The city of Houston is in the first period of a water program that was created to give incentive to multifamily properties to reduce water consumption. Since water rates in Houston have risen recently, the program is designed to give money back to those consumers who are affected the most by water costs. In order to make the program successful, the Houston Apartment Association (HAA) took an active role in advising the Multifamily Water Conservation Incentive Program.
Originally Houston wanted to give rebates for purchases of water reducing products, but HAA thought that would be unfair to multifamily properties who had already purchased products of this type. Instead, the program will reward those who consume less water than they did the previous year. The program began January 1st this year and will continue until December 31st in 2012. Because the program is in the qualification stage in the first of four periods, it is not known whether or not the program has been affective in reducing water usage. Those numbers should be known sometime in mid-July when the first period ends. HAA was happy to report though that about 1200 properties had signed up in just the first period. We will know in a few weeks whether or not the program is as successful in reducing water usage as it was in signing up multifamily properties.