In 1988 Mayor Ed Koch announced a new program that would give homeowners and multiple-dwelling buildings ten
years to switch over to water meters, a program that is scheduled for completion by December 31, 1998. With this change, all New York City buildings will be charged for the exact amount of water used instead of by the old flat-rate or frontage system.
Since Mayor Koch's announcement, New York City's water/sewage rates have risen a dramatic 275 percent. The New York City Water Board is predicting that metered rates will continue to rise through the year 2007 with annual increases of 8.8 percent, resulting in an increase in the average apartment owner's bill of $174 per year. By switching over to a metered system, buildings have the opportunity to see exactly how much water is being used and to encourage water conservation measures which can lead to 30 to 40 percent in savings for the building. For a typical 100-unit building, currently spending $35,000 a year on water, that can mean an annual savings of up to $14,000.
A Unique Team
Now there is a new program that will allow buildings to turn these savings into capital improvements. A unique partnership has recently introduced a fool-proof way for buildings to translate water savings directly into financing for needed building upgrades.