Nearly all Exeter residents are committed to saving water, says Greenredeem survey

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:

Nearly half (49%) of people living in Exeter would be prepared to flush only solid waste, in a bid to reduce the amount they flush the loo and increase their water saving efforts, according to research carried out on behalf of Greenredeem, the company that rewards people for making efforts to recycle and save resources.

Almost two thirds (63%) would, reported the survey, commit to re-boiling water leftover in the kettle rather than making their tea from fresh. Meanwhile, factors currently hampering water conservation are said to include the fact that nearly one in three residents admit to showering for longer than necessary (31%), one in five fills the kettle with more water than is needed and ends up wasting it (22%) and just under one in five (18%) will leave the shower running for several minutes before getting in.

The research is said to have found that although nearly all Exeter residents (97%) are committed to conserving water, a third (33%) don’t practice what they believe.

The findings are revealed ahead of the launch of a pilot scheme in which a group of 3,200 South West Water customers in the Stoke Hill area will be invited to join Greenredeem and be rewarded for using less water at home. Householders will be given points for reducing the amount of water they use at home, as part of a community effort, which can be redeemed against personal rewards, given as a donation to Stoke Hill school Junior School or used in Greenredeem’s monthly prize draw. To find out more, visit

A similar pilot scheme launched in January in the Reading area in conjunction with Thames Water. Initial results are reported to be very encouraging, with residents "readily changing their consumption habits when being rewarded for it".

Rob Crumbie, director of marketing and communications at Greenredeem, said: “The research shows that the will to reduce water waste is there, but can be forgotten in the course of our busy lives. Our aim with this pilot scheme in Exeter is to give more reasons for the community to remember, and work together, to make a long term commitment.”

Professor David Butler, specialist in urban water management at the University of Exeter, added: “The average household in the UK consumes about 150 litres of water per person, per day, but really simple behaviour changes can add up to a big difference. A running tap wastes over six litres per minute. If the entire adult population of England and Wales remembered to turn off a tap while brushing their teeth, we could save 180 mega litres a day - enough to supply nearly 500,000 homes. Having the added incentive of the Greenredeem and South West Water scheme should make a big difference in the Exeter area.”

Bob Taylor, operations director (Drinking Water Services), South West Water, stated: “South West Water is committed to ensuring a safe and continuous public water supply. Although the South West is traditionally one of the wetter regions of the UK, we still must take account of an increasing population, the needs of the environment and the effects of climate change. Our goal in partnering on schemes like this is to ensure that water – a precious resource – is used wisely.”

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