The City of Toronto’s Capacity Buy Back Program encourages and rewards industrial, commercial and institutional organizations that reduce water use by:

  • offering industrial customers consuming up to 15,000 m3/yr, commercial, and institutional customers a free water audit to help identify ways to reduce water use;
  • rewarding industrial customers consuming up to 5,000 m3/yr, and commercial and institutional customers that implement permanent water savings measures with a one-time cash rebate up to 30 cents per litre of water saved per average day;
  • helping participants save money over the long-term with reduced water bills.

This program allows the City to buy back water capacity that has been freed up by participants who have reduced water use in their operations.

Step 1: Let us know you are interested in the program

Step 2: Eligibility and options

The City will contact you to discuss your eligibility. If you meet the criteria, the City will arrange to have a professional engineer complete a thorough walkthrough and review of your organization’s water use.

Step 3: The audit and report

Based on the visit, an engineer will develop a detailed water audit report that will include a list of eligible process or equipment changes your organization can make and the estimated savings you can expect. View a sample audit report.

Water efficiency upgrades eligible under the program are:

  • cooling towers
  • boilers
  • refrigeration equipment
  • food service equipment
  • process equipment and other site-specific water-saving measures (i.e. grey water reuse, rain water harvesting systems)

Domestic water fixtures (i.e. toilets, taps), irrigation systems and rain barrels are not eligible for cash incentives, but may yield significant water savings.

Step 4: Implementation

Review the report and execute some or all of the water-saving recommendations. Contact us if you need support reviewing the document, or would like us to come in to discuss the recommendations with others in your organization.

Step 5: Verification

Once you have implemented some or all of your water efficiency measures, fill out the Notice of Completion form and email it to The City will arrange a site visit to verify the savings. If you do not implement all of your recommendations at once, simply fill out and submit the form after each measure is completed.

Step 6: The incentive

After each verification, the City will present your organization with a cheque for up to 30 cents per litre of water saved per average day.

In 2023, an organization that reduces water use by 10,000 litres (10 m3) a day could receive:

  • A free water audit
  • $3,000 one-time program incentive (10,000 L x $.30)
  • $16,010 annual water bill savings (10 m3 x 365 x $4.3863 m3, current water rate)