The 17 Things

Low-flow showerheads and dual flush toilets which reduce the amount of water used, are the most cost-effective way to save water. Water saving showerheads can be easily fitted to existing shower arms.

No 15: Water Efficiency Devices

The 17 Things

What Is It?

Dual flush toilets has two flush levels to help you control how much water you use. Image credits to Queanbeyan City Council www.qcc.nsw.gov.au/

Dual flush toilets has two flush levels to help you control how much water you use. Image credits to Queanbeyan City Council www.qcc.nsw.gov.au/

Water efficiency devices are those with built-in functions or additional devices that reduce the amount of water used. There are a whole range of water efficient devices available to home owners. The bathroom is where the most amount of water is used in the house so you might like to begin with installing dual flush toilets and water efficient showerheads. Water efficient showerheads have greatly improved since the first generation were introduced and they now deliver a great shower experience as well as water efficiency, so they are really worth installing.

How will it help me reduce my running costs and increase my comfort?

One of the best ways to save both water and energy is to install an efficient showerhead. Water efficient showerheads can be easily fitted to existing shower arms. Rebates may be available and prices start from $20. Water authorities sometimes run exchange programs, so check with them before purchasing a showerhead.

Many local hardware stories stock water efficient showerheads. Image credit to ©iStock.com/ coloroftime

Many local hardware stories stock water efficient showerheads.
Image credit to ©iStock.com/ coloroftime

Water efficient showerheads are the most cost-effective way to save water. Upgrading from a medium-efficiency (10 L per minute) to a high-efficiency showerhead (5 L per minute) can help reduce both water and energy costs; the energy savings come from reduced hot water use. Even cheap showerheads can be highly water efficient. And using less water with more water efficient taps will result in great savings.

If you need to replace your toilet suite, ultra-low flush toilets are now available.

Upgrading from an old-style 12 L single-flush cistern to the highest efficiency 4.5 L/3 L dual-flush toilet can also be beneficial. A low-cost alternative to a brand new toilet is installing a flush arrestor; a device that lets the toilet flush for only as long as the user holds down the button. This will also result in a very good payback time.

What professional should I talk to about this?

The Centre for Liveability Real Estate always recommends you consult further with any relevant specialist design or building consultants or assessors before making any decision regarding your specific property based on the Liveability Property Marketing Features™.

Home energy assessors and licensed plumbers are skilled in helping you find the right water efficiency device.

Your local retailer or water utility company can also provide specific information about water efficiency devices. In NSW and Victoria, the Smarter Choice retail program trains retail staff to advise you on the energy and water efficiency of different products, including energy and water devices. Visit a Smarter Choice retailer in your state.

What professional should I talk to about this?

15A

The WELS label.

You can begin on the Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) website to see what products are available with ratings – the more stars means less energy and water use, and the more money you will save. The WELS scheme covers showers, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, and taps and flow controllers, and requires all devices to be rated according to stringent standards.

When you’re at your home improvement retailer make sure you look for the distinctive WELS label.

What is the price range I can expect?

Prices depend on the product you are buying, and while rebates are not available under the WELS scheme, water authorities may be offering rebates to people who buy WELS-registered products with specific star ratings, as these encourage people to buy more sustainable products with decreased impact on the environment and the potential to decrease your bills.

If you’re on a budget, start with the least expensive tweaks, like replacing your showerhead.  WELS 3 star showerheads cost as little as $15 upwards and those with a higher rating go up to around $300. Choice magazine asked asked families to rate the shower experience of water efficient showerheads. see which ones they likes

Water efficient showerheads can save around $100–$150 a year on household water bills and up to $200 a year on energy bills depending on the type of hot water system you have in your home.

You can buy a dual flush 4 WELS star toilet from around $300 upwards.

You should check if the showerhead and toilet you want to purchase and install is eligible for a government rebate or incentives from your retailer. Check out our list of Current Water Rebates.

Where can I find more information?

The Australian Government’s website on Water Rating is also a great introduction on understanding water rating labels. You can also search the label for a specific device to see which is right for your home.

See Liveability for a list of water rebates you may be eligible for and information on water efficient showerheads.

More tips can also be found on the Save Water website.

If you’re looking for more detailed information, The Economics of Water Saving Technology In Victoria Report by the ATA is a review of common water saving technologies in the Victorian water market. While it is specific to Victoria, some information can be applied to all states.

If I already have this feature, is there anything I need to know about using it effectively?

Fix any leaks in the home to ensure that you are keeping control of your water costs. Leaking toilets can waste a lot of water – up to 10 litres per hour or more.

If you can visibly see water flowing into the bowl, or hear the cistern “hissing”, then you should get it fixed immediately. If you have dual flush toilets, make sure to use the full flush only when necessary.

More tips for the Bathroom and tips for the Laundry are available on Liveability.

Does this work better when combined with any of the other 17 Things™

Water efficient devices will work better when combined with No. 12 Efficient Hot Water Systems and No. 16 Rainwater Tanks connected to the home. Water efficient devices, efficient hot water systems and rainwater tanks are designed to use heat and collect water in cost effective ways. Together, these features will allow you to further reduce running costs.

Will this feature be recognised when I sell my property?

Yes; Liveability Real Estate Specialist sales agents and property managers have been upskilled to identify an additional 17 Things™ on top of a standard property appraisal. So if you have invested in any of the 17 Things™ this means your property will be appraised and marketed with real skill and with the best marketing resources for online and print media.

You can book a free property appraisal with a Liveability Real Estate Specialist any time you’re ready to sell or even if you’re not planning to sell for a couple of years. Each of the 17 Things™ has appraisal benchmarks (relevant to existing and new homes) which have been set by relevant industry partners to make sure we deliver a high standard of property marketing. So your Liveability Real Estate Specialist will work through this appraisal checklist with you as they move through your home. It’s a great chance for you to let them know about all the property features you have invested in.


Any questions?

We’re here to help! Just send us your enquiry.

What Is It?

Dual flush toilets has two flush levels to help you control how much water you use. Image credits to Queanbeyan City Council www.qcc.nsw.gov.au/

Dual flush toilets has two flush levels to help you control how much water you use. Image credits to Queanbeyan City Council www.qcc.nsw.gov.au/

Water efficiency devices are those with built-in functions or additional devices that reduce the amount of water used. There are a whole range of water efficient devices available to home owners. The bathroom is where the most amount of water is used in the house so you might like to begin with installing dual flush toilets and water efficient showerheads. Water efficient showerheads have greatly improved since the first generation were introduced and they now deliver a great shower experience as well as water efficiency, so they are really worth installing.

How will it help me reduce my running costs and increase my comfort?

One of the best ways to save both water and energy is to install an efficient showerhead. Water efficient showerheads can be easily fitted to existing shower arms. Rebates may be available and prices start from $20Water authorities sometimes run exchange programs, so check with them before purchasing a showerhead.

Many local hardware stories stock water efficient showerheads. Image credit to ©iStock.com/ coloroftime

Many local hardware stories stock water efficient showerheads.
Image credit to ©iStock.com/ coloroftime

Water efficient showerheads are the most cost-effective way to save water. Upgrading from a medium-efficiency (10 L per minute) to a high-efficiency showerhead (5 L per minute) can help reduce both water and energy costs; the energy savings come from reduced hot water use. Even cheap showerheads can be highly water efficient. And using less water with more water efficient taps will result in great savings.

If you need to replace your toilet suite, ultra-low flush toilets are now available.

Upgrading from an old-style 12 L single-flush cistern to the highest efficiency 4.5 L/3 L dual-flush toilet can also be beneficial. A low-cost alternative to a brand new toilet is installing a flush arrestor; a device that lets the toilet flush for only as long as the user holds down the button. This will also result in a very good payback time.

What professional should I talk to about this?

The Centre for Liveability Real Estate always recommends you consult further with any relevant specialist design or building consultants or assessors before making any decision regarding your specific property based on the Liveability Property Marketing Features™.

Home energy assessors and plumbers are skilled in helping you find the right water efficiency device.

Your local retailer or water utility company can also provide specific information about water efficiency devices.

What professional should I talk to about this?

15A

The WELS label.

You can begin on the Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) website to see what products are available with ratings – the more stars means less energy and water use, and the more money you will save. The WELS scheme covers showers, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, and taps and flow controllers, and requires all devices to be rated according to stringent standards.

When you’re at your home improvement retailer make sure you look for the distinctive WELS label.

What is the price range I can expect?

Prices depend on the product you are buying, and while rebates are not available under the WELS scheme, water authorities may be offering rebates to people who buy WELS-registered products with specific star ratings, as these encourage people to buy more sustainable products with decreased impact on the environment and the potential to decrease your bills.

If you’re on a budget, start with the least expensive tweaks, like replacing your showerhead.  WELS 3 star showerheads cost as little as $15 upwards and those with a higher rating go up to around $300. Choice magazine asked asked families to rate the shower experience of water efficient showerheads. see which ones they likes

Water efficient showerheads can save around $100–$150 a year on household water bills and up to $200 a year on energy bills depending on the type of hot water system you have in your home.

You can buy a dual flush 4 WELS star toilet from around $300 upwards.

You should check if the showerhead and toilet you want to purchase and install is eligible for a government rebate or incentives from your retailer. Check out our list of Current Water Rebates.

Where can I find more information?

The Australian Government’s website on Water Rating is also a great introduction on understanding water rating labels. You can also search the label for a specific device to see which is right for your home.

See Liveability for a list of water rebates you may be eligible for and information on water efficient showerheads.

More tips can also be found on the Save Water website.

COOLmob also has information on designing for the tropics  that includes water efficient devices.

Your local council and state or territory government may also have free information available for you to download, such as the Queensland Government and its tips for smart and sustainable homes. Make sure to look out for resources specific to the tropical climate.

If you’re looking for more detailed information, The Economics of Water Saving Technology In Victoria Report by the ATA is a review of common water saving technologies in the Victorian water market. While it is specific to Victoria, some information can be applied to all states.

If I already have this feature, is there anything I need to know about using it effectively?

Fix any leaks in the home to ensure that you are keeping control of your water costs. Leaking toilets can waste a lot of water – up to 10 litres per hour or more.

If you can visibly see water flowing into the bowl, or hear the cistern “hissing”, then you should get it fixed immediately. If you have dual flush toilets, make sure to use the full flush only when necessary.

More tips for the Bathroom and tips for the Laundry are available on Liveability.

Does this work better when combined with any of the other 17 Things™

Water efficient devices will work better when combined with No. 12 Efficient Hot Water Systems and No. 16 Rainwater Tanks connected to the home. Water efficiency devices, efficient hot water systems and rainwater tanks are designed to use heat and collect water in cost effective ways. Together, these features will allow you to further reduce running costs.

Will this feature be recognised when I sell my property?

Yes; Liveability Real Estate Specialist sales agents and property managers have been upskilled to identify an additional 17 Things™ on top of a standard property appraisal. So if you have invested in any of the 17 Things™ this means your property will be appraised and marketed with real skill and with the best marketing resources for online and print media.

You can book a free property appraisal with a Liveability Real Estate Specialist any time you’re ready to sell or even if you’re not planning to sell for a couple of years. Each of the 17 Things™ has appraisal benchmarks (relevant to existing and new homes) which have been set by relevant industry partners to make sure we deliver a high standard of property marketing. So your Liveability Real Estate Specialist will work through this appraisal checklist with you as they move through your home. It’s a great chance for you to let them know about all the property features you have invested in.


Any questions?

We’re here to help! Just send us your enquiry.

The 17 Things

The 17 Things

The 17 Things™ are property features that have the potential to reduce running costs and increase comfort if used correctly. You can discuss incorporating these into your renovation with with your architect, building designer or builder. The real estate industry is now identifying these Liveability Property Features™at point of sale or rent through agents that have completed additional training as Liveability Real Estate Specialists.