Guelph expands Blue Built Home program to include units in new multi-residential buildings

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The City of Guelph has expanded its Blue Built Home water efficiency certification and rebate program to include units in new multi-residential buildings. All new and renovated single-family homes and units in multi-residential buildings may now qualify for savings and rebates.

“By expanding Blue Built Home to include units in new multi-residential buildings, more Guelph residents and property owners are recognized for their water-saving efforts,” Stephanie Shouldice, water conservation program coordinator, said in a press release.

To date, 67 single-family homes and 399 units in multi-residential buildings are Blue Built Home certified, collectively saving approximately 7.3 million litres of water.

To get Blue Built Home certified, property owners must complete one of the following three actions:

  • Install a greywater reuse system
  • Install an all-season rainwater harvesting system
  • Complete a minimum of three qualifying water-saving options. Examples of water-saving options include installing WaterSense® showerheads, WaterSense® toilets, sub-water meter, Energy Star® washing machine.

The full list of qualifying water-saving options is available here. The program provides flexibility for a variety of property types and the preferences of property owners.

Owners of certified single-family homes, or townhouses, can get a one-time cash rebate of up to $2,460 plus the benefits from long-term water use cost savings. Owners of multi-residential building units are eligible for rebates of up to $415 per unit.

Certified new single-family homes can reduce water costs by as much as 60 per cent without making any compromises on day-to-day water use activities like showering and laundry. Certified new apartment or condominium units can reduce water use and costs by up to 20 per cent per unit. Older homes can find even more water and cost-savings by retrofitting older appliances and plumbing hardware.

Guelph is one of the largest communities in Ontario that relies on groundwater for its drinking water supply. The City’s Water Supply Master Plan identified water efficiency programs as a top priority for meeting the water use reduction target of 9,147 cubic metres per day by 2038, an amount equivalent to almost four Olympic-sized swimming pools every day. Water use in 2019 was about 38,982 cubic metres per day, enough water to fill over 15 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

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