Efficient taps and showers could save us as a staggering 2,300 million cubic metres of water every year in the EU, enough to comfortably meet all the annual water needs of 32 million citizens. Good models that do not affect product performance are already on the market and consumers will quickly make net savings on their utility bills after upgrading.
On top of water savings are the associated energy savings (through the use of less hot water) that could amount to 209PJ/year, roughly equivalent to the energy required to power the homes of 22.5 million Europeans.
Better products come with a payback period of between 1.6 to 4.6 years for diverter taps and 0.4 to 2.1 years forthermostatic mixer showerheads. But such innovations should be supported through public policies.
What is the European Union doing?
The Joint Research Centre, the Commission’s in-house research agency, is studying how to improve the environmental performance of taps & showers. This paper will be the basis for possible future regulatory development of these products.
Some details of the study have already emerged, showing that the potential for primary energy savings is bigger than most other product groups improved by Ecodesign so far. However, there is some reluctance to regulate, with populist voices arguing that the EU should focus on more important issues.
What does the Coolproducts campaign want?
- The preparatory study should consider all possible technical improvements and assesses their impacts. A robust evidence base will be vital to underpin regulation.
- Ecodesign requirements that promote efficient solutions (such as placing a diverter on taps or a thermostatic mixer on showerheads).
- Energy labelling, including information on the water consumption, for taps and showers is a must. Consumers want to know how much a product consumes and labels are a positive force to encourage industrial innovation.