Retailers, consumers and water efficiency

Julie Spinks, managing director of Water Regs UK, explains how retailers can include water efficiency on the list of customer priorities when it comes to upgrading their kitchens and bathrooms.

With people spending more time in their houses than ever before, home improvement has been high on the consumer agenda in the last year, with bathrooms and kitchens being at the forefront of homeowners’ priority lists.

As retailers continue to advise their customers on new designs, water efficiency should be a central part of that conversation.

Recent research from Water Regs UK shows that one in three adults have become more conscious of their water usage during lockdown and the last year, with many now attempting new water saving habits. 

By advising customers on their options when it comes to water efficient products, retailers are not only playing a part in saving water but they’re also helping homeowners save money in the long run, if they are on a water meter. 

Advising customers on water efficient products

Retailers are in a unique position to be able to advise and guide customers on creating water efficient spaces in their homes. Their expertise is valued, and they are respected for having the widest view of the solutions on
the market.

When it comes to making the final decision, a customer will only choose the product that is right for them and their needs, but by providing them with information and guidance about all the possible ways to save, retailers can ensure they are playing a part in the wider push to reduce water wastage. 

The most important thing that a retailer can do is ensure that it shares water efficiency information for every product that uses water. An easy way to do that, is to use products with the European Water Label. This will give consumers the information to make an informed choice and compare the water efficiency of different options.  Water UK are suggesting that the UK government introduces a mandatory water label in the Environment Bill, so consumers always have the information when deciding which product to buy*.

And there is an extensive range of water efficient products to choose from, whether homeowners are refitting an entire bathroom or simply replacing their toilet.

If unsure on the water efficiency of a product, look out for the European Water Label which rates products based on their water efficiency. 

Alternatively, retailers can also visit and look for A-rated products.

Retailers should offer long-term water-saving advice

Even though people are becoming more aware of water use, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they know what practical steps they can take to become more water efficient. 

As a trusted source, consumers may turn to retailers for guidance not only on what products to buy, but also how to use them. That makes a kitchen or bathroom upgrade a great opportunity to offer advice on saving water in the home. 

To sum up, retailers can play an important role in water saving and sustainability by helping homeowners choose more water efficient products for their homes, which are both suitable for their design and eco-conscious.

Simple advice and guidance can help customers save water, energy and money through good design and careful selection of fittings and appliances, without compromising user experience. 

By making the right suggestions to each customer and making water efficiency a fundamental part of the kitchen or bathroom specification process, retailers can make a big contribution to the ongoing drive to reducing the amount of water wasted in UK homes every day.

Some suitable water-saving product options:

  1. Toilets must have a maximum flush of six litres to comply with the Water Fittings Regulations. However, there are many designs with lower flush volumes including some dual flush designs that are as low as 4 and 2 litres for the large/small flush option. These lower flushes can help to save 2-4 litres per flush, provided that they are maintained. 
  2. Water efficient shower heads can save more than a third of the water used in a typical shower, which also saves money by reducing the amount of energy needed to heat the water. These shower heads still offer a great experience and don’t impact on performance.
  3. Low flow taps are a great option so customers can use less water without compromising on the experience. 
  4. Retailers should not only encourage consumers to consider the energy and water efficiency of the kitchen appliances they are  specifying but to also highlight any specific eco settings and ensure they choose a capacity to suit their household.  
  • Every day in the week leading up to World Environment Day, we are publishing stories from the KBB industry to do with the environment, sustainability, and water saving. To read more articles on this topic go to

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