When you’re getting ready to install or upgrade plumbing fixtures, you have a lot of factors to consider—style, fit and functionality to name a few. But there’s another consideration that should be top of mind for any product that’s tied into your water system: Does it carry the WaterSense label?
Whether you’re in a drought-affected region or not, water conservation is important. Here are a few reasons why:
- Saving water saves you money on your water bills.
- Since it takes energy to heat water, conserving water can also reduce your energy bills.
- Clean water is a limited resource. Cutting back on your water use helps prevent water shortages in your community—both now and in the future.
And it’s now easier than ever to ensure that you’re doing your part to reduce water usage—just look for the WaterSense label.
What does the WaterSense label mean?
When a product carries the WaterSense label, you can be sure it’s water-efficient. In order to be approved to use the label, products need to be certified to meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) standards for both performance and water efficiency. That means that you’re not going to be sacrificing on comfort or effectiveness by choosing more efficient products.
Replacing older, inefficient toilets with newer, WaterSense certified models can save the average household around 13,000 gallons of water per year. That’s around $140 per year, or nearly $3,000 over the life of the toilets.
Showers are responsible for almost 17 percent of indoor water use in homes. Standard showerheads flow at a rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM). WaterSense showerheads cut that flow rate down to a maximum of 2.0 GPM while providing a similar or better shower experience than standard models. Switching to WaterSense-certified showerheads can save the average family 2,700 gallons per year—not to mention the 330 kilowatt hours of electricity they’ll save on water heating costs. That’s enough electricity to power an entire house for 11 days! Columbia Gas of Virgina offers instant rebates on a wide variety of WaterSense showerheads.
You can cut your sink’s water flow by 30 percent or more—without affecting performance—by installing WaterSense-labeled faucets and accessories (like aerators). If every home in the United States replaced older faucets with these more efficient fixtures, the country could save $1.3 billion on water costs each year. That’s 700 gallons of water per year, per household. Faucets and aerators are a low-dollar investment, making this a super-affordable way to tackle a big problem. Columbia Gas of Virgina offers instant rebates on a wide variety of WaterSense aerators.
We’ve talked about indoor water hogs, but the average household uses 30 percent of its water outdoors. In hotter and drier climates, that percentage is even higher. Unfortunately, much of the water used outdoors is wasted due to inefficient irrigation systems. WaterSense-labeled irrigation systems—including controllers and sprinkler hardware—can drastically increase efficiency. In fact, if all homes in the country got on board with efficient irrigation systems, we’d save 31 billion gallons of water each year—that’s a savings of nearly 5,600 gallons of water and $60 per household per year! Utility Name offers instant rebates on a wide variety of WaterSense outdoor water products.
For more information about the WaterSense program—and to find rebates available to help make upgrading more affordable—visit the EPA’s WaterSense website. To shop for WaterSense-labeled products, click here.