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Tip #1: Stop Playing Around in the Shower
Next »Potential Yearly Savings: $100 to $180
Upgrade Your Showerhead
The EPA estimates that the average U.S. household could save 2,300 gallons per year just by installing WaterSense-labeled* showerheads. By changing a standard 2.5 gpm showerhead to a more efficient 1.75 gpm head you can cut your water use in the shower by 30% and potentially save 5% on your total water bill, plus an additional $30+ a year on the energy not used by your water heater for the hot water gallons saved during those steamy showers. Potential savings: $60 to $110 per year.
Shorten Your Soap Opera
Roughly 17% of residential water use goes towards showers in the average home**, and your behavior can have the most impact on reducing that hefty slice of your water bill. If you tend to sing your little heart out while sudsing away and spend too much time spa-dreaming under the pitter-pat, try timing the length of your showers. Then set a timer to try to reduce your average shower time by at least 20%. You may not miss the extra minutes at all. Cutting your shower time by 20% can potentially knock about another 3.3% off your total water bill, and another $20 per year for savings on water heating. Potential savings for a 20% cutback: $40-$70 per year.
Why Potential Savings Are So... Fluid
Water and sewer rates vary widely from city to city -- and so will your potential savings, depending on your location, home condition, upgrades, number of individuals in your household and your behavioral changes. If you live near the Great Lakes, all the nearby fresh water already translates into lower water rates for you. So your potential savings could fall on the lower end of the range (or below). However, if you reside in the desert or in a city with high water rates, like Atlanta***, your potential savings might fall on the higher end of the range.
* Products that have earned the WaterSense® label have met the Environmental Protection Agency's criteria for water efficiency.
** Water usage statistics source: American Water Works Association.
*** Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Average monthly water and sewer bills in Atlanta, Ga., are among the nation's highest.