Residents will be able to get financial assistance to buy a rainwater tank and water-efficient washing machine, toilets and showerheads, under an expanded rebates program starting on 1 October.
The expanded program is being introduced by Council as part of the move to Level 5 water restrictions for all town water users in the Armidale region, providing further assistance for households to save water.
Under the scheme, Council will pay 50% of the purchase cost, up to a maximum amount for each product.
“Community members have been doing a wonderful job saving water and we recognise the necessary next step for further savings could require financial investment by home owners to implement water saving devices,” Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said.
“A front-loading washing machine with a WELS rating of 4.5 stars or higher is one of the most effective ways many households and businesses can make substantial water savings.
“Our community can also make considerable inroads by replacing single-flush and old dual-flush toilets.”
Councillor Murray said the implementation of rainwater tanks at more homes would help take some strain off the region’s town water supplies during the current shortage.
“The real benefit with rainwater tanks will come in the long term, once we’ve had substantial rain to fill those tanks, to give our region greater resilience during extended dry periods in the future,” he said.
Tanks and toilets must be installed by a licenced plumber. Council will also rebate up to a maximum of $50 towards the cost of having a licenced plumber install water saving devices if a water efficiency audit is conducted initially.
The rebate scheme also assists households to get a plumber to audit their home, to identify and repair leaks and identify further opportunities for water savings.
Toilet and showerhead rebates are only available for existing properties, not new homes.
To be eligible for the rebates, the applicant must;
• own the property where the products are installed,
• or have permission of the owner and must pay the water usage account
The property must be connected to the reticulated water supplies for Guyra or Armidale and the water-saving device must have been purchased since 29 May 2019, when Level 4 restrictions were implemented for Armidale.
Applicants must have already paid for and installed the products.
To be eligible for rebates, water tanks must:
• have a 12- month warranty
• have a minimum capacity of 2000 litres
• be used for collection and storage of rainwater on site
• comply with Council’s planning regulations (including the tank’s installation)
Application forms for rebates and further information are available on Council’s website and applications will be accepted from 1 October 2019.
Application forms must be accompanied by an Armidale Regional Council water notice and receipts for the purchase and installation of the water-saving device.
Published on 30 Sep 2019