YOU can't go without a regular wash to save money on bills, but you can make your shower more efficient instead.
Most people have either an electric, mixer or power shower in their homes.
Depending on the type of shower and your water use, the cost of running this essential appliance will vary.
The Sun spoke to an expert to find out how cutting back, or even switching the type of shower you have, can save you money.
Stephanie Hurry, head of water efficiency engagement at Waterwise, said the biggest thing you can do to save money is shower more quickly.
“A family of four could save as much as £670 a year on their annual energy and water bill just by reducing time spent in the shower, making this a great, no-cost way to save money,” she said.
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To do this, each member of the family would have to shower for five minutes instead of 10 – halving the amount of energy used to heat the water, and the cost of the water itself.
“If a family of four having daily 10-minute showers with a 10.8 kilowatt (KW) rated electric shower reduced them down to five minutes, they would save £447 on their annual electricity bill,” she explained.
“If we add in the potential water bill savings then they could save an additional £223 a year.”
If you struggle to stick to five minutes, Waterwise has a Spotify playlist with songs of the right length to help you time yourself.
And there is always not showering at all, Stephanie said
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“Do you need to shower that day? “Could you use dry shampoo on your hair and skip a hair wash?
“Skipping a shower or a hair wash can help save hundreds of litres of water,” she said.
Here are more tips for thinking about how to get the most out of your shower – without breaking the bank.
“Electric showers are generally quite water efficient as they use roughly eight litres of water per minute,” explained Stephanie.
They also provide instant hot water, so no waiting around for ages for it to heat up, meaning you don’t waste as much water.
Both these things result in a lower running cost than some other shower types.
They also don’t use water from the mains, so there is no danger of running out halfway through washing your hair.
In terms of energy and water efficiency, they are probably the best option.
Mixer showers, for example those that are fed from the bath, are usually lower in pressure and
can range between using 5-30 litres of water per minute but generally speaking they are about 8-12 litres.
The good thing with mixer showers is that you can replace your shower head for one that is much more water efficient.
“There are models on the market that are around six litres per minute and aerate the water at the same time so that you can't tell you are using less water,” Stephanie said.
“Some of the water companies offer these free of charge so it's worth checking!”
Power showers average around 12 to 15 litres of water a minute, with many using much more than this.
Average showers are generally between eight to 12 minutes, so if you had a flow rate of 15 litres per minute for a 10 minute shower you would be using 150 litres of water, more than a bath, which uses an average of 80 litres.
Stephanie says: “Although many people will think that a shower is more water-efficient than a bath, it's not if you're in there for a long time or if you have a high flow rate.
“There is definitely a trend towards more powerful showers with large rainfall-type shower heads and considering that 2/3 of water use in a home is used in a bathroom there are some big savings that can be made.”
She suggested changing shower heads to more water-efficient versions, or choosing an electric shower instead.
According to her calculations, a family of four could save as much as £270 a year on their water and energy bill by choosing a more efficient electric shower or shower head.
If a family of four stuck to 10 minute daily showers but chose a 7.5 KW efficient shower rather than a 10.8 KW electric shower they would save £136 a year on their electricity bill.
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As water flow and energy rating are linked, then as well as the energy saving, they would also save around three litres per minute which reduces their annual water bill by around £134 each year.
“If you don't have or don't want an electric shower then another great option is to fit a more water efficient shower head which can halve water consumption and deliver similar levels of annual savings,” she added.
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