Many appliances in our everyday lives have become more energy efficient, but not our behavior with hot water. On the contrary: Hot water consumption increases. In 2000, hot water accounted for just under 10 % of final energy consumption (source: German Federal Statistical Office); by 2017, this figure had already risen to 15 % (source: German Federal Environment Agency).
General water consumption per person has also been on the rise again in recent years, according to the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW). If you want to reduce your energy costs, you also have to start here. Especially since in better and better insulated buildings the demand for heating energy decreases and thus the demand for hot water becomes more noticeable.
Hot water makes ca. 15% of energy consumption in households.
The average German uses 127 liters of water per day (source: BDEW). Personal hygiene (bathing, showering, etc) accounts for the largest percentage of these (36%).). This is followed by toilet flushing (27 %) and laundry (12 %). So you can really save money on hot water. But how exactly does it work? We have the 8 best tips how you can save hot water in the household sensibly.
How much energy can I save?
Depending on the type of house, the need for hot water also behaves differently: in old buildings, hot water accounts for just under 10% of energy consumption, while in modern passive houses it can be as much as 50%. This is due to the level of total energy consumption and the high proportion of heating in old buildings. So if you live in an energy-efficient passive house and therefore need little energy for heating, you should keep an eye on your hot water consumption.
Of course, the type of water heating, i.e. the technology behind it, also has an influence on your consumption and the associated savings potential. Right away: In most cases the central preparation of hot water via the heating system is the best way or. most efficient solution. Alternatives: an instantaneous water heater heats the water on demand and an electric boiler heats the water, which is then kept warm in a storage tank. Both are considered less effective, but can still be useful depending on the situation.
1. Tip: Shower warm – not hot.
If you don’t overdo it with the heat, you save money. 5 degrees less water temperature already saves 10% of the energy that would be needed to heat water. A three-person household can save an average of 645 kWh (source: University of Bamberg) of heat energy per year if it uses hot water more consciously. The value corresponds approximately to the power consumption, which results per year for cell phone, computer, television and other devices of this kind. You want to know exactly how much energy you use when you shower? We have already tested a great smart water meter for you, with which you will surely like to change your shower behavior.
2. Tip: Turn off the tap.
Why hot water has to run on the side while brushing teeth remains the secret of roommates. Still tell them to turn off the faucet while they clean – even if it annoys them. With special fixtures, less water automatically comes out of the faucet. So the hot water and electricity consumption can be reduced quite unnoticed.
3. Tip: Wash your hands cold.
Soap kills 99,9% of all germs and bacteria, no matter at which water temperature. This way you can reduce your hot water consumption at least a little bit. As we all know, little things make a mess.
4. Tip: Shower briefly.
A hot tub needs ca. 150 liters of warm water. By comparison, a hot shower that lasts 5 minutes uses 60 liters of water. So taking a shorter shower for one minute already consumes almost a quarter less energy for heating water. But beware: 10 minutes of showers with high water pressure can actually exceed the consumption of a bath. But there can still be exceptions – because it’s so nice.
5. Tip: Descale.
Dripping faucets and showers are torture and waste hundreds of gallons of hot water a year. This video reveals how to descale your faucet. You can easily make your own descaler. Just mix vinegar essence and water in ratio one to two, done.
6. Tip: Wipe cold.
Saving hot water at home makes sense and is easy to do. Cold water is enough to mop the floor. Meanwhile, we know that it is even better than hot, because hot water often leaves streaks, because it is not compatible with the chemical composition of cleaning products.
7. Tip: Shower with economy showerhead.
Again, it’s worth buying an energy-saving faucet, which will automatically reduce your energy and hot water consumption. With an economy shower head (you can get one for 20 Euro) you only shower with half your water consumption. And if you don’t know which economy showerhead to go for, go for the one with the "WELL" label, which is the European seal of approval for water efficiency.
Saving water while showering is also the goal of startup AquaTelligent: the device attaches to the shower and helps conserve by measuring and regulating the amount of water, and also making information like water temperature accessible via app. In total, this is said to save up to 40% hot water. For more information click here, to crowdfunding click here.
8. Tip: Wash with cold water.
Laundry usually gets clean at lower temperatures around 30 degrees. By turning down the temperature on your washing machine, you save hot water and two-thirds of the electricity consumption compared to 40 degrees. Modern washing machines usually offer an eco or automatic mode to save energy. The advantage: Sensors measure the degree of soiling and regulate temperature and detergent addition automatically. How to save hot water and electricity when washing every time.
By the way: You can find more tips on saving energy and using renewable energy at the consumer advice center. Look over!
Bonus tip: Get better heat.
Don’t forget, even if you are saving water, you are using valuable resources to heat water. Make sure they are renewable resources. If you heat your hot water with gas, you reduce your CO2 emissions with Really okogas from Polarstern. Because truly eco-gas comes from 100% organic residues.
What other sustainable alternatives are there for hot water production?? If you have your own house, you can invest in solar thermal energy, for example. A solar thermal system heats water using solar energy on the roof. Another way to get hot water, for example, is the domestic hot water heat pump. It requires electricity to produce your hot water. So it’s best to use real green electricity, like our Really Green Electricity.