Water Smart Business

The Water Smart Business program provides Guelph’s industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) water customers with financial incentives for retrofits and upgrades to reduce your facility’s bottom line.  We will work with your business to conduct a water audit, identify and tailor water saving opportunities specific to your facility, calculate the payback period and determine the best financial incentives available.

Saving water – and money – has never been this easy!  Enroll in the program today.

To qualify, participants must:

  • be located within City of Guelph limits;
  • have an active City of Guelph water account and be connected to the municipal water supply;
  • be classified by the City as an industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) building such as an office, retail outlet, hotel, hospital, factory, warehouse, manufacturing facility or school;
  • have not previously received funding under the Water Smart Business Program for the retrofit.

Fill out the forms below to help us learn about your business so we can customize our program to help you save money and water.

Frequently asked questions

To participate in the Water Smart Business program a facility must:

  • be located in the City of Guelph;
  • have an active water account in good standing and be connected to the municipal water supply; and
  • be classified by the City as an industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) building.

ICI customers that use less than 10 cubic metres (m3) per day of municipal water via internal water systems and processes are provided with a water use review. A water use review includes a site inspection, process or facility data logging, as needed, and review of facility water use conducted by City of Guelph staff.ICI customers that use more than 10 m3 per day of municipal water and possess complex internal water systems qualify for a water use audit conducted by a third-party consultant. The audit is paid for through cost recovery on a 50/50 basis with the City of Guelph to a maximum of $10,000.

The monitoring and evaluation methodology is the same for a water use review and water use audit.

  • Access to your facility
  • Copies of your water billing records
  • A knowledgeable representative from the facility to accompany City of Guelph staff on site
  • Access to process equipment and facility water meters
Yes, if it is determined during a water use review that the facilities systems are beyond the expertise of City of Guelph staff, then a water use audit is necessary. The City of Guelph will help make the necessary arrangements.
It is the facility owner’s or operator’s responsibility to hire the qualified, third-party consultant.
Yes, the City of Guelph can help pay for half the cost of the audit to a maximum of $10,000.
To be eligible for financial assistance for your facility’s water use audit, you must submit the completed application form, a copy of the water use audit report and a copy the paid third-party consultant invoice.
The City will repay the applicant within approximately thirty (30) days.
The water use audit or review will recommend water efficiency upgrades for the facility. Completed water efficiency upgrades with greater than a one year payback period may qualify for a capacity buyback incentive of $750 per cubic metre per day of reclaimed municipal water supply saved to a maximum of $100,000 per project.
A financial incentive will be provided to the participant within approximately one (1) year.

Background and resources

In 2015, Guelph’s industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sector accounted for approximately 47 per cent of daily water use in Guelph. As part of the Water Smart Business program we are trying to reduce water use by about 150,000 litres per day, as identified in the Water Efficiency Strategy.

Water Smart Business resources

279 KBWater Smart Business Terms and conditions1 MBUniversity of Guelph case study1 MBVehcom Manufacturing case study201 KBWater Smart Business printer-friendly application form

Related projects

The City of Guelph is participating in a cooling tower study in partnership with the Alliance for Water Efficiency.

Water conservation tips

  • Find out how to use your water meter to check for leaks.
  • Install WaterSense fixtures e.g. toilets, shower heads, urinals, bathroom faucets. WaterSense is a voluntary partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that labels products that are certified to use at least 20 percent less water, save energy, and perform as well or better than regular models.
  • Install and use sub-meters to track your facility’s water use and identify process improvements.
  • Fix drips. A pressure relief valve on a boiler dripping into a pipped floor drain dripping at a rate of 1 drip per second will waste 32.71 liters per day. This drip incurs other costs besides on your water bill, e.g. your chemical corrosion inhibitor to your boiler system.
  • Replace pump and valve seals to keep water use low and pumps operating efficiently.
The University of Guelph worked with the City of Guelph to conduct a water audit in 2007, which identified opportunities for water savings. The university completed retrofits and received a $93,570 incentive! Read the University of Guelph case study.

For more information

Water Smart Business Program
519-822-1260 extension 3494
watersmartbusiness@guelph.ca