I’ve been thinking about getting an automatic hot water tap installed – how much would having one will impact my energy bills? A.L via email.
There are a few companies supplying hot water taps and costs range from £750 to £2,000
Rebecca Goodman adds: Along with the initial cost of buying and installing a hot water tap and the energy costs to use it (see below), you’ll also need to factor in how much you’ll need to pay to maintain one.
The Quooker tap, for example, has a filter which needs changing every two to five years, depending on the water quality in your home, at a cost of £50 for each replacement.
You can clean the tap at home for free, and most come with a cleaning kit, but if you live in an area of hard water you might need to add a system to the tap so you can monitor limescale build up.
These cost £90 to be replaced and how often you need to replace it depends on the water hardness in your area.
The high initial price plus installation, running and maintenance costs means that an instant hot water tap will not work out cheaper than a kettle for the majority of households. Although for households who get through large amounts of boiling water will get better value from a tap.
If the average household boils a full kettle five times a day, which costs 12.5p per day, 87.5p a week or £45.50 a year in energy costs it would take 33 years to get to £1,500, the average price of the hot water tap.
It is a handy gadget that generally uses less water and electricity than a kettle, but it will rarely be cheaper over its lifetime.
But the taps claim to save both water and money and one of the leading suppliers, Quooker, says its tap costs just 3p per day to run however the upfront cost to buy one is around £1,500.
Along with saving energy, they also claim to save water. This is because they are run through a tank fitted into your sink.
This means the hot water is available instantly and you don’t have to run the tap and wait for the water to heat up as you would with a normal tap when the water comes from the main boiler.
However, there is a significant upfront cost to pay if you’re thinking about getting one installed. There are quite a few companies supplying them but costs range from around £750 to £2,000 depending on the make and model.
Most have installation included for free and the more money you pay, the more gadgets are included such as the option to have either boiling, hot or cold water.
The average energy cost of boiling a full kettle is around 2.5p for every time you boil it
We gave right of reply to Stephen Johnson, managing director of Quooker UK.
He said: ‘According to Npower, the average kettle uses around one unit of electricity to boil 12 pints of water.
‘This works out at around 2.5p every time you boil a full kettle containing 1.5 pints of water and on average in the UK households put the kettle on around five times a day.
‘This costs an average of 12.5p per day if it’s a full kettle every time while the Quooker, in contrast, costs around 3p per day to run.
‘On many occasions, however, you will only want to make one cup. A less than full kettle will of course, cost you slightly less to heat, but as the kettle has a minimum water fill level, when you only want one cup, you will invariably be heating more water than you need and therefore, unintentionally wasting energy.
‘Unless you re-boil the water in the kettle, you’ll also be wasting a lot of water over the course of a year.
‘The time saving is also considerable. If the average full kettle takes three minutes to boil, not waiting for it to boil saves around 15 minutes a day.
‘It’s also safer to have one of these taps instead of a kettle as you can’t pull it off a surface or tip it over.
‘It dispenses water in an aerated flow to prevent scalding, and has a childproof double push and turn safety switch.’
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