Calculating average hot water mixes of residential plumbing fixtures

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Available studies of hot water use percentages may not necessarily be generalized to a national level given regional differences, varying methodological approaches, and limited sample sizes.While some publicly available usage data, reports, and surveys estimate actual household usage, a lack of water use data specific to end uses make more precise savings calculations difficult. Additionally, most hot water draw models tend to focus on overall household use and may not readily estimate lavatory fixture use. However, reviewing more recent studies and standards enables the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program to update its estimates for hot water use and consumers’ corresponding energy and monetary savings to better reflect realworld conditions. This report specifically focuses on improving hot water use and savings estimates of lavatory faucets and showerheads. To estimate the hot water use of lavatory faucets and showerheads, we employed the 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Surveys (RECS) microdata alongside the ANSI 301-2019 Hot Water Draw Model. These estimates account for regional differences in hot water use, including regional cold water inlet temperatures. As a result, the refinements presented in this report are more robust, more recent, and better describe the geographic variation than previous inputs used by the WaterSense program. In addition, the approach described in this paper can be updated over time or tailored to regionally specific needs given available inputs. We conclude that hot water percentages for showers and faucets calculated using publicly available national data are close to the percentages found by regional studies and are consistent with household-level models of water use.

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