Archive for March, 2010
Installing water efficient fixtures can definitely bring in savings over the long term, for your pocket as well as the planet. Water efficient toilets save close to 4000 gallons of water per year and water efficient faucets and showerheads too, save large amounts of water as compared to conventional fixtures. However, that is not all. Most water boards and utility providers also offer you rebates on water efficient products.
The amount of rebate depends on the type of product you buy, your water board or utility provider and where you live. For instance products and accessories marked with the EPA’s Watersense label are eligible for rebate in almost all states. A list of utility specific rebates available can be found on the EPA’s Watersense website, here.
What if you’re not buying a WaterSense labelled product? There are quite a few other reputed manufacturer that offer great products and services at the residential, commercial and community level to help reduce water consumption and energy savings. For instance American Standard has been manufacturing products and services to help tackle water scarcity since the past 100 years. Their rebates page offers an exhaustive list of states where you can make savings + get your money back.
Depending on your geographic location, your county, district or state will have their local authorities and programs that work at water conservation. These partner with local water suppliers, manufacturers and state authorities to offer attractive discounts on water efficient products, systems as well as rebates. Check the websites of your local utility provider to know more about how you can save water, save energy as well as money.
According to certain estimations, the average person flushes 35 gallons of water down the toilet, everyday. Considering you’re a family of four or more, you can safely presume that nothing less than 300 gallons of water are being used just to flush toilets, other uses of water notwithstanding. Although water is not really expensive in the US (so far) it’s only a matter of time before we begin to feel the pinch. And the ironic part is: despite the fact that it is as cheap as it is, no amount of money can buy or create water, when it’s gone, it’s gone.
So what can we do to prevent this bleak situation? Get new toilets. Conventional toilets use about 5 gallons of water per flush, significantly more than the new toilets, which use about 1.6 gallons. Going by that estimate, you can save phenomenal amounts of water, anywhere between 8000 to 20000 gallons a year, depending on your current usage. This translates into some nifty savings on cash too, upto $100 per year.
The 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) limit is the newest upper limit enforced by the EPA for toilets, which means there are also toilets that use lesser amount of water, some even lesser than 1 gpf. Many homeowners worry that such ‘low-flow’ toilets will also be low on efficiency. However the latest generation of toilets are high on efficiency while being low on water consumption. Watersense labeled toilets are some of the best you can find today in this category.
Cost is another factor that bothers many homeowners when we suggest low-flow high efficiency toilets. Although these toilets are expensive than normal toilets, the annual savings on water bills pretty much offset the initial costs. In fact, according to certain estimations, the ROI on water efficient toilets is about 50%. Altogether, this makes water efficient toilets a very sensible option if you’re going to remodel your bathroom.
Saving water is more often than not, the introductory phrase to environmental awareness. Ask anyone how they plan to save the environment and “Turn off the tap while brushing” is on their list of top three ways. However, saving water and using it efficiently is one of the most basic ways in which we can ensure our homes are green. While most of us will conscientiously try and maintain water saving habits in the house and encourage others to do so, a lot of water wastage happens in other, not so obvious ways. Therefore, while remodeling homes we often ask homeowners to look beyond turning their taps off to replacing them altogether with water efficient taps.
A sure-shot way of looking for faucets that can help save water is to look for EPA’s ‘Watersense’ label, a certification given to bathroom fixtures and accessories that use minimum water, no more than 1.6 gallons per minute, as per federal regulations. The Watersense label, a program by EPA, is an independent third party certification given to products that clear the strict federal requirements.
Water efficient bathroom fixtures are not just limited to faucet, they also extend to showerheads that provide the comfort, and ‘feel’ of a regular shower head while using only a fraction of the water. In fact, there is a range of products that have the Watersense label and can greatly limit your water usage and wastage. These products cost a little more than the regular products, however, are worth it when you consider their quality and reliability as well as efficiency and lifetime value. Replacing your current fixtures with water efficient, or even better, Watersense fixtures is bound to bring in large savings in your annual water bill. To know exactly how much, you can use the savings calculator on the EPA’s Watersense website.