Why is water efficiency important?
By using water wisely, businesses and public sector organisations can benefit from both financial and environmental savings.
It’s estimated that the average business in the UK uses 30% more water than they need to and, as a water retailer, we’re passionate about working with our customers to help them realise the benefits of reducing their water use.
Over the past 13 years we have helped our customers in Scotland and England save over 52 billion litres of water, the equivalent of almost 21,000 Olympic-sized filled swimming pools.
And since being awarded the Scottish public sector framework contract in April 2020, we’ve saved the sector nearly £1.4m in water saving costs and reduced their water usage by 885,000m3 (the equivalent of 354 Olympic-sized swimming pools) through discounts and efficiency solutions.
Delivering financial savings
One of the key benefits of reducing water use is that it can help to generate financial savings.
By implementing often very simple steps, such as installing water saving devices and Automated Meter Readers (AMRs) or undertaking a water health check, organisations can see a direct impact to their bottom line.
We recently helped Glasgow City Council save over £54,000 in unnecessary water charges by fixing leaks at two primary schools and we saved Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) Oatridge Campus over £46,000 by pro-actively monitoring their water use while the college remained closed due to Covid-19.
Reducing water use can also lower energy bills.
Approximately 20% of a (gas heated) home’s heating bill comes from the water used for showers, baths and the hot water tap.
If you then consider the amount of hot water used in public sector organisations, such as hospitals, leisure centres and even schools, the link between using less water and reducing energy bills becomes clear.
In addition to the financial savings, using less water can also help contribute towards the UK’s net zero target.
Nearly 1% of the UK’s total carbon emissions comes from the essential operational emissions required by the water industry.
This is because treating water is energy and chemical intensive, so the less water that’s used, the less treatment is required.
Helping to protect the environment
The benefits of reducing water use aren’t just financial, there is a strong case for reducing water use for environmental purposes.
You only need to reflect on the extreme weather conditions the country has experienced in recent years to understand that water is a precious resource that we need to look after.
The impact of drier and hotter conditions in the UK is a concern and according to industry experts, this is only expected to get worse unless we all collectively seek to reduce our water use.
In line with our vision to make a positive difference to the environment, we have introduced a series of initiatives to help drive water efficiency.
At the heart of this is our pledge to help our customers reduce their water use by 20%.
To support the delivery of the pledge, we are working with our customers, in particular those that haven’t adopted water efficiency measures to date, to identify and deliver the right water efficiency solutions for their needs.
For larger users of water, we are developing our Intelligent Water Management (IWM) system, which enables us to analyse customers consumption data to identify anomalies and deliver water efficiency savings, and for our smaller customers we have issued free water efficiency packs providing water saving devices.
We also recently launched our water efficiency fund which enables public sector bodies in Scotland to apply for funding to help deliver water efficiency projects, with £100K available this year to fund successful applications.
This fund will support the sector to implement pro-active water efficiency measures that will help to benefit the environment and reduce costs.
It's a win-win scenario
We all have a role to play in reducing our water use both at home and at work, and as an industry we’re working together to identify how we can deliver further water efficiency savings to business and public sector customers.
The benefits for customers and the environment are clear.
By reducing water use customers can generate water and energy savings and help to protect what is becoming an increasingly scarce resource.
Climate change is no longer something we can afford to ignore and using water wisely is a simple way to make a positive difference.
Further details about Business Stream can be found on their website: www.business-stream.co.uk and you can follow their latest news and developments on: