Gaines Group Architects

Green Term Defined: WaterSense an EPA Partnership Program

water senseWaterSense is a label program created by the Environmental Protection Agency for consumers to easily identify water efficient products. It is similar to Energy Star in that it identifies products that are more efficient. In order to qualify a WaterSense labeled product meets the following criteria:

  • performs as well or better than their less efficient counterparts
  • are 20% more water efficient than average products in that category
  • realize water savings on a national level
  • provide measurable water savings results
  • achieve water efficiency through several technology options
  • obtain independent, third-party certification

TotoFor companies to use the WaterSense logo, they must sign a WaterSense partnership agreement with the EPA. This agreement defines the roles and responsibilities of EPA and the partnering organization, as well as proper use of the label on packaging and in marketing.

The label can be found on products for the home including bathroom sink faucets, showerheads, toilets, urinals, wather-based irrigation controllers, and even new homes. Using products with the WaterSense label reduces water consumption lowering utility bills.

WaterSense_FaucetProjected websites from the WaterSense website:

Replacing Old Faucets – 700 gallons of water annually

Replacing old toilets – 20-60% savings = 13,000 gallons of water annually

Replacing old shower heads = 2,900 gallons annually

As you can see, this could result in some nice annual reductions in your utility bill.


Thinking of Renovating your Bathroom – Go Green to Save Green

Here are some simple ways to cut energy and water use in your bathroom remodel. 

  1. When replacing water faucets, shower heads, or even toilets look for water efficient options. Be careful, there are still a few solutions on the market that don’t work, but with a little research you can find solutions that cut your annual water bill. Look for options with the EPA WaterSense label.
  2. TOTO_tcm14-119676Turn off the lights. Natural light will make you feel better and allows you to cut off the lights. Install a window if the bathroom is located on an outside wall or a solar tube if a window is not possible.
  3. Replace your outdated water heater by a Heat Pump Water Heater or an on-demand unit. These units are very efficient and will reduce the amount of energy used to heat your water. Even more efficient – install a solar thermal heating system utilizing an on-demand unit for supplemental heat in times of high demand.
  4. Replace your incandescent and Compact flourescent lights with LED’s. These lights use a fraction of the energy of traditional lights or even CFL’s and last longer. led
  5. Skip gadgets like heated floors and heated towel racks – a properly insulated home with a well designed heating and cooling system will be comfortable year round.