Austin Utilities: How saving water saves energy

Published 6:05 am Friday, April 26, 2019

By Kelly Lady

Austin Utilities

Most people know that using less energy can help save money and protect the environment. From switching light bulbs to replacing appliances, energy-efficient technologies are all around us. But did you know that saving water is another way to save energy in our homes and other buildings?

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Before your water reaches the tap, it takes a vast amount of energy to pump, treat, and deliver it from the source. In fact, the energy it takes to treat and deliver water for only 10 households could power a refrigerator for more than two years.

What’s more, a lot of energy in your home is used to heat the water you use to shower, shave, rinse dishes, and wash clothing. That’s why anything you can do to use less water in these fixtures and appliances will not only save energy, but can also lower your utility bills in more ways than one.

One of the best ways to save water, energy, and money without sacrificing quality is by installing WaterSense® labeled products, which are independently certified to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) criteria for both water efficiency and performance. Products that earn the WaterSense label use at least 20 percent less water but must also be tested to ensure they provide the same satisfying spray, flow, or flush as standard plumbing fixtures.

Take showerheads; in addition to providing a powerful spray, WaterSense labeled showerheads save enough electricity to power a 60-watt light bulb for eight hours with every shower. A WaterSense labeled showerhead will save the average family more than $70 in annual energy and water costs and 2,900 gallons of water per year, or the amount of water it takes to wash 70 loads of laundry and enough energy to power a home for 13 days every year!

Don’t stop there; when you look for the ENERGY STAR label on dishwashers and clothes washers, you’ll also save both energy and water. Even a simple step such as installing WaterSense labeled faucet aerators in bathroom faucets, which only costs a few dollars, saves the amount of electricity needed to dry your hair every day for a year.

Austin Utilities is a WaterSense and ENERGY STAR partner and offers several rebates for WaterSense and ENERGY STAR labeled products through their Conserve and Save program.

For more information about rebates visit

Connected to water: Read more about Austin’s rich history of water