Charlottetown introduces water conservation program for low-income households

The City of Charlottetown is partnering with Efficiency PEI to provide low-income residents with low-flow bathroom products as well as free air sealing for their home.

Charlottetown's low-income households can apply for free water audits for their home

Low-income households in Charlottetown can now apply for the city's water conservation program online or in-person. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The City of Charlottetown is partnering with PEI's energy efficiency agency to provide low-income residents with low-flow bathroom products as well as free air sealing for their home.

Charlottetown residents with a total household income of $50,000 or less that own and live in a home with a water utility account in good standing can now apply for a free water audit including two services in one visit.

The city's Low Income Financial and Technical (LIFT) Assistance Program is one of the services, including the installation of a low-flow shower head, low-flow aerator on bathroom sinks and a voucher for low-flow toilet and installation.

The voucher for the toilet comes as a rebate. It includes:

  • A rebate for 50 per cent of the cost including taxes of an approved toilet up to $250
  • A rebate for up to $100 for toilet installation by a licensed plumber with proof of disposal of the older toilet
  • A rebate of $50 under efficiencyPEI

Efficiency PEI

Combined with the LIFT program, the second service is efficiencyPEI's Home Energy Low-Income Program (HELP).

It will provide the same low-income residents with a free programmable thermostat, voucher for a free furnace cleaning, LED light bulbs and air-sealing for their homes

Air-sealing includes caulking, weather-stripping and sealing gaskets around the home.

The program will continue to be provided "as long as there is interest," says Betty Pryor. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

The city has already started accepting applications. Residents can apply online or in person.

"It's a very good program all around … every little bit counts," said Betty Pryor, a projects officer with the city.

"They're looking after the energy part, we are now looking after the water conservation part, so it's a very good fit — by working together I think we're going to have a very successful program."

'As long as there is interest'

The end goal for the program is for the the city to help low-income families save money on their utility bill and cut back on total water usage.

Because residents are on meters, they end up paying for the amount of water that they use, which is an important reason for residents to have low-flow products installed, Pryor said.

The city has set aside a budget for the program but couldn't provide an exact figure, she added, though the city will continue to provide the service "as long as there is interest."

With files from Katerina Georgieva