Did you know that water use and energy use in buildings are linked? In most cases, electricity or gas is used to heat water, so the less hot water you use, the less energy is needed to heat the water. In addition, your water company uses energy to purify and pump water to your facility, as well as in the treatment of your sewage. So part of your water and sewage bill is really an energy bill. In other words, saving water reduces your water and energy bills!
The first step to saving is tracking your water use in Portfolio Manager. Once you have a handle on your water use, EPA’s WaterSense program helps you start saving. Check out the WaterSense website to find certified products and best management practices for many types of commercial buildings.
- Repair leaking pipes, fixtures, and seals. Small leaks add up to many gallons of water and dollars wasted each month.
- Use water-saving faucets, showerheads, and toilets and urinals to save water.
- Install controls that turn off faucets automatically.
- Install an insulation blanket on water heaters seven years of age or older, and insulate the first 3 feet of the heated water "out" pipe on both old and new units.
- If buying a new water heater, always buy the most efficient model possible. In areas of infrequent use, consider "tankless" water heaters to reduce "standby" storage costs and waste.
- Set water temperature only as hot as needed (110-120 degrees) to prevent scalds and save energy (check local codes for specific temperatures).
- In areas of infrequent water use, consider “tankless” water heaters to reduce standby storage costs and waste.
- Depending on the function of your facility, use horizontal axis washing machines.
- When landscaping, practice xeriscaping by using plants native to your climate that require minimal watering and possess better pest resistance. If local code allows, consider diverting "gray water" for irrigation.