Charlottetown introduces water conservation program for low-income households
Charlottetown's low-income households can apply for free water audits for their home
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
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 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.
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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."
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With files from Katerina Georgieva