The Best Energy Efficient Plumbing Fixtures for a Lower Water Bill

The plumbing industry is constantly bringing new energy-efficient fixtures and systems to homeowners everywhere. High efficiency plumbing does more than help you conserve water—it also helps you save money and use less energy.

With the average American home using 100 gallons of water per day, it’s no surprise that energy and water saving adds up in a big way. According to the EPA, you can save up to $170 a year just by reducing the amount of water you use. That’s why Chas Roberts’ team of knowledgeable plumbers is here to give you the inside scoop on how you can save money and lower your water bill while saving energy and water in the process.

Money-saving tankless water heaters

Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, use anywhere from 30- 50% less energy than traditional water heaters with tanks. This saves the average family about $100 a year. These compact heaters only provide hot water when you turn on the faucet, allowing you to save water overall by reducing standby losses. Standby losses occur when energy is wasted while water cools down in pipes or sits in the tank of a traditional water heater.

Tankless water heaters have a much longer lifespan than a standard gas or electric water heater. As long as they’re well maintained, they can last anywhere from 5-10 years longer than the average standard water heater.

High-efficiency toilets

Did you know that this year you could save nearly 13,000 gallons of water just by investing in high efficiency “low flow” toilets? To earn the EPA’s WaterSense certification, a toilet can only use 1.28 gallons per flush. In comparison, older toilets use an average of 1.6 gallons per flush. The newest and most advanced ultra-high efficiency toilets (UHET) use a staggeringly low 0.8-0.11 gallons per flush.

Whether you are looking to save money or reduce your family’s water usage, investing in any high-efficiency toilet system is the way to go.

Gravity-assist toilets

As the name suggests, gravity-assist toilets use less water because of their strategic design that enables a minimal amount of water to flush away waste completely. Various styles and configurations are available, making it easy for a gravity-assist toilet to fit into the décor of your bathroom. They are also notably easy to repair and find replacements for, due to their commonality.

Dual-flush toilets

These efficient toilets have two flush buttons, or a two-stage lever that you either push up or down. One setting provides more water per flush for solid waste, while the other uses less water for liquid waste only. This system allows for dual-flush toilets to use about 20% less water per year than traditional one-flush toilets. While they’re more expensive than regular toilets initially, dual-flush toilets provide significant savings over time.

Vacuum-assisted toilets

The newest technology on the market, vacuum-assisted toilets suck waste out of the toilet by creating depressurization at the trapway, or exit point. This mechanism allows vacuum-assisted toilets to use as little as 0.8 gallons of water per flush. As more major manufacturers add these toilets to their product lineups, vacuum-assisted toilets are sure to become more widely available for use in homes across the country.

Low-flow shower heads

In years past, shower heads used anywhere from five to eight gallons per minute (GPM). Today, the average shower head uses approximately 2.5 GPM. Low flow shower heads use 2.5 or fewer GPM. Some shower heads fall into the ultra-low-flow category, using 1.5, 1, or even 0.5 GPM.

While older low flow shower heads were prone to low water pressure, modern ones offer the same great shower experience you’re used to, with less water. Many low flow shower heads include a flow restrictor, which allows you to control your desired water flow based on your preferred water pressure.

Replacing your old shower head with a newer one is a great way to save energy, water, and money. For example, say your current shower has a flow rate of 6 GPM. If you upgrade to a low flow shower head that uses 2.5 GPM, you can save 35 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower.

Not sure what your flow rate is? There’s an easy way to find out.

  1. Place a bucket under your shower head. Be sure the bucket is marked with gallon increments
  2. Turn on the shower
  3. Time how many seconds it takes for the bucket to fill with one gallon of water

If it takes less than 20 seconds for your shower to reach the one-gallon mark, it’s time to consider a low flow shower head.

There are two main types of low flow shower heads: aerating and laminar-flow.

  • Aerating shower heads mix water with air, forming a mist-like spray. Aerating showers have a gentler spray than traditional showers, thanks to the role of steam and moisture in the air.
  • Laminar-flow shower heads form individual streams of water. They tend to cost more than aerating shower heads.

Low-flow faucet aerators

Similar to low-flow shower heads, these devices screw right onto your existing faucet head and reduce water flow while maintaining water pressure. Inexpensive and easy to install, low-flow aerators pay for themselves after a few months with savings on your water and utility bills. By installing low-flow aerators on all the faucets in your home, you can save as much as 50% off your water and utility bills.

More water saving tips

While upgrading to energy-efficient plumbing fixtures is a great way to save on your water bill, there are small things you can do around the house to save even more. These include:

  • Don’t let the water run while you brush your teeth.
  • Only wash full loads of laundry. This saves both water and energy.
  • Consider using the dishwasher instead of handwashing dishes. If you prefer handwashing, fill the sink with water instead of running the faucet while you wash your dishes.
  • Fix leaks in faucets and pipes. A dripping faucet can waste multiple gallons of water per day, driving up your water bill.

Save water, money, and energy with Chas Roberts

Since our beginnings in 1942, Chas Roberts has remained committed to providing top notch service to families throughout the Valley. As more and more homeowners make energy-efficiency a priority, we continue to work to bring our customers only the best plumbing systems. Experience the Chas Roberts difference for yourself and contact us for all of your plumbing needs.