June 4, 2012
The shower-it's where many people go to start their morning with a splash or to rinse away stress at the end of the day. That's why a satisfying spray is so critical to your customers. What most people don't realize, however, is that the time spent under the nozzle can waste a lot of water-and energy-if the showerhead is an old, inefficient model.
Showering accounts for nearly 17 percent of residential indoor water use. At an average of nearly 20 gallons of water per shower, that adds up to about 1.2 trillion gallons of water used across the United States annually just for showering-enough to meet the residential water needs of New York and New Jersey for a whole year.
That's why WaterSense offers a label for water-efficient, high-performance showerheads: the combined savings across the country could add up to more than 260 billion gallons of water and $4.8 billion in water and energy costs if all the homes in the United States use WaterSense labeled models. The average family could save 2,300 gallons of water per year-enough to wash 57 loads of laundry-simply by replacing one showerhead.
If the potential for water savings isn't enough to make a light bulb go off, consider this: replacing just one showerhead with a WaterSense labeled model saves enough electricity from each shower to light a 60-watt bulb for eight hours. And WaterSense labeled showerheads are available in a wide variety of styles and types; 568 different models have earned the label in the past two years.
The Coverage Customers Expect
Despite the attractive savings, shower-loving customers might raise an eyebrow when they hear the term "water-efficient." And with good reason; some of the "low-flow" showerheads of the past may have been lacking in spray performance. That's where WaterSense makes all the difference.
Because WaterSense labeled showerheads are independently certified for both water savings and product performance, EPA made sure to develop criteria to ensure this new generation of water-saving showerheads would satisfy customers. In 2008, EPA asked about 40 consumers ranging in age between 22 annnd 78 to collectively evaluate 22 showerheads for pressure compensation, spray pattern, and spray intensity.
Feedback regarding each showerhead's performance revealed some common trends, most notably that weak sprays just don't measure up. People also strongly dislike showerheads that force water out in a single jet from the center of the showerhead and tend to react negatively to showerheads that spray in a donut-shaped pattern, with substantial water dispersion around the circumference of the device and no water emitted from the middle.
Prior to releasing its final showerhead specification, WaterSense designed performance criteria to weed out the poor spray patterns and weak shower sprays consumers deemed unsatisfactory. To earn the WaterSense label, showerheads must exert enough force to rinse away soap and shampoo lather, while distributing satisfying spray patterns and maintaining a maximum flow rate of two gallons per minute at a range of flow pressures up to 80 psi, which is 20 percent more water-efficient than the current federal standard.
Shower Your Customers with Savings
This fall, as part of its We're for Water campaign, EPA is planning a special WaterSense-labeled showerhead promotion. Specifically, WaterSense will be emphasizing the performance, energy, and water savings of WaterSense labeled showerheads. Many consumers will have a chance for additional savings, since energy conservation programs and water utilities that partner with WaterSense sometimes offer incentives for installing water-saving showerheads. These range from product rebates to energy retrofit kits that include a free replacement showerhead.
Plumbers can get in on the action by reminding customers to replace their showerheads with water- and energy-saving models and to check for local incentive programs in their area. By encouraging your customers to look for the WaterSense label, you can be assured that these products have been independently certified to provide the force and spray needed for a satisfying shower.
For more information about the fall showerhead campaign, contact the WaterSense Helpline. Click here to learn more about WaterSense labeled showerheads.