An unsolicited gift (sort of, I’m assuming I’ve already paid for it indirectly through taxes or energy bills) arrived in my mail today – see right.

Any guesses what it is?  It claims it can save the planet, and me up to £900*.

It’s a gizmo to help me use less water in my shower (maybe).

The premise is a bit Heath Robinson-ish.  You hold a plastic bag (included) over the shower head and turn the tap on as hard as possible for 5 seconds.  If the water rises above a marked level you should fit the gizmo a.k.a. the Eaga ShowerSmart.  It works by “regulating” (I assume restricting) the water flow and hey presto you save money and the planet.

Except that a certain level of basic plumbing skills is required to fit the ShowerSmart involving disconnecting the shower hose from the  tap that feeds it, screwing the device in between (not forgetting the two washers it comes with) and reconnecting the whole shebang.  Without that ability the cost shoots up from £0 to at least the minimum callout charge you can find for a friendly neighbourhood plumber.

Except it doesn’t work with some shower types – including mine.

Except I don’t turn the water full on when I shower so any measurement taken according to the instructions won’t apply.

Except I’m lucky enough to have two showers in my house and the “offer” is only for one per household (but see the PPS below).

I guess Eaga are no different than me in wanting to earn their living but this must be a hugely ineffectual way to achieve what is a noble end – planet, saving of the.

PS – note for Scottish readers.  I thought I’d tracked down the source of the funding for my gift as there’s a video message from John Swinney on the Eaga web site home page but alas he’s their strategy director not our cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable growth.

PPS – eldest daughter has just told me that despite this offer being limited to “one per household” we received another ShowerSmart at the same address in January, when it was greeted with as much acclaim as this one.

 * – £900 over 15 years for a household of four assuming the maximum possible saving is achieved throughout the period.  The “saving the planet” claim is a direct quote – “It also saves the planet by saving 21,000 litres of water/year…” Leaflet entitled Tell a Friend from Eaga Ltd.