Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Household goods to carry water efficiency labels [September 2023]

The press release issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 29 September 2023.

New eco-labels to will help save consumers money on their energy and water bills.

  • New eco-labels to help save consumers money on their energy and water bills
  • Labels will help reduce usage by 20% per person by 2038 and save an estimated £125 million on water bills over 10 years
  • Delivers on pledge in the government’s Plan for Water which sets out government action to protect our water resources

Toilets, sinks, dishwashers and washing machines will soon be sold with new water efficiency labels to help consumers reduce their water usage and save themselves money, the government has confirmed today (Friday 29 September).

This follows a public consultation to make water efficiency labelling mandatory by 2025, which received widespread support and is one of the pledges in the government’s Plan for Water. Products that will be subject to labelling include toilets, urinals, bathroom basin taps, shower outlet devices and shower assembly solutions, dishwashers, washing machines and combination washer-dryers.

The aim is for these labels to echo energy efficiency labels, with a category rating from A to F on household goods. The majority of respondents (74%) agreed that the proposal will help to reduce water consumption by 2038.

Water Minister Rebecca Pow said:

Labels are a simple and effective way to help the public save water when buying their next dishwasher or washing machine. Providing people with the information to make an informed choice means not only less water being wasted but also keeping bills lower too.

With demand for water growing and challenges from climate change, this government is acting to make sure England’s water system is resilient – and through our Plan for Water we’ve set out how more investment, stronger regulation and tougher enforcement will help secure water resources for the future.

Based on 2019 prices, the label could help save £125 million on water bills and £147 million on energy bills over 10 years, and 1,200 million litres of water a day across the UK – equivalent to 480 Olympic swimming pools. These projections are based on research from the Energy Saving Trust, funded by Defra and Waterwise, which found that a mandatory government led label would lead people to adopt more water efficient behaviours. By encouraging them to choose a device labelled as highly water efficient, consumers will see decreased bills through water savings and subsequent energy savings related to hot water use.

The government will continue to engage with industry on further details, such as how each category will be defined and the visual design of the label. The government has set an ambitious target to reduce the use of public water supply per person by 20% by 2038. Water efficiency labelling will form a key part of this goal, as laid out in our Plan for Water.

The Environment Agency’s review of draft Regional Water Resource Plans found an additional 4,000 million litres of water a day will be needed in England by 2050 to meet future supply pressures.  Approximately half of this amount will need to be delivered through demand management measures, including reducing leakage, and household and non-household consumption.

The Plan for Water, which was launched in April, brings together significant action already taken, along with more investment, stronger regulation and tougher enforcement on those who pollute. This includes the launch of a new National Policy Statement for water resources infrastructure, to help key water supply infrastructure – such as reservoirs and water transfer schemes – be built more quickly.

This summer, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero also published new advice for households on water efficiency to save energy.

Notes to editors