Water efficiency labelling consultation closes

Image: House Method, Unsplash

A UK government consultation that could see showers, dishwashers and washing machines sold in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have new water efficiency labels closes on Friday 25th November.

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 as hot water use is the second largest use of energy in a home after heating. Installing a water-efficient showerhead alone 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 and summer hosepipe bans from five water utilities, 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 consultation survey sets out our proposed approach, products covered by the label, label design and features, label display, and standards to support the label. It also presents the benefits of labelling for reducing impacts on the natural environment and the social, economic, and environmental costs of the proposals.

After a 12-week consultation period it will officially close on 25 November 2022. Defra says changes are likely to come into force in 2025.