Make every drop count

Find out how you could save water and money on your energy bills.
Save Water

Get free water saving gadgets 

Thames Water currently have a whole range of free water saving devices that can save you money on your bills. Go to the Thames Water website to order free gadgets to time your shower, manage the flow of your tap water and more.


Why we should save water

Did you know that much of your water use at home contributes to your energy bill?
According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average household in the UK uses around 360 litres of water each day. About 21% of a typical gas heated household's heating bill is from heating the water for showers, baths and hot water from the tap and costs on average about £140 per year.
Even if you do not have a water meter, using water wisely and cutting down on the amount of hot water you use will lower your gas and electricity bills. It will also reduce the amount of climate-changing greenhouse gases you release into the atmosphere by using less energy to pump, heat and treat the water.
Water will become more scarce in the future so it is a good idea to future proof your home by being more water efficient.

Saving water is easier than you think. You don't need to make big lifestyle changes to save water.

More tools to help you save water

Example of a Water Efficient Product Label
The Energy Saving Trust's website has a water energy calculator, which you can use to find out how much water you use and how you can save. 
The Water Efficient Product Labelling Scheme lets you compare hundreds of products that meet the standards of water efficiency. If you're thinking of buying a new bath, shower, tap or toilet, check the website or look out for the distinctive blue label that recommends a water-efficient product.

Saving water in the bathroom

  • Turning the tap off while brushing your teeth will reduce your family’s metered water bill by £35, and save over 17,500 litres of water every year.
  • If possible, take a shower instead of a bath. A five-minute shower uses about 40 litres of water. This is about half the volume of a standard bath. 
  • Reducing your shower time by just one minute, could save each person over 8,000 litres a year, adding up to £15 off metered water bills and £20 off energy bills.
  • Replacing your old high-flow showerhead with a water-saving one could save a family of four up to £80 on their metered water bill, £95 on their energy bills, and around 39,000 litres of water a year.
  • Adding an aerator to the taps on your sinks can help to reduce the flow and save water, similar to the shower.
  • Install a simple save-a-flush device into your old single flush toilet. This can save a family of four over 29,000 litres a year – enough to fill a bath tub every day of the year – whilst saving you £58 off a metered water bill.
  • Dual flush toilets have a split flush button which gives the user the choice of how much water to use and typically use 4-6 litres of water opposed to the old style flush systems which use a massive 13 litres per flush.
  • A leaking toilet can waste on average 400 litres per day - nearly 150,000 litres a year - and £290 a year extra on your metered water bill. To detect a slow leak add a few drops of food colouring to your toilet cistern Don’t flush it for around an hour then check to see if the water in the bowl of the toilet has become tinted with the food-colouring dye from the tank. If it has, you've got a leak between the tank and the bowl.

Saving water in the kitchen

  • Wait until you have a full load before using your washing machine or your dishwasher.
  • Some new washing machines use less than seven litres of water for each kilogramme of clothes, while modern dishwashers can use as little as 10 to 15 litres of water a cycle. 
  • Reduce the temperature of your wash. Washing machines use huge amounts of energy, 90 per cent of which is through heating water. By reducing the temperature from 40 to 30 degrees, energy consumption will be reduced by about 40 per cent.
  • Experiment with different settings on your dishwasher, many modern machines offer ‘Eco’ or ‘Economy’ setting which use less water and energy. These can even be more efficient than hand washing.
  • Avoid pre rinsing dishes, detergents are highly effective, so all you need to do is simply scrape and place.
  • Adding an aerator to the taps on your sink can help to reduce the flow and save water.
  • Fill a jug of water and put it in the fridge for when you want a cool drink. This will save you from running the tap until its cold and could save more than 10 litres of water a day.
  • Try to fill the kettle with only what is needed, this will save water and energy.
  • Using the lid on saucepans reduces the amount of water lost, so you don’t have to put as much in. It also helps your vegetables to cook quicker and saves more energy.

Saving water from your heating system

  • Check your property regularly for leaks on your internal plumbing - hidden water leaks can be wasting water without you even being aware of it. If your property is metered, then read your water meter and do not use any water for a couple of hours and go back to check that the meter reads exactly the same. If it does not, there is a leak.
  • Fix any dripping taps, you can waste 90 litres a week which will cost a lot more than what might just be the price of a new washer.
  • Insulating water pipes keeps hot water hot and cold water cold, so that you don’t waste water and energy running taps waiting for the water to get to the right temperature.
  • Insulate the hot water cistern to avoid wasting energy to keep it hot. Fitting a jacket that is at least 75mm thick could save around £40 each year.
  • Consider switching to a meter. Most household customers still pay a fixed price for their water, however for some – particularly smaller families or those who live alone - opting for a meter may produce significant savings. In some cases bills can be cut by £100 a year or more. In most cases, meters are fitted free of charge with an option to switch back within a year if you change your mind or don’t make the savings you were expecting. If your water company find a meter can’t be fitted at your property, it must offer to switch you to an alternative assessed charge instead. It is likely that water meters will become compulsory in the future.

Saving water in the garden

  • Make your garden water efficient by opting for plants that don't mind going without a drink for a while. Your garden centre will be able to recommend plants that need less water.
  • It’s OK for the lawn to go brown, it helps it to build up resistance and will recover immediately after rainfall.
  • Use a watering can in the garden instead of a sprinkler or a hosepipe. Garden sprinklers and hosepipes left running can use between 500 and 1,000 litres of water an hour.  If you have to use a sprinkler, try to use it in the early morning or late afternoon, as this is when evaporation rates are lowest.
  • By attaching a trigger nozzle on your hosepipe you will halve the amount of water used and help direct the flow to the root of your plants
  • Think about fitting a water butt to collect rainwater off your roof. Water butts usually store about 200 litres of water. As well as being better for watering your plants, using rainwater in the garden reduces the amount of treated water you use. 
  • Use a bowl in the sink when washing fruit, vegetables or dishes. This will use much less water than using a running tap. You can then use the waste water to water your plants. 
  • Think before throwing used water down the drain, e.g. water in a pan after cooking, this could be reused for watering plants around the house when cooled down, or in the garden.
  • Use mulch and bark in your garden, it will help to reduce evaporation by up to 75%.

Help for those struggling to pay

All water companies provide ways to help customers who are struggling to pay and in some cases can even offer reduced bills. Speak to your company to find out what help they can offer you.


One scheme offered by all companies is WaterSure. If you:
  • receive income related benefits
  • have a meter
  • have either three or more dependant children or a medical condition that means they need to use more water
you may qualify for help under the scheme.
A low income household of five people with a water meter could be spending over £700 per year on water but could save over £300 with WaterSure. Check if WaterSure could help you.

Useful websites

  • Thames Water provides water saving advice for your home, garden or business.
  • Waterwise is the leading independent, not for profit authority on water efficiency in the UK and Europe.
  • Ofwat (The Water Services Regulation Authority) is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage sectors in England and Wales.
  • The Environment Agency is the regulator for water issues.
  • Energy Saving Trust

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