I feel I must address this outlandish idea that commercial users are already doing the best possible to conserve water because they have so much more incentive than residential users.
The idea that commercial water users have a better incentive to conserve than residential users is frankly balderdash.
Residential users are still paying for water and I do not know many who are willing to throw away money wastefully. This was clearly demonstrated when the tiered system showed residents that usage equaled money out of pocket. Residents responded with a whopping 23 per cent reduction. On the other hand commercial users did not reduce by any meaningful amount.
I don’t think this is because they were already such good conservers. It is far more likely that those, whose costs didn’t go down due to subsidized tier rating, just passed the costs onto the consumer and therefore had no increased incentive at all to conserve.
At the risk of being offensive this logic is best served with a shovel.
The cost of water, like rent, taxes, product costs and any other business costs, is passed on to the costumer in the price of the product or service. This is a fundamental precept of business. Further, the idea that savings to the business person would result in savings to the consumer was clearly shown to be false when the same promise made for the HST failed to produce lower prices.
With very limited exceptions if a business can find a savings they’re far more likely to take it as profit than to lower the price consumers are already showing a willingness to pay.
The only way that equal water rates across the board would eat into the profits of commercial water users is if they have been reaping extra profits since the tiered water rates began subsidizing them in 2009.