Do people heat up for a free shower timer? “My kids will be in the bathroom in about 45 minutes.”

“I really tried to take a shower as soon as possible a while ago,” says Damien (14). “And that was really five minutes, or something.” He usually showers for fifteen minutes, just like his friend Tejo (14 years) who is standing next to him.Harry Cook / de Volkskrant Statue

“The show is my guilty pleasure,” says Kristi (51). She holds a small hourglass that she can attach to bathroom tiles using a suction cup to help measure exactly four minutes. She finds shorter showers a difficult obstacle in her pursuit of a more energy-efficient life. “Tell me what else we’re doing for the environment,” Kristi, who doesn’t want her last name used in the paper, told her son. Bram, 11, sums up: “We have an electric car, solar panels, we spin a lot, and the heating is set to 18 degrees.”

At the entrance to the Roden shopping center is a Drenthe cargo bike containing hundreds of tiny hourglasses – shower timers. It’s part of the ‘Just like that! Drenthe is on its way to energy neutrality’ campaign. The goal is to get Drenthe on board and have all homes in the county energy neutral by 2040. Phase one consists of distributing shower timers. Later, it will be distributed Intake strips and radiator chips for rented homes Insulation of owner-occupied homes will be encouraged.The campaign will run until spring 2023.

First there was climate change, then rising gas bills and then the war in Ukraine: these are all reasons to take a shorter shower. Last week, the national government launched the national “Put the Button Too” campaign. Minister Rob Getten (Climate and Energy) gave five tips for reducing gas consumption.

These are small, easy measures – like lowering the temperature – that can be taken to make a small contribution, says Maren Myers, a communications scientist at the University of Amsterdam. This makes them feel good and removes the sense of powerlessness that can come upon them from war. They will likely also continue to monitor their gas consumption in the long term.

quarter of a day

On average, a Dutch shower takes nine minutes a day, and such a shower consumes about 70 liters of warm water. On average, a household consumes 210 cubic meters of gas for bathing each year. If every Dutchman could reduce the time to five minutes, 450 million cubic meters of gas could be saved annually.

Judith Comrig, 27, walks out of the mall with a timer shower. The war in Ukraine has made her more aware of how dependent we are on gas. Her 1960s home was secluded when I bought it and the solar panels were already on the roof. She has herself put HR +++ glass into the window frames. “I’m a little concerned about the climate, but I think it’s a shame spending so much money on energy bills.”

Recently, Komrig has taken care to turn off the stove when she is away from home. This is also another advice from the government to use less gas: heating to a maximum of 19 degrees during the day, when you are absent and at 15 degrees at night.

“Do you have my own timer?” Peter Lopez, 39, looks at a cargo bike with a shower timer. Since January, his energy bill has increased by more than 100 euros per month. So he is more aware of his family’s gas consumption. He turned the temperature down a month ago to save money and now wants to start watching bath time. I think I shower for fifteen minutes a day. And if I’m not careful, my kids will soon be in the bathroom for 45 minutes.


In exchange for a shower timer, the Reds have to sign a ticket with a promise to themselves to shower for four minutes from now on. This is a well-known psychological technique for encouraging behavioral change. Communications scientist Meijers says it’s also important to make it clear that everyone is involved in saving energy. So does the government. When it comes to sustainability issues, it can quickly feel like you’re at a dead end. Setting the thermostat to 19 degrees alone is pointless, but if you know that everyone is doing it and the government is taking steps as well, the power of persuasion will be greater.

In addition to the advice, the government recently introduced a national isolation program to isolate 2.5 million homes. Making the home more sustainable is already on the agenda or wish list of many homeowners. For example, the insulation sector received six times as many requests for quotations last quarter.

Homes account for nearly 13 percent of total energy consumption in the Netherlands. The largest consumer is the chemical industry with 26 percent. Of all the gas a household uses, 80 percent goes to heating and 20 percent to hot water. Most of the hot water is used for bathing and a small part for cooking. By following all the tips from the “Turn the button too” campaign, the average household can save about 760 cubic meters of gas per year. This represents 36 percent of their total gas use.

“I really tried to take a shower as soon as possible a while ago,” says Damien (14). “And that was really five minutes, or something.” He usually showers for fifteen minutes, just like his friend Tejo (14 years old) standing beside him in the rain. “But my sister does it for half an hour,” Damien says with a laugh. He heard about rising gas prices on the news. “I think it’s a shame, because I’m afraid my parents will turn down the heating and the house will cool down.”

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