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Melbourne households can save up to $150 annually through new water efficiency program

Hundreds of properties in Melbourne are set to improve their water use, thanks to Yarra Valley Water’s new Showerhead Efficiency and Water Audit Program. 

Plumber installing shower

More than 500 properties in Melbourne have already benefited from a free water audit and showerhead swap offer as part of this initiative, aimed at saving water and reducing household bills. 

Select households in Greenvale, Meadow Heights, Montmorency, Lower Plenty, Yallambie, Watsonia, and Viewbank were among the first to have participated in the trial. 

With this initial phase completed, Yarra Valley Water is expanding the trial and reaching out to residents in another nine suburbs to join. The water utility aims to complete 1,000 audits by the end of 2024. 

As part of this program, participating households will receive a comprehensive water audit conducted by a qualified plumber. The audit checks the water efficiency of fixtures in the bathroom, toilet, kitchen, laundry, and outdoors. The plumber also performs a meter leak test, measures flow rates, and provides recommendations to improve how people can use water more efficiently. 

Additionally, eligible customers can exchange up to four inefficient showerheads for water efficient alternatives, free of charge. 

Yarra Valley Water Managing Director Pat McCafferty said that making small changes around the home can have a big impact. 

“We are committed to helping our customers save water, energy, and money on their bills,” he said. “One of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce water consumption is by installing water efficient fixtures.” 

Changing to a 5-star water-efficient showerhead can save customers up to $150 per year on their water and energy bills. 

hot water tap close up

“Most of the water used in our homes needs to be heated - and that needs to be paid for." 

“Many people don’t realise that showers use the greatest amount of hot water in a typical Victorian home. By switching your showerhead for a water-efficient one, you can make a real difference in your water use and save money on heating it too,” Mr McCafferty said. 

Under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme, showerheads are given a star rating from 1 to 5 stars, with high ratings indicating great water efficiency. The program offers a variety of WELS-rated 5-star showerheads, all featuring a high-quality chrome finish and retailing at $120 or more. 

The program was approved through Yarra Valley Water’s 2023-2028 price submission, which outlines the services provided and the prices customers will pay in the next five-year period. 

Around 15,000 homes are eligible for the free audit and showerhead replacement during the program, which will run over a five-year period. 

The initiative aligns with the Victorian Government’s Target 150 campaign, which encourages Melburnians to reduce their average daily individual water usage from 159 to 150 litres a day. 

“The program can save a typical Melburnian home around 20,000 litres a year – that’s a significant saving based on average annual water use.” 

“Every drop counts when it comes to supporting long term water security,” Mr McCafferty said. “By making a few simple changes around our homes, we can all work to help conserve water, protecting our precious water supply for generations to come,” Mr McCafferty said. 

Further information is on the Yarra Valley Water website.