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Baker Homes Blog

’Quick Wins’ #1: Fit a shower timer – save residents up to £240/year

Posted by Guest Author on 28/10/14 08:00

Creating sustainable homes and attacking bills is not all about large scale investment in retrofit programmes: there are some really simple tools at your disposal if you know where to look. In the first of an occasional series we look at an easy ‘Quick Win’ that SHIFT member Your Homes Newcastle rolled out with Save Water, Save Money.

The innovative scheme is helping Council tenants across Newcastle save money on water and fuel bills with the use of the ‘Oscar the Orangutan’ Shower Timer.  The shower timers are one of a range of products used in YHN’s Energy for the Future programme, which gives tenants water and energy efficiency advice so that they can save money. The four minute timer, part of the ‘Zoo in the Loo’ range, is designed to help families cut their energy and water bills by ensuring showers don’t take too long. On average, most people spend more than seven minutes in the shower – accounting for a quarter of all water used in the home. Heating the water uses a lot of energy and has a big impact on fuel bills – amounting to around £218 a year for the average UK household – with 25% of all energy bills accounted for by heating water.

The shower timer has no batteries and no complicated features – it just needs to be flipped round when switching on the shower, and people need to ensure they are out by the time all the sand runs through. A suction cup on the back allows the timer to be stuck to bathroom tiles or the glass of the shower enclosure.

As with many things, small steps can add up to big savings. “According to the latest report from the Energy Saving Trust, cutting just a minute off your shower time could save £15 per person from bills” says Tim Robertson from Save Water Save Money. “If water is metered a further £15 per person, per year adds up to £240 a year for an average four-person household. We want to make a real difference in terms of benefitting the environment whilst helping to lower water and energy bills. For UK households the message is that this can be achieved by making simple, small changes

Tom Jarman was in charge of the project for Your Homes Newcastle, and says linking water use with saving energy was a ‘lightbulb moment’ for many people. “We have had really positive feedback about the shower timers, with tenants saying they find them very useful in helping to save money. We link water and energy saving together so that people realise how much they can save through heating less water, and the shower timers are a great way to make the link.”

  • Oscar the Orangutan is part of the new Zoo in the Loo range of products from Save Water Save Money which includes cistern stickers and toothy timers. For more information please visit:

Save Water Save Money

SaveWaterSaveMoney was established in February 2007 with the aim of helping British householders reduce their water wastage and bills. The company works with 18 of 22 Water Companies to distribute free water saving devices to their respective domestic customers. Since 2010, Save Water Save Money has distributed more than 2.5 million water-saving devices, saving Britain more than 35 billion litres of water. Save Water Save Money is the UK’s largest online retailer of water efficient products, from toilets, sinks, taps and showerheads, to eco-friendly washing machines, tap inserts and waterbutts.

About Your Homes Newcastle

YHN is an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) set up by Newcastle City Council in 2004 to manage and improve Council homes and related housing services in Newcastle upon Tyne.

YHN now manages 26000 City Council properties, 1800 Byker Community Trust properties, and 284 Leazes Homes properties.

Topics: Water, Residents, Bills

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