California is the first state to adopt a statewide Green Building Code. The code targets:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Water consumption
  • Dual plumbing for potable and recyclable water
  • Job-site waste recycling
  • R value, and Eco-friendly building products

In 2010, California adopted a mandatory green code for builders to reduce water consumption by 20%, and divert at least 50% of construction waste from landfills to recycling. The state also mandated HVAC efficiency and Eco-friendly material use.

Installing the correct high efficiency (HE) products often pay for themselves within the first two years. Rebates, tax credits, and rising energy costs have made these upgrades easy decisions. Added value in usability, money savings, and the right aesthetic are the most important variables to address in making a decision.

Saving water around your home is easy. A typical home that has no water saving devices use 72 gallons more water per day than one that does not. That is an additional 35 units (748 gallons= 1 unit) of water to pay for each year.

Toilets

Toilet usage accounts for 30% of domestic water consumption. In commercial office environments, toilets contribute to 82% of water consumption. Restaurants, assembly venues, work places with three or more people per toilet, and homes with higher occupancy, will see the complete cost back in water savings within the first year. Other homes and uses will see different savings. Calculating the expected savings in changing your toilet to a high efficiency (HE) toilet is easy to determine as long as you know the frequency of usage and the cost of water per unit. See our attached spreadsheet to calculate your own savings.By 2014, all toilets sold in California must be high efficiency (HE) (1.28 gallons or less per flush). By 2017 this will be federal law. There are rebates available that range from $75-$200 per toilet in most Bay Area cities and towns.

The SFPUC offers a $125.00 rebate for gravity toilet upgrades, and a
$200.00 rebate for flushometer toilets that are approved. There is also a list on the SFPUC site that rates these toilets for their performance in testing. Each city/town has a different program, with a different list of approved toilets and rebates. Most flushometer type toilets that are approved, perform well.

Gravity style toilets can be difficult to choose from with more options. Single flush gravity (HE) toilets use 1.28 gpf every time. Dual flush toilets use less water per flush, and will usually have a better flush than single flush high efficiency (HE) toilets. The large flush on a dual flush is 1.6 gpf, while the small flush is usually less than 1 gallon. When you average out 1 large flush to 4 smaller flushes, the end result is always less than 1.1 gpf for dual flush toilets making them high efficiency (HE) toilets that qualify for rebates. The Caroma, Sydney style toilet has the best performance of any gravity high efficiency (HE) toilet (1000 grams p/f) and the lowest water consumption (.89 gpf) out of any toilet on the market.

Qualifying toilets with flushing capacities of 800 grams or more do not clog from their intended usage; due to their larger discharge throat and higher water velocity. For business owners, managers, homeowners, and property managers tired of dealing with repairs and clogs of first generation 1.6 gpf toilets, and big bills from old water hogs; high efficiency (HE) toilets pay for themselves with very little difficulty. Now is a great time to take advantage of the financial incentives and ongoing savings by upgrading to high efficiency (HE) toilets.

Water Heaters

Advances in water heating technology and tax incentives over the last 10 years have created significant opportunities for homeowners, remodel experts, and home builders to take advantage of. Save energy and money. You don’t use hot water 24 hours a day. Yet a standard tank-type water heater consumes energy round the clock to keep the water in its tank hot. By heating water only when you need it, ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heaters save the typical household more than $146 per year c.2011 on gas bills compared to a standard storage model. Larger households will save even more. Tankless water heaters are a great solution to resolving inadequate hot water storage issues on larger tubs, adding space to your home.

Other high-efficiency hot water heating systems with 30% rebates include: geo-thermal, and solar hot water. High efficiency hot water storage tanks and tankless water heaters recieve $300.00 tax credits. O’Grady Plumbing is trained and knowledgeable in the use of all of these applications, and their advantages in different living environments, bringing you the best options for qualifying high-efficiency products when one of our knowledgeable service professionals enters your home.

We use top quality tankless water heaters: Takagi, Rannai, Noritz, Bosch, Rheem, and Nivea. For storage tanks we use high efficiency and FVR (flame vapor resistant) units with: LO-NOx burners, Rheem, A O Smith and Bradford White.

O’Grady Plumbing pays $25 for your old water heater and matches the manufacturers warranty for single family homes only.

A little known fact: conventional water heater manufactures do not honor the labor on their warranty,just the replacement of the part or unit.

Here at O’Grady Plumbing, we extend labor warranties as a way of picking up the slack and making sure our clients do not get a bad deal.

Water heater sizing and installations can be difficult, particularly when it comes to converting over to tankless and getting the realized benefit you expect versus getting it done incorrectly (in many cases having to do it all over!!). We check all connections and local codes for safety and reliability, offering comfort, and avoiding costly unexpected repairs in the future with a code compliant quality installation using quality products.

Faucets

Residential faucets have not changed much -nor will they require less usage than what is the current standard – kitchen faucets and shower heads (2.5 gpm), and lavatory faucets (2.0 gpm). Many shower heads and faucets have their flow restrictors and aerators removed to deliver more water, not knowing how to clean rust from the restrictors or the faucet is the original fixture, use much more water than is currently allowed. Proper restrictor use is something that should be checked and corrected in an effort to save money and conserve water. There are many quality products that are compliant and work.

Commercial establishments should take advantage of sensor/metered faucets to optimize savings and conservation. Beginning in 2014, it will be required that all public-use hand sink faucets use 0.5 gpm or less.

Washing Machines/Dryers/HVAC

There are many savings and rebates that can be taken advantage of by changing over to Energystar High Efficency (HE) rated products. Local professionals can help you choose which products will fit your needs best and save you money.

Reclaimed Water/Gray Water Systems

There are a lot of new water reclamation products on the market. If you plan on doing any improvisation of a water reclamation system, you should consult with your local plumber/buildings department to determine what criteria they have set for approving and allowing these products. If the product does not qualify to meet these requirements, you will not be allowed to install to remove any installed unapproved water reclamation products.