European Union DIY retailers, builders’ merchants and manufacturers have launched a voluntary labeling program to help consumers identify the water efficiency of bathroom taps, showers, toilets and baths.
Companies that have agreed to label all of their bathroom appliances are: Argos, B&Q, Chandlers’ Building Supplies, Homebase, Travis Perkins, Saint Gobain, Wolseley UK and Southern Water, according to the Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP), which is driving the initiative.
The new labeling will start to appear across a wide range of products next summer.
The scheme will use the existing Water Label, which follows a similar approach to the Energy Efficiency Label found on appliances such as fridges and freezers. What’s new is that the label will be used on all bathroom fittings on sale — currently, the label is not used widely. This means the label will be added to a much broader range of products.
The data on water use will also be added at point-of-sale and on websites over the next 12 months. This is intended to give the industry time to make the necessary changes ready to start rolling out to consumers by the summer of 2014.
The agreement to label full product ranges for showers, taps, toilets and baths was reached by a cross-industry group brought together by WRAP at the request of the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The group was tasked with looking at the role the sector could play in reducing water demand through increasing sales of water-efficient bathroom fittings.
Organizations will be invited to sign the commitment and report their achievements to WRAP on an annual basis. This will enable WRAP to publish the total estimated water, energy and cost savings that their customers have made through buying more water-efficient fittings.