play. Your toddler will have hours of fun playing with something simple like plastic cups in different sizes and colours.  It’s a chance for you to join in and play at pouring, filling and emptying too. Your child will be happy playing and without knowing it they will be introduced to cause and effect, shapes and colours, as well as working on their motor skills.
  3. Popping bubbles is a fantastic bath time game to play with the kids. You can blow the bubbles and your child can practise clapping their hands together to pop them. Give your toddler’s ever expanding vocabulary a helping hand by asking your child to point to a big or small bubble and play at catching them before they fall into the bath water.
  4. Get in a lather! Mix some tear-free bubble bath to the water and enjoy some role play by creating a beard Father Christmas would be proud of. Or you could encourage your budding artist to create a masterpiece with shaving cream or foam on the side of the bath tub.
  5. Could your child be the next Banksy? Suspend the rules and give your toddler some freedom to play and create artwork away from the usual boundaries. Use bath finger paints and pens, reusable stickers and foam shapes that stick to the bath’s wall.

If you found this useful then you’ll be pleased to know we’re putting together another blog post with even more suggestions for fun and games at bath time. Keep your eyes peeled – we’ll be publishing it soon!

If you’re feeling inspired by our ideas then take a look at our fabulous range of educational and fun bath toys. And of course don’t forget our innovative water saving bath toy BathBuoy with both Pirate and Penguin Islands to choose from.

How to use a hose and save water

As the summer comes to an end there are still lots of jobs to do in the garden and we still need to think about ways to save water. It helps to remember that hosepipes aren’t especially water efficient and they aren’t always the only option either.

Here are some tips to help you use less water when hosing and some water saving alternatives to the hosepipe.

Do you really need to use a hose?

  1. Instead of hosing down the patio or driveway, first dry brush to remove debris and then save water by dipping the brush in a bucket of water and attacking the grime with a wet scrub.
  2. Clean your car without water. Yes, we’re serious. Waterless Car Cleaning from Onedrywash will wash and wax your vehicle using absolutely no water. Simply spray and spread it on and then wipe off to reveal a sparkling car. It’s water efficient and works out at about £2 a wash.

Waterless Car Cleaning

3. Let your garden grow. Dormant grass only needs watering every three weeks, less if it rains. If you can’t resist mowing, use a high setting so roots stay moist in the shade.

How to use your hose and be water efficient

  1. Use a hose gun. A nozzle like our Hozelock Ultra 6 Premium is trigger operated, giving you complete control over the amount – and direction – of your watering, so you save water by only using what you need.

Hozelock Ultra 6 Premium Spray Gun 2682

There are three spray patterns to suit the job you’re doing: a powerful jet for cleaning, fast-fill for filling up buckets and fine mist for seedlings.

2. Re-use rainwater with a water butt pump. Water butts are brimming over after such a wet start to the summer and plants actually prefer this untreated water to the stuff that comes out the taps.

3. Rainperfect allows you to use a hosepipe to water your garden without attaching to the  Save water with Rainperfectmains. It’s a clever solar powered water butt pump system that uses sunshine to water your garden.

4. Become energy efficient with a hand pump pressure washer. You can fill a hand pump pressure washer from your water butt and even if you use mains water you’ll still save energy and water as it only uses 10 litres to clean a four door saloon car.

 

For more advice on how to save water in the garden take a look at our website.

Water awareness activities for kids

With the school holidays well underway we thought you might appreciate some fun activities to keep the kids entertained AND get them thinking about saving water.

1.       List as many uses for water as you can

This game is a good one for the car. Simply ask the kids to call out all the different ways they use water. Not only will it delay the inevitable ‘are we nearly there yet’ for at least five minutes, it will also start them thinking about just how much we depend on water in our daily lives.

Perhaps they can come up with some ideas for saving water while they’re staring out of the window. We’d love to hear what they come up with!

2.       Make as many words as possible from the letters savewatersavemoney

Simply challenge the children to make as many words as they can out of the letters savewatersavemoney.

3. Get their creative juices flowing with an acrostic poem

Write the words SAVE WATER vertically down the page and then brainstorm words that begin with each letter to form a poem. Don’t worry about making it rhyme and you can have as many, or as few, words on each line as you like.

4.  Describe water

OK, so we all know water is wet, but how else can you describe water? Put your kids’ imaginations and describing skills to the test by asking them: what does water taste, smell and feel like? What does it look like?  Share what they came up with on our Facebook page or here in comments.

5. Water the garden

At SaveWaterSaveMoney we believe in starting them young. Not just in enlisting the kids with the household chores but also encouraging them to think about saving water. So fill up a watering can and ask them to follow these simple water efficient watering tips:

  • Always water plants at their base and avoid the leaves
  • Dig a small moat around the outside of a plant to capture the water and help it soak through
  • Bury ice-cubes in the soil in containers to give them a cool refreshing drink