DEFRA Minister supports BMA’s WEPLS
04/02/2011 | DEFRA Minister supports BMA’s WEPLS Richard Benyon, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has thrown his weight behind the BMA’s Water Efficient Product Labelling Scheme. In a recent statement Benyon said “Water is an invaluable resource which needs to be managed responsibly. Whilst Government and industry can help make it easier to save water, taking personal responsibility is at the heart of water conservation. People need access to clear advice on how they can save water so I am pleased to support the Bathroom Manufacturers Association in their work to develop a labelling scheme which provides people with an easy means to identify water efficient products.” The statement from the DEFRA Minister shows that he and his department, DEFRA, fully support the work of the BMA in driving the quest for water and energy efficient bathroom products. “Our members are delighted with the support from Mr Benyon,” said Yvonne Orgill, Chief Executive of the BMA. “It further encourages our members to design, develop and manufacture bathroom products which are water efficient and eco-friendly.” “WEPLS has grown rapidly from a germ of an idea to a benchmark scheme which is now being copied in Europe and wider afield,” says Orgill. “Our database holds the details of over 1000 water efficient bathroom products which, by default, have the lowest carbon footprint. The scheme is increasingly recognised by consumers and professionals alike and from the Government’s point of view it is an important tool in their drive to meet the Green Agenda.” More details can be found at www.water-efficiencylabel.org.uk/ ________________________________________ What is WEPLS? WEPLS – The Water Efficient Product labelling Scheme - is a web-enabled database of nearly 1500 of the very best eco-friendly bathroom products currently available in the UK. Only those which meet the strict eco-criteria laid down by industry experts are listed. The scheme recently won a major eco award. The illustrated database can be browsed at www.water-efficiencylabel.org.uk All listed products have an easy to understand label. It’s similar to the energy label seen on fridges and washing machines and shows, at a glance, how much water your chosen product actually uses and where it fits in the water efficiency tables. These labels show the product’s water efficiency ‘rating’ and help you to make an informed choice about your dream bathroom product. Visitors to the site can search and then create a “shopping list” containing product information, water usage volumes and the manufacturer. The printable lists could help in the support of planning applications. WEPLS has grown rapidly from a germ of an idea to a benchmark scheme which is now being copied in Europe and wider afield. The web-enabled database holds the details of nearly 1500 water efficient bathroom products which, by default, have the lowest carbon footprint. The scheme is increasingly recognised by consumers and professionals alike and from the Government’s point of view it is an important tool in their drive to meet the Green Agenda. Over 1000 stockists have registered their details with the scheme. www.water-efficiencylabel.org.uk/ The key to WEPLS is the product label itself which is similar in design to the familiar energy label found on white goods. It clearly shows the volume of water that the product will consume if installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. ________________________________________ The Water Calculator The product data stored in the WEPLS database has been put to good use in the new Water Calculator which is designed to make it easier for developers and builders to meet the new water-efficiency requirements of Part G of the Building Regulations and the Code for Sustainable Homes. The calculator was designed and developed by the BMA in association with Waterwise East. The Water Calculator at www.thewatercalculator.org.uk is the first of its kind and includes water-consumption information so that builders and developers can simply select from a drop-down menu of products to calculate the water consumption of a property. The auto-tool completes the calculations enabling quick and easy specification without the hassle of gathering data from product manufacturers. The results can then be printed off to give to Building Control inspectors and others involved in the assessment process. ________________________________________ The determined and relentless drive for water efficiency The determined and relentless drive for water efficiency seems to be hitting home. More and more people are becoming aware of the need to conserve our precious resources. The man in the street is realising that water is not as cheap as it once was. Nor is gas or electricity. Energy costs have rocketed and since a significant part of the household spend is in producing hot water the consumer is actively searching for ways to reduce utility bills. Water saving is being recognised. Although there does seem an awful lot of water sloshing about our small patch of the world it is of the wrong type and in the wrong place. News stories highlighting the drive for water efficiency are more common and the messages issued from organisations such as The Bathroom Manufacturers Association, are finding more column inches. Bathroom manufacturers are responding vigorously to the drive for water and energy efficiency and they are playing an increasingly important role in designing and developing eco-friendly products. Their drawing boards are full of ideas and virtually every new product brought to market during 2010 had water efficiency embedded into its ‘DNA’. It’s safe to say we are making progress and the inevitable resistors to change are beginning to weaken. Bathroom manufacturers, trade and associate members of the BMA, are leading the drive for water efficiency both in their development of products and the creation of water efficiency ‘tools’. ________________________________________ Use water wisely We must save water because there are approximately 60 million people living in the UK, using on average 150 litres of water per day for washing, cooking and drinking. Improvements in lifestyle and new technologies in the home mean we use 55% more water than we did 25 years ago - most of this is used within in the bathroom. As climate change takes a greater hold on the environment, we are constantly being asked to use water wisely.
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