Water Conservation Buyer's Guide

Water Conservation Products: Save $100s, Save Energy, Save the Planet

Water Conservation Buyer's Guide

As implied by their name, water conservation products help you use less water, thus conserving the limited fresh water supply and saving energy, money, and the planet along with it! In this guide, we'll discuss:

  • - Why water conservation is important
  • - How saving water saves energy and money
  • - Products to purchase to help you save

Fresh water is limited!
Although it may seem like we have an abundant supply of fresh water, this is not the case. Less than 1 percent of the world’s water is available for use. The rest is too salty (ocean water), frozen in ice caps, or otherwise inaccessible. And while the natural water cycle always returns the one percent we are using, it’s not always to the same place or in the same quality.

Water requires energy & money!
It takes energy and resources to move, treat, and heat water. Every drop you save helps conserve the supply, saves energy, and saves you money. With that said, the first step in saving water is to recognize just how much we use (spoiler alert - it’s a LOT)!

How Much Water We Use

Just how much water do we use (and waste) each day? Here’s some info from epa.gov to give you an idea:

  • - The average American family uses over 300 gallons of water per day at home. 70% of this use occurs indoors.
  • - Bathrooms are the largest use of water in the home, using more than 50% of all indoor water use.
  • - The average shower lasts about 8 minutes and uses more than 16 gallons of water.
  • - Across the United States, we use more than 1 TRILLION gallons of water each year just for showering.
  • - Approximately 5-10% of US homes have easy-to-fix leaks that drip away over 90 gallons a day.

How (and how much) do Water Conservation Products Help Save?

Water conservation products help save water and the energy required to move, treat, and heat it. Not only does this help the environment, but also helps you save money on your utility bills.

According to energy.gov, water heating is the second largest energy expense in the home, typically accounting for about 18% of your utility bill after heating and cooling. When you start conserving hot water, savings really start to add up!

How Much Water We Can Save

Here are some more epa.gov fun facts to show you just how much you can save.

Upgrade appliances
The average family spends more than $1,000 per year in water costs, but can save over $380 annually by upgrading to WaterSense labeled fixtures and ENERGY STAR certified appliances.



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We can use at least 20% less water by installing water-efficient fixtures and appliances (and they perform just as well or better than the standard models)!



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Replacing old, inefficient bathroom faucets and aerators with WaterSense labeled models can save the average family 700 gallons a year and $250 in water and electricity costs over the faucets' lifetime.



Upgrade shower
Replacing showerheads with WaterSense labeled models can reduce the average family's water and electricity costs by $70 and can save the average family more than 2,700 gallons of water per year, equal to the amount of water needed to wash 88 loads of laundry.



Save energy
Giving a home's main bathroom a high-efficiency makeover by installing a WaterSense labeled toilet, showerhead, and faucet aerator can pay for itself in as little as 1 year.




Water Conserving Showerheads

Though this marketplace doesn't offer all the water conservation products your home needs for a full water-conscious makeover, we have many to get you started, beginning with showerheads.

Standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm), but WaterSense certified showerheads use less than 2.0 gpm, offering significant water and energy savings. Worried about sacrificing a great shower for great savings? Don’t be! WaterSense showerheads are intelligently designed to still offer great water pressure and spray coverage using less water, so you won’t even know the difference.

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Thermostatic Shut-Off Valves (or TSVs)

Countless gallons of hot water are wasted at the start of every shower. This is because while waiting for the shower to get warm, people often leave to do something such as brush their teeth. A Thermostatic Shut-Off Valve (or TSV) solves this problem and makes it easy to stop wasting water. This simple and affordable device fits between your shower arm and existing showerhead. We also offer showerheads and tub spouts with integrated TSVs.

How it Works

1. Turn on the Shower
Turn on your shower and do all the things you would normally do while waiting for it to get warm.

2. ShowerStart Kicks In
While you're brushing your teeth or making coffee, ShowerStart kicks in and starts monitoring your water temperature. When it reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit, it automatically lowers your shower flow to a trickle to save water. It will stay this way until you are ready to get in.

3. Shower is Ready - Just Pull the Cord
You know the shower is ready because you can hear it's just trickling. When you are ready to get in, just pull the cord to resume full shower flow.

Take me to the TSVs


Faucet Aerators

An aerator attaches to the end of your faucet and ultimately determines its maximum flow rate. While the standard faucet flow rate is 2.2 gpm, water conserving aerators restrict flow rates from 0.5 to 1.5 gpm.

They work by incorporating air into your water stream, which effortlessly reduces water consumption without affecting water pressure. They are inexpensive and very easy to install (just screw them on), making them one of the most cost effective ways to save water and energy. We offer aerators for both bathroom and kitchen faucets.

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By registering for the SMECO Online Store you certify that you are a SMECO residential customer-member and will install the items you purchase in your home. Eligible customer-members may order up to 24 LED lighting products per calendar year, 3 smart thermostats over the lifetime of the program, 2 advanced power strips per calendar year, 2 dehumidifiers or 3 air purifiers per calendar year, 2 aerators and 2 shower heads per calendar year, and 6 controls and 6 smart plugs over the lifetime of the program. Targeted customer-members may be eligible for an incentivized Energy Efficiency Kit. Purchases totaling $35.00 or more receive free shipping.

EmPOWER Maryland programs are funded by a charge on your energy bill. EmPOWER programs can help you reduce your energy consumption and save you money. To learn more about EmPOWER and how you can participate, go to SMECO.coop/save.