The cost-of-living crisis has had a knock-on effect on prices, strikes and future financial stability, so it’s no surprise that businesses are feeling the pinch and looking for ways to save money where they can. Many businesses will be familiar with rising costs, particularly when it comes to their energy bills. That’s why it’s never been a better time to be efficient with water.
Whether you’re a small business or have multiple sites across the country, it’s likely you’ll use water every day. But water consumption and bills are often overlooked when looking for ways to cut costs. Our independent survey of over 500 UK SMEs revealed that just 5% of respondents are reducing their water usage to save money, despite 87% saying water is a vital part of their daily operations.
Looking into your water usage could offer both quick and longer-term wins for your business and the best place to start is with your bills. Increased water bills could indicate that there’s been a change in behaviour, or a leak on your premises, which can waste water and cost a significant amount of money over the year.
Your water consumption can also impact your energy bills. According to Yorkshire Water, the cost of heating water to run your dishwasher has increased by 79% between 2021 and 2023. If you use heated water for any larger scale business activities, these rising prices will mean they cost more money than they used to.
So if you’re looking for ways to understand and control your water consumption in this uncertain financial climate, reviewing where and how you use water can help you identify issues. Take a look at our tips to get you started.
Be on the lookout for leaks
Increased consumption could be the result of a leak, and these can be found in many places, including:
- Bathrooms - Taps, toilets, shower heads and urinals are some of the most common culprits for leaks, and uncontrolled urinals use water even when no one’s using them, wasting up to £700 per year, per cistern.
- Kitchens - Again, a dripping tap or inefficient appliances could be the reason your water usage has increased and you’re not sure why.
- External pipework – You can check for external leaks on your pipework by doing a Leak and Flow test.
Check your bills
Whether you’re billed monthly, quarterly or bi-annually, a higher bill than usual will often mean increased consumption. If the costs aren’t what you’re expecting, check for leaks or see if something has changed, such as a change in staff patterns or something new on site that could be causing it.
Become mates with your meter
Keeping a note of, and comparing your reads, as well as sending them to us is another way to monitor your consumption. If your usage spikes, it’s likely there’s an issue that’ll cost money if it’s not investigated or goes unaddressed.
Pay attention to alerts
If you’re a large business, look out for our High Consumption Alert emails. They’re designed to let you know if you’re using more water than usual, so make sure you look into them as soon as you get them, especially if you weren’t expecting it.
Change staff working patterns
Higher consumption could be a result of having more staff on site. If possible, consider promoting working from home where possible to reduce usage, lowering water and energy bills.
Invest in a Water Efficiency Audit
These are available to larger businesses through specialist companies, or you could get one through our trusted partner. They’ll review your areas of consumption, such as fixtures and fittings, and present you with a full report with tailored findings and suggestions to help you reduce your usage wherever possible.
We have a range of services and information about how you can be more water efficient on our Water Efficiency Services page.