Whirlpool and Kohler Announce Research Project for Net-Zero Water in the Home

June 1, 2015

According to recent projections from the Energy Information Agency and USA Today, by 2025 Americans will see their water bills double and potentially triple in major metro areas. This threat is adding to speculation that pressure to the U.S. infrastructure, already desperate for solutions to a water shortage in California, is headed toward a significant issue in water access. At this week’s Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego, Whirlpool Corporation and Kohler Co. announced the two companies have committed to identify ways to achieve net-zero water in the home in connection with ReNEWW House, a retrofitted, net-zero energy, water and waste research home located near the Purdue University campus.

Through their products, these two companies make up nearly all of the indoor water usage in the residential home. During the conference representatives from both companies discussed a shared hope to create energy and water advancements that lead to reduced consumption and allow existing buildings to become self-sustaining systems.

“With 860 million appliances in the United States alone, Whirlpool Corporation has reduced energy and water consumption in our products to deliver efficient home appliances. It’s time to look at how we can leverage our appliances to optimize and transform the total home system to try to achieve net-zero water impact,” said Ron Voglewede, global sustainability director of the Whirlpool Corporation and a member of the Alliance for Water Efficiency’s Board of Directors. “We are excited to work with Kohler on the ReNEWW House as we look to create new, viable solutions to help new and existing homeowners save water and conserve our most vital natural resource.”

“We recognize that to further extend the benefits of water-efficient fixtures and faucets while maintaining optimum performance, we need to look at home water consumption holistically,” said Rob Zimmerman, Kohler Sustainability Senior Channel Manager. “We hope that by combining our engineering resources with those of Whirlpool’s to understand the technical challenges of creating a ‘net zero water’ house, we can develop new insights for designing home plumbing, water storage and treatment systems that further reduce water use and better protect our water supplies.”

Research into new insights and opportunities for water conservation in the home will be ongoing over the next two years as part of the opportunity with ReNEWW House, a retrofitted, net-zero energy, water and waste research home located near the Purdue University campus.