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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Completed Research

CP337  Water Use in New Dwellings Demand Management
Project Appreciation and Objectives

Understanding water use in new dwellings is key in forecasting domestic water use and quantifying the impact of water efficiency measures. Initiatives, such as the Code for Sustainable Homes and the recent consultation on Mandating Water Efficiency are driving improved water efficiency in new homes. Measurement of microcomponents (domestic use broken down into individual components expressed in terms of ownership, volume per use and frequency of use) can be used to assess water use in new properties.

Some recent microcomponent studies in new buildings have revealed some surprising findings, such as higher consumption from devices than expected. This is fueling concern that predicted water efficiency savings may not be realised in practice due to consumer behaviour, and product performance (new and retrofit) in new homes.

A recent Portfolio Project (CP187) collated the microcomponent (OVF) data for approximately 450 properties. Covering the period 2001-2004, the study primarily focused on unmeasured (and hence older) properties and provided valuable microcomponent data.

This study will pool resources to monitor a larger sample of new metered dwellings in the Autumn 2007 to collect microcomponent data using the Identiflow system. This will be analysed and compared to the 2001-2004 older property dataset to provide a realistic assessment of changes in water use, in time to support planning decisions for PR09.

Benefits to Clients

  • Better understanding of water use in new dwellings.
  • Improved evidence on which to base PR09 investment planning decisions.
  • Measured baseline data to assess the impact of water efficiency or demand reduction options.

Work Programme

  1. Collate microcomponent data (using the Identiflow system) for a sample of between 50 and 100 new (1 to 5 year old) properties, providing data on OVF for a range of standard and water efficient devices.
  2. Statistically analyse the new data and compare with the 2001-2004 dataset.
  3. Assess the performance and use of appliances (showers, WCs, baths, dishwashers, washing machines, taps, etc) in new properties compared with older properties.
  4. Examine the implications for predicting/forecasting water use in new properties for demand planning purposes.

Project Output

  • A report detailing the work carried out, the findings and implications for planning and forecasting.
  • A database of the microcomponent dataset for use by companies in microcomponent or scenario based forecasting.
  • A workshop to disseminate results and discuss implications on meeting water efficiency targets in new homes.

Related Work

  • Microcomponent analysis service to UK water industry since the development of the Identiflow algorithm, including several recent studies looking at consumption in new homes, 1997-present.
  • Variety of studies covering base or peak demand periods and investigation of demand management measures, 2000 to present.
  • Increasing the value of domestic water use data for demand management .
WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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