Toronto is just one of the handful of Ontario municipalities offering a rebate for homeowners who’ll install a water-conserving toilet this year, but a new proposal from the Premier’s office is planning on making them mandatory. If this proposal is accepted, it’s a measure that would likely cancel the rebates. Other provincial municipalities, such as Innisville, have determined that rebate and incentive water conservation programs would be far too costly, and in Innisville alone it’s estimated that it would cost them at least $1.6 million to implement one. Meanwhile, Barrie’s toilet replacement rebate program is barely staying afloat and city councillors recently approved a $50,000 boost because of unexpected costs.
Currently, the Toronto rebate program promises up to $75 if you replace a water-wasting toilet with a water conserving one, but the legislation put forth would make it mandatory for all retailers across the province to sell only low-water toilets (six-litres as opposed to 13-litres) by January of next year. Toilets generally use up 30 per cent of a home’s water and annually, a low-flush toilet cuts this water consumption by half.
Coincidentally, on the same day the new measures were proposed the country’s largest retailer of hardware and home renovation products, RONA, announced that it would no longer sell any toilets with volumes that are more than six-litres.
This proposal comes soon after the federal government cancelled the Canadian ecoENERGY retrofit rebate program, which offered homeowners up to $5,000 in grants and rebates when they made energy-saving renovations before March 31, 2011. For now the provincial programs are still in effect, including the Ontario Home Energy Savings Program, which similar to the federal program offers homeowners up to $5,000 in grants and rebates for energy-efficient renovations.