CRD Develops Rebate Program to Regulate Water Waste

September 28, 2022

By Tyler Nyquvest

VANCOUVER ISLAND – As the climate changes, we will continue to experience hotter and dryer summers which can put pressure on water infrastructure in the CRD. Every effort to look after our precious water resources is a step in the right direction. Keeping up with the new technologies and sophisticated applications for waste reduction can be challenging, but there is no question that some industries need to be more vigilant to combat outdated practices.

‘Once-through cooling (OTC) systems’, also known as ‘single-pass cooling systems’, are one of those outdated practices that impact natural resources and are needlessly wasteful. Not only can they be expensive to operate, but they dispose of perfectly fresh, useable drinking water directly into the sewer.

Glenn Harris is the Senior Manager of Environmental Protection with the Capital Regional District

These systems function by removing heat and transferring it to a supply of clean, cold municipal drinking water that runs through the unit and is then discharged to the sewer. These kind of cooling systems are commonly used in different types of equipment including commercial and industrial air conditioners, wok stoves, server cooling, walk-in cooler and freezers, and ice machines.

In order to reduce the impact of OTC systems and regulate water waste, the Capital Regional District has developed a region-wide rebate program for businesses and organizations willing to swap out their old machines for a new efficient air-cooled system or similar replacement option.

“The District is proud to bring back our rebate program in order to further our commitment to a green economy and help promote sustainable and responsible use of natural resources,” said Glenn Harris, Senior Manager, Environmental Protection with the Capital Regional District.

“Our program ensures that business owners can be supported in their efforts towards this worthwhile cause and also receive the information needed to feel confident with their new systems.”

Once-through cooling (OTC) systems, also known as single-pass cooling systems, are expensive and waste large amounts of fresh drinking water

Through the program, businesses in the capital region can receive a rebate of up to $600 per refrigeration ton to replace OTC condensers and up to $1,200 per refrigeration ton for ice makers. This will also ensure year-over-year savings with a less expensive water bill due to the efficiency of the new system.

Installation cost and payback period varies depending on the situation but replacing a small commercial system often pays for itself in as little as 18 months. The increased energy efficiency of more modern equipment often yields even greater savings and the savings continue even as water utility costs continue to rise. So, making the switch is not only sustainably minded, it makes good business sense.

In order to be considered for the rebate program, an application form must be filed, which will be followed by next steps and available options for each unique case. Information on the rebate program can be found on the Capital Regional District website. People can also call 250-360-3103 or email if they have questions about the program.


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