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California Energy Commission Makes Changes to Water Code

California Energy Commission Makes Changes to Water Code

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“There is a lot of frustration being experienced by the general public and by homeowners across California with regard to water bills,” said Laura Brown, Director, the California Energy Commission.

So the California Energy Commission made a few tweaks to the Water Code that will help homeowners as they try to make long-term water savings. It’s going to be a doozy.

“There’s going to be a lot more incentives going out there for folks to get off their water, to lower their water bills,” Brown explained. “[The Water Code] is going to be rewritten in an attempt to try and make it clearer for consumers.”

Basically, the changes are simple. First, the requirement is lifted about 50 percent. Under current law, an average residential customer can save $400 a year by only having as much as a few toilets and showers in the house. Now the law requires 100 percent of a dwelling to have water.

There are other changes, as well. The law now allows up to three 100-gallon water tanks per dwelling, up from one 75-gallon tank. Water consumption from these tanks is capped at 60 gallons a day. The maximum number of showers per household is 50, up from 30 in the past. The minimum number of toilets per household now drops to five, down from 13. And the minimum number of baths is cut to two, down from three.

These are pretty substantial changes to the law, which had its beginning over 50 years ago. The law originally focused on homeowners who wanted to make it tougher for tenants to take a room out of the house. And it had long banned all water waste, which was a big no-no back then, as we explained here.

But there is a new twist in this. The changes to the law will allow property owners who don’t wish to use their property for public use, like parks, to reduce their water costs substantially. In a nutshell, the new water code will allow residents to use 30 percent or less of their water, no matter what type of building they’re in.

The new code also reduces water waste in a couple of other ways and makes it easier on property owners to

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