Overfilling kettles wastes £68m a year, says report

Kettle Some 40% of people boiled water five times a day or more, the study found

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Three-quarters of British households overfill their kettles, wasting a total of £68m each year, an Energy Saving Trust (EST) report has suggested.

The study of 86,000 households also found the average shower lasted seven-and-a-half minutes. A minute less and £215m would be saved, the EST said.

Washing clothes at 30C and filling kettles to the required amount were among ways to save money, it added.

It said people must not think they were "powerless to control our water use".

The EST found British homes collectively used nine billion litres of water a day with showers using a quarter of that and toilets using 22%.

Kitchen appliances, such as kettles, dishwashers and washing machines - together with taps - also used 22% of household water, the report said.

The study found 95% of people boiled the kettle every day with 40% boiling water five times a day or more.

Start Quote

By reducing the amount of water - especially hot water - that we use, we can cut down on the energy demands of our lifestyles”

End Quote The EST's Andrew Tucker

And it suggested the average household washed dishes by hand 10 times a week and used a dishwasher three times a week.

The EST said bigger households could make energy and water savings by using modern, efficient dishwashers rather than washing by hand.

Other ways consumers could save money included installing an "eco" shower head, it added.

EST water strategy manager Andrew Tucker said that, when people thought of energy use, "they think of heating and lighting, running electrical appliances or filling the car with petrol".

"It's all too easy to turn on the tap and not think about the consequences," he said.

"But there is an environmental and energy cost attached to water which many people do not consider."

Hot water use contributed £228 to the average energy bill, he said.

"It's clear that we are all using more water-consuming appliances regularly, especially showers, but that doesn't mean we're powerless to control our water use.

"By reducing the amount of water - especially hot water - that we use, we can cut down on the energy demands of our lifestyles, which have changed radically over the last 50 years."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 904.

    WHEN I need to replace my 1.7 litre kettle, it will be with a nice-looking, cordless stainless steel one with a capacity of 1 litre, and I will usually only half-fill it to make 2 cps of tea. Where are nice-looking, small kettles? I have looked - want one for aged Ma who finds her kettle too heavy, but most small ones aren't cordless so she would have to keep unplugging it. Come on suppliers!

  • rate this

    Comment number 785.

    wash dishes by hand...zero cost! any dishwasher costs money and needs produced, you must look at the whole cost and not the little energy bit at the end. Hand washing is more efficient in every way.
    Force the water companies to sort their leaks! don't externalise the blame as usual!

  • rate this

    Comment number 659.

    I like hot water and long showers. And cups of tea.

    I'm not going to be giving them up, sorry.

    Let's find better ways to clean and recycle freshwater by all means, and make more electricity, cheaper. But don't for a moment ask me to drop my standard of living.

  • rate this

    Comment number 452.

    This is nothing compared with the proportion of light that is wasted in illuminating things that nobody is looking at!

  • rate this

    Comment number 393.

    First we're told take a shower it uses less water than to fill a bath ! Now it's your taking too long in the shower and using too much water. Then it's dishwashers use to much water, so washing up be hand is better, Now it's you shouldn't really use hot water it uses too much energy to heat. We are not using too much, the population has increased, This report doesn't even mention this.


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