Most homeowners in the US are familiar with the Energy Star label on appliances and lighting fixtures, windows and other home products. Energy Star is a joint program of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy that sets strict guidelines for energy efficiency and provides for third party testing to assure that products actually perform as expected.
More and more homeowners are seeking out the Energy Star label, because it provides reliable and valuable information that allows them to make informed decisions and anticipate their return on investment. A recent study by the National Association of Home Builders reports that 94% of home buyers either must have, or highly desire a home with Energy Star rated appliances, and 91% either must have or highly desire an Energy Star rating for the whole home.
Energy efficiency is becoming a top-of-mind consideration for homeowners and home buyers. That is definitely a good thing. But those of us who live in the desert know that we should be mindful not only of saving energy, but also of saving water. Water is a precious and vital resource, and communities across the country, not just in the desert Southwest, are facing serious challenges regarding their water supply.
The average American home goes through more than 300 gallons of water every single day. About 70 percent of the usage is from indoor use — toilets, showers, washing clothes — and the other 30 percent is used outdoors. Much of the water usage in the average American home is wasted by leaky faucets — about 10,000 gallons of water every year!
The Energy Star label has provided us with information, products and practices that can save a significant amount of energy with cost-effective choices that save money as well as energy. Now there is another label that I predict will become as familiar to us as the Energy Star label, providing information about water saving products and services. It is called WaterSense. You can find the WaterSense label in stores right now, identifying water faucets and fixtures that save water.
Much like Energy Star, WaterSense is a partnership program by the Environmental Protection Agency providing consumers with simple ways to save water through labeling of products and serving as an information resource to help people use water more wisely and efficiently. Products with the WaterSense label have to meet rigorous guidelines, and are tested to assure they actually do save water.
Also like Energy Star, WaterSense has a program for certification of new homes. A WaterSense labeled new home is independently certified to meet water efficiency and performance criteria, featuring WaterSense labeled plumbing products, an efficient hot water delivery system, and water saving landscape design. When compared to the average American home, a WaterSense labeled new home will save more than 50,000 gallons of water per year and as much as $600 per year on utility costs.
If you happen to be in the market for a new home, be sure to look for those that have the WaterSense certification — we have some in Las Cruces. But you don’t have to buy a new home to begin saving water! Here are some things you can do: When any of your plumbing fixtures need to be replaced, look for the WaterSense label for their replacement. I have discovered that low flow fixtures come in all styles and designer colors, and fit into any décor.
- Take shorter showers.
- Turn off the water while your are brushing your teeth.
- If you have a dishwasher, use it – it will take less water than handwashing. Be sure to only run it when full.
- Take your car to the carwash rather than washing it at home.
- When sprucing up your landscaping, choose drought-tolerant plants that thrive on small amounts of water.
- Fix those leaky faucets! Even a tiny drip can add up to thousands of gallons over time.
You can find out more about the WaterSense program and products by going to their website at www.epa.gov/WaterSense.
Source: Las Cruces Sun-News (By Renee Frank)
The value of a home can also be substantially increased by the installation of water conservation systems such as grey water recycling and rainwater harvesting. Rainwater harvesting systems can range from a simple downspout from a gutter directing rainwater into a rain barrel or small rain water tank, to a more complex rainwater system with multiple above-ground or underground water tanks with pressure pumps that integrate the rainwater with the existing water supply. In South Africa, a house or building that has a rainwater system installed will have a higher value than a similar building without one, especially with our recurring municipal water outages and sometimes suspect quality of municipal water. The water tank is at the heart of most water conservation system and it pays to choose a high quality tank that will last a long time. We recommend polyethylene water tanks made by JoJo Tanks as they are of high quality and carry a 5 year guarantee. Click on the links below to view the wide range of JoJo water tanks, JoJo rainwater tanks, JoJo tank stands and other JoJo Tanks products available in South Africa.
JoJo Tanks South Africa offer a wide range of plastic water tanks and chemical tanks to suit every household, business or agricultural need, including silo tanks and silo tank stands. See JoJo Tanks VERTICAL TANKS, HORIZONTAL TANKS (transporter tanks), STEEL TANK STANDS and OTHER JOJO PRODUCTS. Also see JoJo Tanks’ NEW 6000 LITRE UNDERGROUND TANKS. Also see our FAQ and WATER TANK PRICES.
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