Swindon households turn off the taps to save cash during cost-of-living crisis

By Jessica Durston - 14 June 2022

CommunityHome and Garden

Research has been released by Thames Water and YouGov that more than half of adults in the South region of the UK (including Swindon) are taking steps to save water and reduce their bills.

The Thames Water and YouGov research shows eight in ten (81%) of those who have cut their water use said saving money was their main motivation to use less water.

Adults in Swindon are said to be cutting back by turning the tap off when brushing their teeth (72%), only putting the dishwasher and washing machine on when they are completely full (66%) and fixing a leaky toilet (27%).

But there is a still an opportunity for households to bring down their bills further by taking some simple steps to reduce water use. Using less water also impacts energy bills because households aren’t using as much gas or electricity to heat their water.

Thames Water is sharing its water saving tips as its survey of households in the South also found that, while almost half (46%) of those surveyed think they are already doing all they can to reduce the amount of water they use, over a third (34%) still haven’t explored the opportunity to cut back.

Andrew Tucker, Water Demand Reduction Manager at Thames Water, said: “We know that times are tight for many households at the moment, and we want to make sure all our customers can get the support they need. Heating water for showers, baths, taps and appliances adds up to be the second biggest part of the average household energy bill. Some simple, straightforward water saving actions can have a significant impact on bills, saving hundreds of pounds a year - and helping protect the environment, too.”

Thames Water have released a list of other tips for homeowners to cut down on their water use and save money:

Take shorter showers. On average, a shower uses around 10 litres of water a minute. That means a 10-minute shower can use 100 litres of water. If a family of four reduced their shower time by just one minute, they could save up to £45 on metered water bills and a further £52 on energy bills every year.

Turn off the taps. Try not to keep it flowing when you’re doing the washing up or brushing your teeth. A running tap can use six litres of water a minute. Turning off taps when not in use is a really simple way to save water at home. By turning off the tap just five seconds sooner, you’ll save half a litre!

Fix leaky loos and dripping taps. Leaky loos are usually caused by a faulty flush valve or fill valve inside your cistern tank. A leaky loo can waste an average of around 400 litres of water a day. That's equal to five full bathtubs or around £350 a year.

Go the full load. Wait until you have a full load before running the dishwasher or washing machine. This will not only save on the amount of water you use, but it’ll lower your energy use – helping you reduce your bills.

There is also a free water saving calculator on the Thames Water website where households can work out how much water and energy they are using and receive tailored advice on how to save. It can be accessed online at https://www.thameswater.co.uk/help/water-saving/water-saving-calculator

Tucker added: “Most water suppliers provide help for vulnerable households and I’d urge anyone who’s struggling to pay their water bill to find out what support is available. For example, low-income households in the Thames Water region can register for discounted tariffs through the WaterHelp scheme, which provides a 50% discount if your household income is below £16,480 outside of London and below £20,111 in London. More than 270,000 households have already signed up.

“And households on a water meter that also receive means tested benefits and have a high demand for water due to a large family or a medical condition can access the WaterSure scheme, which puts a cap on their bills. There is also support for people in arrears or who have inconsistent income that makes it difficult to plan ahead.”

Nicci Russell, MD of UK water saving NGO Waterwise, said: "The cost-of-living crisis is having a huge impact on many of us and saving water is one of the most straightforward things we can all do to reduce our water and energy bills.

"We are really pleased to see Thames Water reaching out to its customers at this challenging time to help them save water and save money and to highlight the support available to those who might be struggling with their water bills".

Thames Water is the UK's largest water and wastewater services company, serving 15 million customers across London and the Thames Valley.

Its shareholders fund the Thames Water Trust Fund - an independent charity that is the largest non-governmental funder of debt advice in London and the Thames Valley.

The fund supports 11 debt advisors in the region and provides grants for essential household goods to customers who have been referred by local debt advice agencies and charities, supporting around 1,000 customers a year.

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