Sustainable Home

Saving water saves energy, too. So, if you learn some new habits and invest in efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances, you’ll see a return on your water bill and your energy bill.  

How Energy and Water are Linked

Twenty percent of all of the electricity use in California, and 30 percent of all of natural gas use, is related to water. You might think it’s because we pump water from northern California to Southern California and over the Tehachapi Mountains. But it’s not. The largest share of that energy use is in our homes. So, when we save water, we save energy.

Where Water-Related Energy Use Occurs

%

Moving Water Across the State

%

Urban Water Utilities

%

Heating Water in Our Homes

%

Industrial Water Use

Saving Starts With Good Habits

It takes a little effort to start a good habit, but it won’t be long before you do the right thing without even thinking about it.

How to Save 2.5 Gallons per Minute

(That’s the flow rate of most faucets)

Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.

Chill a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running water until it cools.

Scrape dirty dishes instead of rinsing them.

Turn off the water while shaving.

Don’t thaw frozen foods with running water.

Don’t leave the water running when rinsing washed dishes.

Take a shorter shower.

Fill the sink to wash produce, instead of using running water.

Save Water Every Time . . .

Save up to 5 gallons per flush every time you don’t use your toilet as a wastebasket.

Save up to 4.5 gallons each time you don’t use the dishwasher — only wash full loads.

Save up to 50 gallons every time you don’t do a load of laundry — only wash full loads.

Good Plumbing Fixtures are Essential

If you have old plumbing fixtures in your home, replacing them with new, WaterSense labeled fixtures could save a lot of water.  WaterSense is a partnership between manufacturers and the Environmental Protection Agency to improve water efficiency. Look for this label when shopping for plumbing fixtures and look below to see how much more efficient the new fixtures are. Look for available rebates, too.

Toilets

GPF = Gallons per Flush

1.28 Gallons per Flush/ 2011
1.6 / 1992
5.0 / 1975

Showerheads

GPM = Gallons per Minute

2.0 Gallons per Minute / 2011
2.5 / 2009
3.5 / 1975

Faucets

GPM = Gallons per Minute

1.5 Gallons per Minute / 2011
2.2 / 2009
2.5 / 1975

The Quick Fix for Faucets

Purchase aerators with a flow rate of just 1.5 or 2.0 gallons per minute at your local hardware store. Then unscrew the tip of each of your faucets, being careful not to scratch the chrome, and replace the old aerators with the new ones. It’s easy to do and you’ll save water by the minute.

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Good Appliances are a Good Investment

Energy Star is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency to make appliances and other products energy efficient. Appliances that have an Energy Star label are also the most water efficient products on the market. Look below at how water efficiency has improved over the years. Look for available rebates, too.

Dishwashers

GPC = Gallons per Cycle

4.25 Gallons per Cycle / 2012
5.8 / 2009
16 / 1994

Clothes Washer

GPCF = Gallons per Cubic Foot*

6.0 Gallons per Cubic Foot of Capacity / 2011
8.5 / 2009
15 / 1992

* Most clothes washers have 3-4 cubic feet of capacity.

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