Queen Charlotte will use meters for water billing

  • Jan. 17, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Water billing based on meter readings will become part of Queen Charlotte’s movement toward becoming carbon neutral by 2012. Chief administrative officer Bill Beamish reported on the village’s efforts at the Jan. 10 council meeting. The village signed onto the BC Climate Action Charter in 2007 and are therefore eligible to receive a grant that pays back their carbon tax. One of the proposed actions for 2011 is to implement water billing based on meter readings, Mr. Beamish said. This is part of the province’s goals of reducing water and waste-related greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. Mr. Beamish said staff are hoping to present options for billing based on meter readings by July. The public will be able to see their meter readings on their bills by that time as well, so they will get an idea of their water usage. The village has also been compiling a history of fuel and electrical usage in order to come up with a base amount for future reductions. Greenhouse gas emission reduction targets are also included in the Official Community Plan, which is still in draft stages. The village is also working to develop island-wide strategies on a Climate Action Plan with the other incorporated villages signed on to the government initiative. Other community-wide actions have included using a mix of grant money and village funds to hire consultants, Sustainability Solutions, to work on the action plan for reducing transportation and building-related emissions and energy consumption. The province, through its Climate Action Plan, also encourages enhancing carbon sink capacity in communities through natural resource protection and enhancement. Mr. Beamish said the OCP and Zoning bylaws will cover this. On the corporate side, the village has taken action by encouraging staff and councillors to use webinars for training, rather than travelling to courses which saves money and greenhouse gas emissions.