Baths vs Showers: In figures
For many of us showers have become part of our daily routine, while baths are more of a weekly event. According to a 2013 study by the Energy Saving Trust, people in the UK take an average of 4.4 showers per week compared to 1.3 baths.
An average shower lasted for seven-and-a-half minutes and people living in larger households with more people took fewer showers each week, but stayed in them longer. This might suggest that they weren’t always willing to queue or fight for the shower but made the most of it when they did.
The report was the biggest ever study of how Britons used water in the home and used data supplied by 86,000 British households. It revealed some interesting facts about how water was used – and frequently wasted – in UK households.
The average household washed dishes by hand 10 times and used their dishwasher three times a week. 22% of household water was used in the kitchen, mostly through washing machines, dishwashers, kettles and taps. Far more water was used on showers however. They accounted for a quarter of water usage, followed closely by the toilet (22%).
An earlier study by Waterwise has also suggested that, contrary to popular beliefs, baths are not necessarily more water efficient than showers. In fact, while power showers can use more water than the average bath, most showers use significantly less water than baths.
According to the Waterwise study, the average eight-minute shower used 62 litres of hot water, compared with 80 litres for an average bath. Power showers could use far more, however, consuming up to 136 litres in the same amount of time.
The more recent Energy Saving Trust survey revealed that these wasteful power showers were still popular. Around a quarter of respondents had high-flow power showers installed, although a similar proportion now have more efficient eco-showerheads installed.
Both studies highlighted the benefits of cutting down your time in the shower, both economically and ecologically speaking. Cutting a single minute off time spent in the shower would save British households a total of £215 million on energy bills.
Andrew Tucker, water strategy manager at Energy Saving Trust, said: “When people think of energy use they think of heating and lighting, running electrical appliances or filling the car with petrol. It’s all too easy to turn on the tap and not think about the consequences. “
He went on to highlight that many consumers don’t think about the environmental and energy costs associated with their water usage. As an example, on average, hot water use contributes £228 to the average annual combined energy bill. With energy bills seemingly climbing by the day this could present a significant financial hit for UK households.
While it’s impossible to completely cut out water-consuming appliances such as showers, from our daily routines we can work to take more control over the water we do use.
We should all think about how we use them but showers really are a vital part of the daily routine for most people. If you struggle with mobility issues, you might find a safe, accessible and ecologically sound solution in the range of walk-in showers from Bathing Solutions.