Advice on water efficient new homes for England (September 2018)

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Summary

  • Existing homes built to a Part G Building Regulations standard of 125 litres per person per day (lpd) could be using less than this in practice. Research on homes in London built to 105lpd under the Code for Sustainable Homes shows a range of between 110lpd and 140.75lpd depending on occupancy.
  • Requiring all new homes to be built at 110lpd is possible under Part G but further savings could be achieved with a fittings based approach as previously modelled for Wales and Scotland. We recommend the potential water, energy and bill savings of greater water efficiency in building regulations are modelled for England also.
  • From a customer perception perspective, 42% feel efficient showerheads and taps would perform the same and 39% think that they perform better than less efficient products.
  • Requiring all new homes to be built at 110lpd under Part G would only cost an additional £9 per home. The costs of building homes at 80lpd would be higher, however more research is required on the current costs and benefits of rainwater harvesting and water reuse.
  • Improved building regulations and/or water labelling with minimum standards can help reduce PCC and help water companies deal with loss of supply through the Environment Agency’s restoring sustainable abstraction programme, whilst helping protect the environment.
  • There are a range of examples of “grading” water efficient homes that have been successful internationally and could be applied in the UK. These could help market water efficient homes linked to a broader communication programme on water efficiency.

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