Thursday, January 8, 2009 - 9:28am
The Madison Water Utility has begun offering rebates of up to $100 as an incentive for residential customers to replace their older toilets with EPA WaterSense-labeled High Efficiency Toilet (HET) models. The program is part of the utility's Water Conservation and Sustainability Plan to reduce per capita water usage 20 percent by the year 2020, with the goal of protecting the quality and quantity of the deep-well aquifer that supplies the Madison area.
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission approved funding the rebate program through water rates, allocating $250,000 for $100 rebates to individual customers who replace older toilets. The EPA's WaterSense program is part of that agency's mission to protect drinking water resources, and it is similar in approach to Energy Star labeling for electric appliances.
"Although this program is the first of its type in Wisconsin," Water Utility General Manager Tom Heikkinen said, "many other jurisdictions throughout the U.S. have implemented similar conservation incentives. Toilets are the largest users of water in the home, so this is the logical place to encourage water efficiency."
Toilets eligible for the rebate must be HETs (which use an average of 1.28 gallons per flush) and must be on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) WaterSense list
(http://epa.gov/watersense/pp/find_het.htm). Any toilet that meets the criteria and is purchased after January 1, 2009, will be eligible.
To apply for the rebate, customers must submit the original, dated sales receipt for the toilet showing the manufacturer's model name and number and the completed application form which can be found on the utility's website www.madisonwater.org or by stopping at the utility offices at 119 East Olin Avenue. Rebate checks will be mailed approximately 2 to 3 weeks after receipt of the application.
Participants in the program must be residential customers of the Madison Water Utility, who live in single-family homes, condos, or apartments in buildings no larger than four units. Rebates are for replacement of existing larger-capacity toilets, and are not for new construction. Rebates are first-come, first-served until funding is exhausted, and are limited to one per household. Additional details can be found on the utility website or by calling the Madison Water Utility at 608:266-9129.
- Gail Gawenda, Public Information Officer266-9129