The household-specific water metering system makes it easy to track your own water usage. You can directly see your consumption and the consumption of your family, so it is easy to save water. And when you pay only for the water you consume, you will notice the benefit of saving it.
Many people are surprised by how much water they consume when household-specific water meters are installed. "That can't be right" is the usual reaction when the building manager is called to explain the first bills that are sent.
The following tips will make it easier to understand what is behind your water consumption and how you can affect this with very little effort.
The shower is the largest consumer of water and energy in the home. Showers that correspond to modern standards have a flow rate of 12 litres per minute. A ten-minute shower uses 120 litres of water if the shower is on the whole time. Hot water accounts for approximately 60% of this amount.
Avoid running the shower if you are not using the water. The easiest way to do this is to turn the shower off while you apply shampoo and shower gel. It is also a good idea to shower as quickly as possible. This will reduce the amount of water you use each time you take a shower.
The type and condition of your shower can have a major impact on your water consumption. The flow rate of a shower the corresponds to modern standards is 12 litres per minute. Water-saving models have flow rates of 8–9 litres per minute. Old showers and large ceiling showers consume considerably more water: 18–20 litres per minute.
As people are used to paying for electricity according to consumption, many are in the habit of being more careful about their electricity consumption than their water consumption. That is why electric saunas are considered energy-guzzlers and they are used sparingly.
But did you know that the showers taken by an average family generally cost much more than heating the sauna?
An average family of three uses approximately 70,000 litres of hot water every year. Approximately 4,000 kilowatt hours of energy are used to heat this water. Heating a normal electric sauna twice a week consumes approximately 600 kWh of energy every year.
In other words, an ordinary family uses about twice as much energy by taking showers as an electric sauna would consume if used daily.
In the same way as for showers, water should not be unnecessarily run down the bathroom sink. Turn off the tap in the following situations:
When you brush your teeth
Only use water to rinse your mouth and toothbrush. It is better to use a cup rather than running water.
When you wash your hands
Turn off the tap while you are applying soap. Only use water to rinse your hands at the beginning and end of the wash.
When you are wet-shaving
As before, turn off the tap when you do not need water. Water is only needed to wash your face and rinse your razor.
The average Finn heeds the call of nature 5–7 times a day, and flushing the toilet consumes an average of 20,000 litres of water per person per year. In practice, approximately one quarter of the water used by Finnish people is flushed down the toilet. The type of toilet you use makes a difference.
An ordinary toilet with only one flush button uses approximately 6 litres of water for each flush. The old style of toilet from the 1970s uses 9 litres of water per flush. The newest two-button water-saving models use 4 litres for a large flush and 2 litres for a small flush.
A new toilet therefore may use just one quarter of the water used by the original toilet in a flat built in the 1970s. It is worth upgrading to newer toilets and only flushing as needed if you have a modern toilet.
The newest class A dishwashers consume 10–12 litres of water per wash. Eco programmes may consume less than 10 litres of water per wash. One wash consumes approximately 1 kilowatt hour of electricity (the same amount that is required to heat the water for a 2.5-minute shower). A slightly older dishwasher may use 15–20 litres of water per wash.
According to a study by Työtehoseura, washing up the same number of dishes by hand would consume 50–150 litres of water, depending on how they are washed. The worst possible way to do this is to wash and rinse dishes using running water.
Even people who wash up in a way that saves water will still consume about five times as much as a modern dishwasher. And washing up with hot water also uses more energy than using a dishwasher.
Using a dishwasher is clearly more economical than washing up by hand, even if your dishwasher is not the most modern.
|Dishwasher:||Washing up by hand:|
|Electricity per wash: EUR 0.12||Water (40–140 litres): EUR 0.10–0.38|
|Water per wash (12 litres): EUR 0.03||Water heating: EUR 0.18–0.65|
|Total: EUR 0.15||Total: EUR 0.28–1.03|
New class A washing machines consume approximately 60 litres of water per wash. Old machines from the 1980s use more than twice this amount: approximately 130 litres per wash. There is also a major difference between old and new machines in terms of energy consumption. New machines consume over one kilowatt hour per wash, while old machines use about 50% more than this.
Choose a washing machine that suits your needs so that you do not need to run half loads.
Even if the washing machine only uses cold water, more money will be spent on water than electricity. The electricity used for one machine-load in a new machine costs approximately EUR 0.10, while EUR 0.16 will be spent on water.
A small, seemingly harmless leak in a tap or toilet can quickly become very expensive. A leak the size of a thread of cotton in a tap can waste approximately 30,000 litres of water every year.
A constantly leaking toilet could be sending EUR 200 into the sewer every week – this would add EUR 10,000 to the annual water bill!
That is why immediate action should be taken if taps start dripping or water is constantly running into the toilet – inform the building manager or maintenance company. Remember that it is the resident who pays for the wasted water, not the housing company.
The Verto system can help you to detect leaks. The Verto system has a leak alarm, which alerts users when it detects continuous consumption in a household for a sufficient length of time.