Tips to Reduce Hot Water Costs

Using hot water more efficiently

Piggy Bank

Water heating is second only to heating as the largest energy user in your home, so it pays to use hot water wisely. Here are some simple tips to help you use hot water more efficiently without compromising comfort, cleanliness or safety.

Install energy-efficient showerheads and faucet aerators

How much can I save?

When you install energy-efficient showerheads and aerators, you can save up to 100 dollars in water and energy costs per year.

  • Cut your water consumption by as much as 25,000 litres per year.
  • Reduce your household’s annual gas consumption by more than 100 m³.
  • Eliminate more than 200 kg of CO2 emissions.

Use 50 per cent less hot water and still have lots of pressure.

  • Install a low-flow showerhead that uses less than 11 litres per minute.
  • Faucet aerators attach to the end of the faucet to reduce flow rates to about half those of an open faucet.

Laundry tips

One quarter of your hot water use is for laundry.

  • Try washing in cold water and always rinse with cold water. Use cold-water detergent and you’ll save around $50 per year.
  • Use the least amount of water necessary for the load size.
  • When replacing your washing machine, consider an ENERGY STAR® front load washer. You can reduce your water use by almost half and your energy use by about 65 per cent.
  • Switch to a natural gas dryer and save more than $100 a year. Natural gas dries clothes in half the time and cost of electrical dryers.

Dishwasher tips

Heating the water in a dishwasher uses 80 per cent of its energy.

  • Run the dishwasher only when full to cut energy and detergent costs.
  • Use the shortest cycle setting.
  • Air dry dishes once the wash cycle is complete.
  • Look for an ENERGY STAR® dishwasher when buying a new dishwasher.

Reduce your water heater's temperature

  • Setting your water heater's temperature too high can cause scalding and wastes energy. For every 5°C you lower the temperature, you can save 5% on your water heating costs. Please note that Natural Resources Canada recommends setting the temperature no lower than 60°C.
  • Check the owner's manual for safety instructions before making any changes to your water heater's settings. Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the water flowing from your faucets.
  • For information on choosing an energy-efficient water heater, see buying a water heater.

Repair leaky faucets

Leaky faucet

One leaky faucet can waste 23-38 litres of water per day. If a hot water tap leaks, you're wasting both water and energy. Replacing a worn washer can save you up to 800 litres or 175 gallons monthly.

Insulate water pipes

  • Insulate the first two metres (six feet) of the hot water pipe and the first metre (three feet) of the cold water pipe running from your tank, to save approximately two per cent on your natural gas bill.
  • Important safety notice: Do not place any pipe wrap insulation within 15 centimetres (six inches) of the exhaust vent at the top of the water heater.

Drain Water Heat Recovery

Drain water heat recovery is an additional method you can use to save on hot water costs. A drain water heat recovery system pre-heats the cold fresh water feeding into your water heater and can reduce energy costs by up to 30 per cent. For more information, see drain water heat recovery.

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