Running hot water

is the most expensive

 and energy-intensive

 activity we do in our


Mirror Talkers study by Denise Baden, Professor of Sustainable Business from the University of Southampton

in collaboration with Eco Hair and Beauty and Green Salon Collective // funding from UK Research and Innovation // support from L'Oréal, Wella and Toni & Guy // research assistance from Stephanie Hodgson


Eco Tip 2: Running hot water is the most expensive and energy-intensive activity we do in our homes.

DYK that one of the most expensive and energy-intensive activities in your homes is running hot water? Heating water takes much more energy than heating air, so any steps you take to reduce the amount of hot water you use, reduces your carbon footprint as well as your energy and water bills.

    Read on for:

    • Health and beauty tips
    • Money saving tips
    • Environmental tips
    • Bonus tips ...and more! 


Most of us wash our hair in water that is too hot.  Washing hair in tepid or lukewarm water rather than hot water is better for the follicles. Overly hot water stimulates the sebaceous glands and encourages oil production which can lead to oily hair.  

Showering in very hot water is also not good for your skin, especially for long periods of time. 


Put simply, the hotter the water, the higher the bills. Heating water uses an enormous amount of energy so using less hot water can reduce your energy bills.

Energy Saving Trust recommends to snub the tub:

   "If everybody in a family of four replaces one bath a week with a five-minute shower, up to £10 a year could be saved on gas bills and up to £10 on water bills (if you have a water meter)." 

Go to Energy Saving Trust to learn more. 

EXPERT TIP: Replacing your old shower head with an eco head or an aerated one will drastically cut your (hot) water usage. This is a quick and cheap win–aerated shower heads can be ordered online for roughly £20 and pay for themselves with savings very quickly.


Have you considered that running hot water also creates greenhouse gas emissions?  

Heating water is very energy intensive. For the cost of a 10 minute hot shower, you could probably leave your TV or PC on for most of the day. 

So showering for less time, washing clothes only when you need to, and filling the kettle only as far as you need to are all ways to save money and help the planet. 


1: Shorter showers save time. If you share a bathroom with others this can be a real bonus!

2: Regularly turning off the shower while lathering or shaving will save on hot water, too!

3: It may sound simple but turning down the temperature just a bit lower than you normally do when taking a shower can really make a difference.



Most of us use too much shampoo and shampoo more often than is ideal or even necessary. Shampooing once rather than rinsing and repeating and also shampooing fewer times a week is better for your skin, scalp, hair and bills. 


Laundry detergents are now designed to wash clothes at 30 degrees not 40 or 60. If you look at the washing instructions on your clothes/bedding, very few ask for temperatures above 40.

If you have stubborn stains, it is much better to pre-soak and use a stain remover than to hammer the fabric with excessively high temperatures for a long time.


You may take the shortest showers in the world but if your heating system is riddled with leaks or is poorly insulated, you are most definitely using more energy than you think!

If you haven't already thought about your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) much before today, now is the time to take note! Making changes to better conserve heating or cooling and eliminate heating or cooling loss may have some of the greatest impacts on your energy bills. This involves regular HVAC maintenance.

Regular maintenance of your HVAC equipment will secure these investments while making sure they work their magic. For most equipment and systems, annual maintenance is the standard.