Save energy and water by not leaving the water running when you wash dishes.
Saving Water & Energy
The water heater is the second biggest energy user in the home.
You're charged for the water - and for heating it. An average family can spend
about $290 a year just taking showers, and many families spend more.
- Install a low-flow shower head. They use
half the water that regular ones use - and can save $2 a month per family
- Turn the water heater thermostat down to
120°F. That saves energy and prevents scalding.
- Take short showers. They use about half
as much water as a full bathtub.
- Repair leaky water faucets. One drop a
second can waste as much as 25 gallons a week!
- Buying a new water heater? Get one that
is no larger than required for your household needs, and consider a heat
pump water heater. These super-efficient electric water heaters cost more
up-front, but can save a family of four around $330/yr according to the
If you use a dishwasher:
- Wash only full loads. It costs exactly
the same to wash one dish as a whole load.
- Air dry dishes. If the dishwasher has an
air-dry feature, use it.
- Hand-rinse dishes in cold water and only
if you plan to wait a day or more before washing. Most dishwashers today
do a great job of washing dishes without pre-rinsing. So save energy,
water and elbow grease - and time.
- Fill dishwasher with detergent right
before running. Dry detergent may harden, while liquid detergent can leak.
- Fill the dishwasher according to the
manufacturer's instructions. This will allow the flow of water to properly
clean the dishes.
If you wash by hand:
- Rinse dishes in groups rather than one at
- Don't leave the water running.
- Don't wash a few dishes - wait unit you
have a full sink.
- Wash laundry in warm or cold water
instead of hot. Hot water needs to be used only for oily stains and very
- Lower the thermostat from the recommended
140°F to 120°F. Each 10 degree reduction in water temperature will
generally save you 3 to 5% on your water heating costs.
- Wash and dry only full loads. The machine
uses about the same amount of water whether you wash a full load or just
- Clean the dryer lint filter after every
load. Clogged filters drive up drying costs.
- Clean your outside dryer exhaust vent. It
draws unwanted heat away from the house.
- Dry several loads of laundry in a row.
Using the heat already there saves money.
- Dry clothes outside in good weather.
Sunlight is free!
Last updated February 18, 2022