Today I launched the City’s latest water-efficiency program – the Blue Built Home program – along with representatives from Reid’s Heritage Homes, Sloot Construction, and Terra View Homes, local builders who are all participating in the program.
Blue Built Homes use between 24 to 54 per cent less water than typical homes – representing between 293 and 651 bathtubs full of water every year. In addition to the savings they will see on their water bills, Blue Built Home buyers qualify for a one-time rebate of up to $2,460 from the City of Guelph.
So, why do we offer these types of rebates? It’s an investment in our water conservation program, which ultimately is an investment in our future water supply.
As one of the largest communities in Canada that is solely reliant on groundwater, Guelph has implemented water conservation strategies because this is the best and most effective way to ensure a water supply for our growing community.
It costs a lot more to develop new water sources than it does to conserve water from the sources we already have. Since 1999, Guelph’s water conservation efforts have allowed us to avoid more than $8 million in water and wastewater infrastructure costs. Looking forward to 2031, we will avoid about $80 million in infrastructure costs.
All of this has an impact on water rates. We still have to invest in the system, so rates will still go up – but they will go up a lot less than they would without conservation. Here’s a chart showing the impact on rates if we meet our 20% reduction target, vs. without conservation: