Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate
555 Walnut Street
5th Floor Forum Place
Harrisburg, PA 17101-1923

Phone: 717-783-5048 or toll free 800-684-6560
Fax: 717-783-7152


Consumer Tip for March 2004

Toll Free Number


 (PA only)

Save on Water and Water Heating Costs at the Same Time

Water heating is usually the home's third largest energy expense. So, saving heated water lowers energy and water save twice!

  • Repair dripping faucets right away. Leaking faucets can waste gallons of hot water in a very short time.
  • Install aerating, low-flow faucets and showerheads. You'll actually use less water without noticing much difference.
  • Insulate your hot water tank and pipes for added savings.
  • Check the manufacturer's guide for your dishwasher to see the recommended temperature for your hot water. Many water heaters are preset to 140 degrees. You may be able to lower the water heater temperature to 115 to 120 degrees and save energy.
  • Wash only full loads in your dishwasher. Let the dishes air dry. Avoid using the "rinse and hold" feature for just a few dishes as it uses three to seven gallons of hot water each time you use it.
  • Launder only full loads in your washing machine, and use cooler water whenever possible. This can cut the energy use almost in half for each load using cool water. About 80-85% of the energy used to launder clothes is from heating the water.
  • Investigate the energy saving appliances on the market today. A few manufacturers make a washing machine that empties the rinse cycle's water into a laundry tub where it can be saved. The washing machine pulls that rinse water back into the machine to wash the next load of laundry. This is an excellent way to save water heating energy and water. Buying an energy efficient water heater or washing machine, may cost more initially than a standard appliance, but the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance. Look for the Energy Star label.


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