Results: Water efficiency

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Water efficiency was not seen as a priority by most participating homeowners.  Only 8.6% wanted to reduce water consumption when they entered the project, even though 27.5% of householders received direct water bills. 

Interestingly, unlike people’s perceptions of energy use (which are often very accurate) perceptions of water use was very inaccurate.  71% of participants thought they weren’t high water users, yet only 45% of monitored households actually met Beacon’s HSS® benchmark for water use.

Unsurprisingly, the most water-efficient households were in areas that were metered and directly charged for water use - there’s nothing like paying for something to make you aware of its value.

Few households had taken measures to reduce water use in the home, even though they are often very easy to implement and cheap to install.  Tap aerators, water efficient showerheads and dual-flush toilets are widely available, and low cost to install.  The In-Home Assessment found that:

  • 65.1% of homes had a cold tap flow of more than 6 litres/minute.
  • 29% of the showers had flow rates of more than 9 litres/minute.
  • 89.6% of dwellings had no facilities to capture rainwater although 85.5% of those dwellings without rainwater barrels or tanks had enough space for a tank up to 2000 litres.


Related Documents

  • 31-May-2010 (Report HR2420/13)

    HomeSmart Renovations: Householder Actions and Responses to Dwelling Performance (PDF 1.1MB)

    Kay Saville Smith, Ruth Fraser, Nikki Buckett, Michael Camilleri

    This report presents self-reported and monitored data from householders participating in the HomeSmart Renovation Project. It describes the profile of those householders, their perceptions of house condition, and their past, intended and actual renovations. It considers the profile of house performance of the subset of householders whose dwellings were monitored for temperature and the impact of renovations on electricity and water consumption.


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