5 tips to save water at home

February 5, 2015

California homeowners now have practical and money-saving options for reducing their water consumption inside the home

Being thoughtful about water use is more of a concern than ever. Over the past year in particular, statewide water shortages have brought water conservation to the center of a much-needed conversation. Many California homeowners want to do their part to help conserve water but aren't sure what cost-effective investments they can make to their homes to reduce water use or how to pay for them. CaliforniaFIRST offers low-cost, long-term, easy-to-qualify financing for water conservation projects (as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy projects!). The benefits of water conservation aren't just about fixing a short-term problem. By investing in some proven technologies, particularly those that reduce the amount of water you consume throughout your home, you can practice responsible water management in your community and reduce your monthly water bill (plus, water hasn't been getting any cheaper, so reducing use is critical for household budgets). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if all U.S. households installed water-efficient fixtures and appliances, the country would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and pocket more than $18 billion dollars per year in water utility bill savings. In addition, using less water also reduces the amount of energy that we as a state use to get that water to your home. Water travels through pipes and pumps and is treated to make sure it's safe to drink. Then, as wastewater, it's treated before being released to make sure it doesn't create a health hazard. Experts estimate that almost 20% of all the electricity consumed in California is used in the transport and treatment of the water that goes to and from our homes. Here are a few of the ways you can improve your home to contribute to water conservation in your community.

High-Efficiency Faucet Fittings

Installing a low-flow faucet fitting is an easy way to save on your water bills every month. Most modern faucets are rated around 2.5 Gallons Per Minute (GPM), and some older models go as high as 5 GPM. Installing a more efficient low-flow aerator faucet rated from .5 GPM to 1.5 GPM can add up to significant savings. These faucets are simple, fairly inexpensive to install and can conserve significant water with minimal impact on your daily routine.

High-Efficiency Showerheads

Replacing your current showerheads with high-efficiency showerheads can significantly reduce your water billегand your water heating bill!егwithout compromising your shower's performance. Older showerheads use significantly more water. If you shower every day, using a high efficiency showerhead is a simple way to reduce your water bill by anywhere from 10% to 25%, depending upon how many people are in your home.

Efficient Hot Water Delivery Systems

How much water do you think the common household wastes while waiting for the water to get hot in the shower, sink and dishwasher? This is typically the activity that wastes the most water, but it's easy to avoid with a well-designed plumbing system. In new homes, making sure your home uses a "structured plumbing" approach is important. In older homes, there are "add-on" equipment options to reduce this form of water waste.

High-Efficiency Toilets

We flush most of our fresh water down the toilet, literally! With three new technologies available today for high efficiency toilets, there is the right option to fit every home's needs and plumbing system. The choices include an upgraded traditional gravity toilet, which can save 20% more water than older models. The dual-flush toilet is designed with two options for flushing; one button is for a full flush (1.6 gallons per flush), which is meant for solid waste, and another button for a partial flush (1.0 GPF), for liquid waste. A 1.0 GPF pressure-assist toilet is an alternative option. This pressure-flush system delivers the water to the bowl at three times the standard flow rate of the siphon-driven technologies, enhancing the flush performance.

Greywater Systems for Toilet Flushing

Even better than using less fresh water for toilet flushing is using so-called "greywater." Greywater systems capture the water that drains from your shower or clothes washer and use it to flush your toilet. Great idea, right? Our team at CaliforniaFIRST understands the benefits of water conservation and has deep knowledge of best practices when it comes to energy efficient homes. Read more about eligible energy and water saving products (pdf), or Contact CaliforniaFIRST today at 844-589-7953 to learn more about water conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy investments for your home.