15% of Utility Bills Go towards Heating Water. Here’s How to Save.

Conserve water to reduce energy use.

Save water, energy, and money with these low- and no-cost fixes.

California’s recent drought has brought much needed attention to water conservation, but this discussion often overlooks the relationship between water use and energy consumption. Understanding how much energy we use to heat water—15% of utility bills on average—presents an opportunity for multifamily properties: conserve water to reduce energy use.

When adopted together, the following water and energy saving measures can add up to significant savings for both owners and residents while improving comfort and safety.

Make Existing Appliances More Efficient: Often, staff set water heater, pool, and spa temperatures too high, wasting energy and creating the potential for safety hazards – namely scalding. Follow these quick tips to maximize efficiency:

Water and Energy Savings 2

Note that most dishwashers recommend 140° F water for optimum results. Check to see if your building’s dishwashers have a booster that will raise the temperature of water entering the unit before reducing water heater temperature.

Reduce Use: Occupants’ behavior impacts energy use more than any other factor. By installing low-flow shower heads, faucets, and aerators, user reduction is automatic.

  • Installing new, $20 low-flow showerheads will pay for themselves in approximately four months.
  • $5 faucet aerators save up to 85% when installed on older faucets, and pay for themselves in one month.

Maintenance: Repairing leaks in faucets, showers, and pipes saves hot water. A leak of one drip per second can cost $35 a year.  Fixing a number of leaks in a large complex can add up to real savings.

Not only do these water and energy saving tips reduce costs, but energy efficiency improvements can increase tenant happiness, and raise property values for owners.