Shower Better

Take energy, water, and money-saving action in your home:  Shower Better!

switch-and-save-artwork-for-advertisementsThe shower is a place where we can wake up, wind down, or clean up after a long day. But did you know it’s also a place where Charlottesville residents can save water, energy, and money?

It’s true—the average American family uses 30 gallons of water per day just for showering. That’s about 1.2 trillion gallons of water every year in the United States! It also takes energy to heat the water we use to shower.

Follow these tips below to Shower Better:





  1. Use a WaterSense Labeled Showerhead

    In just one year, a WaterSense labeled showerhead can save the average family the amount of water it takes to wash more than 70 loads of laundry and the amount of electricity used to power its home for 13 days!

    For more information about WaterSense labeled showerheads, visit the WaterSense website


    You can pick up your own WaterSense labeled showerhead at the Office of Utility Billing at Charlottesville City Hall


  2. DIY:  Insulate Hot Water Pipes to Keep Your Hot Water Hot

    The US Dept. of Energy estimates that insulating your hot water pipes reduces heat loss sufficiently to keep water 2°F–4°F hotter than uninsulated pipes. By not having to wait as long for hot water to reach your sink or shower, you can save water and the amount of energy needed to heat that water.

    Insulating Hot Water Pipes, DIY Style. Photo from US Dept of Energy and

    Insulation wrap for hot water pipes can be bought at many hardware stores, and some brands come with “self seal” (a sticker with glue-like tape along the open edge) to make installation easier.

    For instructions and a materials shopping list, check out US Dept of Energy’s Energy Saver Project summary, and this video from Columbia Water and Light:


  3. DIY:  Give Your Hot Water Heater a Blanket

    Just like insulating your walls or roof, insulating your hot water tank is an easy and inexpensive way to improve energy efficiency and save you money each month. If your water tank is new, it is likely already insulated. If you have an older hot water tank, check to see if it has insulation with an R-value of at least 24. If not, consider insulating your water tank, which could reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45% and save you about 4%–9% in water heating costs—and should pay for itself in about a year.

    Read more about how to DIY this from the US Department of Energy:   and watch this video from Columbia Water and Light:

    Insulating a Hot Water Tank – from the US Dept of Energy and


  4. Adopt the 5-Minute Shower Challenge

    Take a 5 minute shower, and save 10 – 25 gallons of water each time you shower! Even shortening your shower by one minute can save 550 gallons of water per year.

    Tips for taking a shorter shower:

    • Use a shower timer (contact to get your very own)
    • Turn the water off while lathering up with shampoo, conditioner, and soap
    • Create a 5 minute playlist to play while you are showering
    • Try a 2-in-1 shampoo-conditioner combination
    • Take a luke warm or cold shower to encourage getting out faster
    • Try a navy showerShower Timer