Put a plug in water costs
ROD Howell has a dream.
In it, councils would give every single resident one of the Oxijet products that he is sole Queensland distributor for.
The impact would not only save water and electricity, it would mean residents would pay less for those two commodities, which are only on an upward pricing trajectory.
The Oxijet is a $40 device, originating in New Zealand, which attaches to an existing shower. Developed and endorsed by the CSIRO, it differs from traditional flow restrictors in that it allows much more air in to mix with the water, creating an "invigorating" shower.
It delivers water at the same 8.5-litres per minute rate as a traditional flow restrictor, but does it more efficiently, Mr Howell said.
"The water actually explodes when it hits your body.
"Traditional flow restrictors created a false economy. All they did was slow the flow, but it meant the user had to stay in the shower twice as long to get the same result.
"In comparison, the Oxijet is similar to a spa jet in that it aerates the water."
Mr Howell said the device could save water by 15% and power (to heat the hot water) by 15% for a potential 30% saving off water and energy bills.
"For an average family of four, that can amount to about $400."
Mr Howell said momentum was building for the product, counting Sunshine Coast Council, University of the Sunshine Coast, LendLease retirement villages and a number of tourism properties among recent customers.
"It's very sad that water and energy costs continue to rise, but this is an opportunity for everyone in the region to benefit," he said.
"Elderly people in retirement villages are some of my biggest customers. They tell me that when they were growing up, water and energy cost nothing.
"They always talk about how much it costs now, and how much it affects the cost of living.
"This product was created purely from a desire to tackle the spiralling costs of water and energy.
"And the amount of water that can be saved across the Coast is incredible. Mayor Mark Jamieson wants the Coast to be the most sustainable region in Australia.
"If he handed every household an Oxijet, he would go a long way to achieving that goal."