Product labels will show water efficiency credentials

Image: House Method, Unsplash

Showers, dishwashers and washing machines sold in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales could all have new water efficiency labels, in a move which aims to save 1,200 million litres of water a day.

The UK government and devolved administrations are asking the public for their views on the mandatory labelling plans to encourage the purchase of more water-efficient products.

The proposals aim to introduce a water label, separate from the existing energy label, for display on toilets, urinals, kitchen sink taps, bathroom basin taps, non-electric shower outlet devices and shower assembly solutions, dishwashers, washing machines and combination washer dryers.

Saving water also saves on energy. Hot water use is the second largest use of energy in a home after heating. Installing a water-efficient showerhead could save an average household 3,762 litres of water, and £17.44 off their combined utility bills per year, according to figures from Defra. A family of four could save 6,468 litres and about £30 off their utility bill each year.

Under the proposals, which come after the driest July in England since 1935, the new label will display ratings in a similar way to the current energy efficiency label, using bars and colours.

"Water labelling is a key tool, helping everybody make informed choices that can reduce their water use and bills."

David Black, Ofwat

Chief executive of water regulator Ofwat David Black said: “This summer has highlighted the importance of water. Water labelling is a key tool, helping everybody make informed choices that can reduce their water use and bills. We support the proposals and look forward to seeing the outcome of this consultation.”

The 12-week consultation closes on 25 November 2022. Defra says changes are likely to come into force in 2025.