Water prices rising despite dip in home consumption
Halifax Water Commission proposing nearly 30 per cent rate hike over two years
Halifax Regional Water Commission is asking for a 30 per cent increase in water fees in the next two years, despite seeing a decrease in water consumption at the average home.
In June 2012, the average home used 192 cubic metres of water. That’s down from 2005, when the average was 256 cubic metres. In that time the average bill has increased by $163.88 annually.
The utility is making the request to cover soaring repair bills for aging infrastructure. It's estimated Halifax Water is facing a $2.6 billion bill for its upgrades to the outdated water and sewer system.
Halifax Water said even with the increase, water bills will be below average when compared with 15 cities in Canada.
The increase must be approved by the Utility and Review Board.
It’s estimated the increase will bring the average water bill to $842.87 a year for homeowners in 2014.
Already, business owners and landlords have spoken out against the proposal, saying it would cause a significant hit to their operations.
Leaky taps a drain on money
Graham Gagnon of the Centre for Water Resource Studies at Dalhousie University said a good place for people to save money at home is to start is with leaky taps and running toilets.
"That can add up very quickly to hundreds of dollars a year if you just let that flush repeatedly because you're losing water repeatedly," he said. "It's a pretty common occurrence in the household - a chain gets stuck at the back and you just continuously lose water."
The public hearing for the application takes place April 15th.