By installing a shower monitor, an average family of four in Australia can save 28 % of the cost of taking showers, says Watersave Australia.
Watersave Australia has conducted trials of a high-tech monitoring device with nine randomly selected families to prove this percentage of savings in the cost of water and water heating for showers.
Watersave says the trials prove that when the shower monitor is used by an average family taking four showers a day it can pay for itself within the first year out of savings in water and electricity or gas.
It says the average family can save between $95 and $250 a year in water and power bills by using the monitor, the actual amount depending on whether family members use low, medium or high water flows at higher or lower temperatures while showering.
The family can also save between 0.83 tonne and 2.20 tonnes of carbon emissions a year by using the monitor, Watersave says.
These savings can be multiplied by 10 to predict total savings over the estimated 10-year life of the monitor says the distributor.
A director of Watersave, Paul Marsh, says, “The trials prove that an Australian household can save hundreds of dollars a year by using our Waitek Shower Monitor.
“When 10,000 or more of these monitors are installed in homes across the country, Australian households will start saving millions of dollars a year in the cost of water, power and carbon emissions,” he says.
Gosford City Council, on the Central Coast of New South Wales, invited the families of its employees to take part in the trials and nine families accepted the invitation.
Watersave supplied each household with a Waitek shower monitor to install by themselves in their bathrooms.
Each family used the monitor for a one-month trial. The first two weeks were a control period during which the monitors recorded data while the family members could not read how much time they were spending in the shower or how much water they were using.
During the second two weeks, the family members could read on the monitor’s small electronic display how much time they were spending and how much water they were using.
At the end of the month, a Watersave representative visited the families and used a wireless reading device to download data from the shower monitors.
Then an independent statistician who had been involved with similar trials of the monitor in New Zealand, analysed the data and reported the findings.
The Australian trials verified the findings of the earlier trials conducted by Waitek, the manufacturer, with 15 households in New Zealand.
Each household in the Gosford trials consisted of a family with two parents and from one to six children. Many of the families included teenagers. The average family had two children.
The trials showed that family members began taking shorter showers once they began monitoring their own usage, some of them reducing their time in the shower from 24 minutes to four minutes.
Yet they tended not to reduce the flow rate or temperature of the water.
The monitor not only monitors the amount of water family members use as they shower but also alerts them when they are using too much.
It can be installed with any showerhead. When the person turns the shower on, the monitor starts and its display panel shows the present time and water temperature and a bar graph indicating the duration of the shower.
As a shower progress, the graph diminishes until it disappears. Then a beeper alerts the person showering that water is being wasted.
A few minutes after the shower is turned off, the monitor resets itself ready for the next person to shower.
The only way to turn off the beeper is to turn off the shower. If the shower is turned back on within an adjustable delay time, the beeper comes back on.
Sensors and a microchip enable the shower monitor, powered by a long-life lithium battery, to measure flow and temperature and calculate hot water usage.