Rabmer encourages saving energy and water. Now!
The current price increases on the energy market pose great challenges for all of us, households as well as companies, clubs and organizations. The newly created “Energy & Water Saving” initiative shows how easy it can be to save energy sustainably and reduce costs. Now!”. The focus is on raising awareness and encouraging people to actively save hot water in buildings, because after heating, hot water production requires the most energy in the household. The aim of the initiative: Together with the supporters, reduce the hot water consumption in one million showers and washbasins in Austria by up to 50 percent and thus save 22 billion liters of water, 3.2 million gigajoules of energy and 290,000 tons of CO2 every year.
Each of us uses around 130 liters of water every day for personal hygiene and in the household. A large part of that is hot water, and that can get expensive these days. Because after heating, hot water production requires the most energy in the household. “In 2022, energy consumption in Austria’s households will be around 284 million gigajoules, with around 14 percent being used to generate hot water using gas and other fossil fuels,” says Ulrike Rabmer-Koller from the Rabmer Group in Altenberg, one of the initiators of “Save energy and water. Now!”. However, many Austrians are not even aware of their hot water consumption – and this is exactly where action is needed. “Many showers still come out with 12 to 15 liters of water per minute. If you reduce the water flow to around 7 l/min. this results in savings of up to 300 euros per year for a family of three. Money that is then available for other things,” says Rabmer-Koller.
Accordingly, “Informing” is the first of three basic pillars of “Saving energy and water. Now!”. The participating institutions, companies, communities and associations take on this part: They inform their citizens, employees or members about the enormous potential for saving hot water when showering and washing their hands and give tips on how to save water and energy in a sustainable way.
“Release all available potential”
Initiators and supporters of “Save Energy & Water. Now!” are the Federation of Austrian Industry, the Chamber of Commerce, Opinion Leaders Network, Leitbetriebe Austria and the Rabmer Group. Together, they want to reduce gas and energy consumption and also make a significant contribution to climate protection.
“As an industry, the conscious and efficient use of resources is in our DNA, for example, the energy intensity in industry has fallen by around two percent annually in recent years,” says the Secretary General of the Federation of Austrian Industries (IV), Christoph Neumayer. “Our companies, as well as we as IV, operate efficiently and conserve resources. If we want to be successful together, we must leverage all available potential, which is why we support the initiative Energy & Water Saving. Now!”
The starting point of any far-reaching change is sound awareness-raising, as the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber also emphasizes. “With initiatives like “Save Energy & Water. Now!” are drawing attention to an important issue in times of energy crisis. Heating energy is expensive and companies are already doing everything they can to implement climate protection measures and keep energy consumption as low as possible. At the same time, it is necessary to point out intelligent and practical savings potentials in order to further reduce energy costs. As the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, it is therefore important to us to support companies in the area of energy management,” said Karlheinz Kopf, Secretary General of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, and Jürgen Streitner, Head of the Environmental Policy Department of the WKÖ.
The initiative not only presents facts, statistics and, ultimately, proposed solutions, but also debunks persistent myths. For example, contributing to climate protection does not involve a great deal of effort or noticeable cuts in daily life. “Saving water and energy does not mean doing without anything, but simply not wasting our most valuable resources,” explains Leitbetriebe Austria Managing Director Monica Rintersbacher. “And every individual benefits from this through considerable savings, as does Austria as a business location, which thereby gains a little independence from fossil energies. Individual and collective benefits go together perfectly here.”
Paul Leitenmüller, CEO Opinion Leaders Network, also stands behind the goal of saving energy and hot water in the long term: “Sustainability and climate protection are the specifications of our age. It’s not what others do, but what we do ourselves that leads the way for the future. This is why we support the initiative “Save energy & water. Now!”
The bucket test provides clarity on hot water consumption
The second important pillar of the “Save energy & water. Now!” is the second important pillar: “Informing” is followed by “measuring”, because only those who know how much water they actually consume can take active measures. One’s own water consumption in the shower or at the sink can be determined quite simply with a bucket test . Turn the shower or water tap to the full position, let the water run into a bucket for one minute and then place the bucket on a body scale. The kilograms displayed correspond one-to-one to a liter; twelve kilograms would therefore mean twelve liters. The initiative’s online savings calculator can then be used to determine the individual savings potential.
The third and last step is about minimizing your own water consumption in the long term. On the website of „Wasser & Energie sparen. Jetzt!“ companies, municipalities, associations, institutions and organizations can register free of charge. They will then receive information material and an individual discount code with which employees, citizens or members can purchase discounted water-saving products via the online shop and save energy and water in the long term.