Save energy while showering
August 14, 2012
Did you know that 17 percent of indoor household water use occurs in the shower? Then consider the savings potential by installing efficient showerheads in lodging properties like hotels and condos.
Without sacrificing performance, it's easy and inexpensive to start saving water, energy and money.
On average, a five-minute shower with a standard showerhead uses about 12 gallons of water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household could save more than 2,300 gallons per year by installing WaterSense labeled shower fixtures. Because these water savings will reduce demands on water heaters, households also will save energy. In fact, a household could save 300 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power its TV for about a year.
A lot has changed in showerhead technology in the past few years, and those who may have been disappointed by the earlier low-flow models have reason to give the new ones another chance. Now, the WaterSense third-party rating system takes much of the guesswork out of finding a fixture that performs well and suits your needs. All WaterSense logoed showerheads deliver 2.0 gallons per minute (gpm) or less at a range of pressures up to 80 psi. This represents a 20 percent reduction in showerhead flow rate over the current federal standard of 2.5 gpm. Before achieving certification, performance is tested using criteria such as flow rate, spray force and coverage. There are many types and prices to choose from, and most are easy to install. Simple math shows the return on investment to be promising.
The result: a luxurious shower experience, dramatically reduced water usage, energy savings and lower electricity and water costs.
Don't forget that faucets also can be equipped with aerators and/or automatic shutoff sensors to provide significant savings.
Lyn Halliday is an environmental scientist and owner of Environmental Solutions Unltd. She consults locally on environmental issues and was instrumental in the development of the Steamboat Springs Water Conservation Plan.