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The Synergy Between Water And Energy Efficiency


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Posted 10/6/2024

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Everyone is all too aware of the energy issues we are face as an industry. The race to achieving net zero is accelerating as more businesses, public sector bodies and consumers aim to minimise carbon emissions.

According to the World Green Building Council, the built environment represents 39 per cent of global energy-related carbon emissions.

To combat this, the Council issued a challenge: by 2030, all new buildings must be net-zero carbon in operation and embodied carbon reduced by at least 40 per cent, while all buildings must be net zero by 2050, echoing the UK’s own emissions target.

To reach the net-zero target, carbon emissions from heating need to drop by 95 per cent. Achieving this means that by 2050, households can only generate 140kg of carbon.

Although many stakeholders in the built environment are making progress, newfound levels of holistic thinking are required given the scale of the challenge.

An example of this is considering the relationship between reduced water waste and lower energy consumption.

Strategies to improve energy efficiency rarely include water efficiency measures, despite the urgent need highlighted by frequent droughts. Doing so can unlock significant carbon reductions and represent a large incremental step towards achieving sustainable building goals.

Pursuing water efficiency

Water use is a key marker of environmental impact. A benchmark of improved efficiency is a reduced per capita consumption (PCC).

Common solutions found in domestic and commercial settings to lower PCC often entail reducing use at the point of consumption. Examples include specially designed fixtures and fittings such as toilets, taps and shower heads.

Alongside this, we are increasingly encouraged to use water-saving behaviours such as reusing and recycling water.

Beyond these measures. there are ways to increase the efficiency of the current water supply infrastructure without significant investment. The solution compromises of a relatively straightforward retrofit within existing supply infrastructure, rather than the requitement to rip out and replace.

Achieving this reduction in PCC via the water supply infrastructure is not hypothetical. It is within easy reach much like complementary energy efficiency solutions are, such as LED and solar panel installations.

Scaling up reduced water waste

When a building has a water mains connection, there are naturally occurring pressure fluctuations, meaning significant reductions can be generated by regulating the incoming flow. This is achievable via a relatively straightforward turnkey retrofit without the need to rip and replace existing pipework.

Efficiencies are centred around patented Control Flow HL2024® technologies which eliminate flow variations caused by pressure fluctuations in the mains supply system to less than two per cent. This significantly reduces water waste.

Field tests show that providing a regulated flow, water use measured in PPC, is cut by 23 per cent in residential houses, translating to roughly 30 litres per day per person. For a household, this can be 73 litres per day. In commercial properties, PCC has been shown to drop by 30 per cent.

Unlocking the synergy between water and energy efficiency

The reasons behind the synergy are straightforward. As around 35 per cent of the water consumed in the home is heated, if you use less water overall, you need less energy to heat it.

The annual savings in terms of greenhouse gas emissions when Control Flow solutions are fitted equates to approximately 0.6t of carbon per household, per year.

On average, this was saving residents an average of approximately £360 on their annual utility bills.

This highlights how solutions that deliver tangible reduction in PCC at the infrastructure level have a big role to play in supporting not just fuel poverty, but net-zero targets.

It is this synergy that also means Control Flow solutions are an essential component of emerging HVAC solutions including the growing frequency of ground and air source heat pump installations. As, like central heating, these centre around heating water, optimising flow means overall efficiency increases.

To discover how we at Control Flow technology can help you scale up your approach unlock the synergy between water and energy efficiency, make and enquiry today.


Article by:
Caroline Gray Mason - Director of Water Services

Related Tags

Energy saving Water