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BMA calls for government to back efficiency campaign

Bathroom Manufacturers Association chief executive Yvonne Orgill has called for government backing for bathroom efficiency campaign and Green Deal inclusion.

Speaking at the Houses of Parliament co-hosted by the BMA, the National Home Improvement Council and Ideal Standard Mrs Orgill layed out the challenges ahead for the industry.

She said: “Reducing hot water consumption can make a difference where it matters - to people’s pockets. Heating water for use in the bathroom accounts for a quarter of average household utility bills.

“Our research shows that the most efficient items in the bathroom can help people save up to £300 a year on their utility bills. £300. Not insignificant to the average family in these tough times.

“Hot water generation in the home also accounts for 5 per cent of total UK carbon emissions.

“This means it is an issue which suddenly stretches beyond just Defra. Reducing energy consumption in the bathroom is something the Department for Energy and Climate Change really need to start looking at seriously.

“Bathroom products are absent from Green Deal proposals currently. I encourage the government to think again on this, especially as 80 per cent of consumers say they would fit water efficient bathroom products if a financial incentive was available like the Boiler Scrappage scheme.

“This needs joined up thinking across government departments. We’re willing to take part in the conversation.

“So how do we begin to change consumer attitudes towards water and get us all using less?

“The government must take the lead. It’s not a campaign which will be glamorous. It’s unlikely to be high-brow or intellectual.

“It certainly won’t be telling people they have a responsibility to save the planet. It needs to be simple, clear information on the easy things people can do to save water in their daily lives.

“So far we haven’t had this from government and it is essential they begin to address this.

“But we don’t expect government to do everything. As a trade manufacturers association we are committed to getting the message out to the public too.

“We are working with retailers to get the Water Label out into the stores - both the big chains to the independently-run bathroom boutiques.

“We have been on the radio and in the press helping to educate consumers about the issues of water wastage. It doesn’t require huge change. Small changes to our behaviour can make a huge impact.

“For bathroom buyers it couldn’t be easier: Think about what you need, Look for the Label, and Ask if you can’t see it. Think, Look and Ask.

“And that’s exactly what we want from the government. The industry has thought about water saving, it has looked at a new generation of products and now the government needs to ask the public to take water saving seriously.

“So here is my call to government today - please publicly get behind our ‘THINK, LOOK & ASK’ campaign.

“I know water saving can be a dry old subject, so thank you for listening and please, wherever you can, take the opportunity to talk positively Label.”