Toilet usage accounts for 30% of domestic water consumption in the United States. In commercial office environments, toilets contribute to 82% of water consumption. In most toilet improvements: restaurants, assembly venues, work places with 3 or more people per toilet, and homes with higher occupancy, will see the complete cost back in water savings in 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 attached spreadsheet to calculate your own savings.)
By 2014, all toilets sold in California must be high efficiency (HE) toilets (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 some 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 GPF. 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 gravity 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.