Hot Water

The energy used to heat water is another
significant source of greenhouse emissions from the average home. You can reduce your emissions due to hot water use simply by cutting the amount of hot water you use and/or changing the way it is heated.

Reducing hot water use boils
down to two things: habits and technology.

Greener hot water habits

  • 'Habits' relate to the way we use hot water at home typically
    for showering, cleaning and dishwashing and in the kitchen.

  • For most homes, the biggest and easiest step they can take is changing
    their showering and bathing habits. Opt for a shower instead of a deep bath.

  • Take a shorter shower and limit it to one per day. Use a shower timer to help you keep track of the time.

Technology can also make a difference, be it simply a better-designed showerhead or a completely different water heating system.

Greener hot water technology

  • Older style showerheads can use up to 20 litres per minute. By contrast, a 3-star rated water efficient shower head uses about 7 to 9 litres per minute, which means far less water per shower and less energy use to heat that water. In most cases, buying a water-saving showerhead will pay for itself through reduced energy
    bills in under six months.

  • The right hot water system for you will depend on the design of your house,
    the number of people you live with and the energy options available.

  • Consider solar systems first and take into account the energy efficiency ratings of models you are comparing. Some government authorities offer rebates to help make solar hot water more affordable. Favour gas-boosted over electric-boosted solar hot water systems.

  • Remember that natural gas systems are typically more efficient than electric. An average home using electricity for water heating generates about 4 tonnes of greenhouse emissions per year, compared with 1.5 tonnes for natural gas.

A guide to choosing hot water systems is included in both Greeniology and The Australian Green Consumer Guide.