The Government has published a Ministerial Statement by secretary of state George Eustice outlining measures to take forward supporting water-efficient homes, as part of its 25-year Environment Plan to achieve clean and plentiful water.
Among a raft of measures announced today, the Government is to introduce a mandatory water efficiency label to inform consumers and encourage the purchase of more water-efficient products for both domestic and business use. It will also consider the potential to achieve energy savings, as well as further water savings, and explore how these can be achieved in a way that minimises the impact on consumers.
Other measures include asking water companies to address leakage on customers' pipes, and encouraging local authorities to adopt the optional minimum building standard of 110 litres per person. It also outlined its intention to develop a roadmap in 2022 towards greater efficiency in new developments and retrofits, including the exploration of revised building regulations and how the development of new technologies can contribute to meeting these standards.
The Unified Water Label Association MD Yvonne Orgill welcomed the announcement saying: "We are looking forward to working with the Government and taking forward our industry water label, a unique tool, developed by industry experts and used extensively to identify water use of bathroom products. In the first half of 2021, over 28,000 visitors have used the water calculator and since its development over 10 years ago over 150,000 projects have been calculated.
“The Unified Water Label is tried and tested in the market place. It is robust and meets all the demands of the environmental bill. It has been developed by the industry, by working together we have made significant progress, taking on board the challenges and driving forward changes in opinion and habits in consumers. If we can continue to work collectively towards a common goal, I am confident that with government support we can make the Unified Water Label a mandatory solution that works for the industry and the consumer."
Responding to the announcement, BMA Chief Executive, Tom Reynolds, said: “Bathroom manufacturers are playing their part in reducing water consumption with a wide range of innovative products. Water efficiency labelling is embraced by the sector, under a voluntary scheme which has been in existence for many years, the Unified Water Label.
“BMA and its members are committed to working with Government to develop and implement any new mandatory UK requirement. The Unified Water Label is tried and tested, and already backed by industry, providing an efficient and effective way for Government to ensure consumers are fully informed, and it will avoid the confusion of double labelling.
“More than two thirds of domestic water use is used in the bathroom, and manufacturers are ready to lead the way in helping everyone reduce their water use.”