Would you shower less to save the planet?

If you changed your shower head, you may not have to!

We are always being advised to have a shower rather than a bath to save water and energy. However, showers, particularly older power showers, can use lots of water and energy. New Eco shower heads are now available claiming to save you water without compromising the quality of the showering experience. Is this true?  I decided to find out.

Our shower is powered by a combi boiler using gas to heat the water as it is used.  The spray is powerful and hot, giving a good showering experience.   The shower is used an average of 4 times a day for about 5 minutes a time.

I recently replaced the old existing shower head, which was over six years old, with an Eco one at a cost of £29.  The manufacturer claims up to 40% water savings are possible.  This obviously depends on the type of shower head being replaced. My old shower head may or may not be one of the more water guzzling types, but it was not branded “Eco”

The new showers head arrived and was duly fitted (unscrew the old and screw on the new one!) but would it deliver water and gas savings without compromising the shower experience? Well, as far as the shower experience is concerned, apart from additional noise caused by the air hole used to aerate the water, the whole family agreed the spray power was as good if not better than the old head – but was it saving me water and gas?  Because I have a SMART gas meter, I devised a rather crude experiment to find out.

 The SMART gas meter records gas usage every ½ hour. So, one Saturday morning, with all gas appliances turned off, I placed a clean waste bin in the shower tray and ran the shower for 5 minutes at full power.  I collected 40L of water, a flow rate of 8L per minute, exactly what the manufacturer specified!. The gas consumption was 1.7 kWh

17kwh

To ensure the SMART meter only recorded the shower,  I repeated the experiment the next day, but this time using the old shower head on its normal economy setting .  This time I collected 52L of water.  The  gas consumption was 3.4 kWh.

34kwh

So my crude experiment proved the Eco shower head is saving me water (23%) and gas. (50%).  The family are relieved their 5 minute showers can continue! Though reducing to 4 minutes would be even better……..

Now how many National Trust holiday cottages have an Eco shower head fitted?

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6 Responses to Would you shower less to save the planet?

  1. charisfowler says:

    Well done Tony for being persistent – glad your efforts have paid off – I’ll have to go check on the cottages!

  2. Tracey White says:

    I bet your family love you and your experiments! However, it is good to know the savings really do stack up. I shall start recommending them at our properties in earnest. Don’t forget, a lot of our gardeners’ mess facilities have showers too…

  3. Tim Brittain says:

    Good detective work -its nice to see someone has quantified the savings. We’ve got 3 holiday cottages so are keen to make savings in energy/water use. Which of the many eco showerheads on the market did you use. Love your blogs -especially the renewable energy /heating ones relating to smaller scale set-ups like us.

    • Tony Price says:

      Hi Tim

      Many thanks for the feedback; I’m glad you like the blog. I was lucky to be able to qualify the savings because of the SMART metering that is installed at home. Without it I’ve had struggled to accurately attribute the gas consumption. Re which showerhead, I’ve sent you details under a separate email.
      Regards

      Tony

      Tony

  4. openenegymonitor says:

    Hi Keith, nice investigative work! What’s the make and model of the head? Reckon I’ll give it a go

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