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Minnesota’s New Water Conservation Rate Structure
Are you familiar with the new Minnesota law that requires public water utilities to implement residential and commercial rate structures that encourage water conservation?  The purpose of this new law is to modify the end users’ behavior regarding water usage.  The rates went into effect on January 1, 2010 for Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. The following is an example of a conservation rate structure using increasing block rates. Example: 0-6,000 gallons = $2.50/1000 gallons 6,000-12,000 gallons = $3.15/1000 gallons 12,000-24,000 gallons = $4.00/1000 gallons Above 24,000 gallons = $6.00/1000 gallons. The cost per unit increases as water use increases within specified “blocks” or volumes.  The increase in cost between each block should should be significant enough (25% or more and 50% between the last two steps) to encourage conservation.  There can be many other variations of rate structures that encourage conservation. With rising prices and increased regulation of water, it is becoming increasingly important that that your irrigation system needs to be as efficient as possible. For existing irrigation systems, audits can reveal system inefficiencies which can help identify conversation opportunities. Investing in new products and technologies that use water more efficiently will reduce your water use and save you money. Products such as smart controllers, flow sensors and master valves can save water in cases where a ruptured pipe or broken sprinkler go undetected.  Often an investment to make an existing irrigation system more efficient can provide positive returns in just a year or two. Contact us today if you would like us to inspect your system and give you a cost analysis on upgrading your irrigation system to make if more efficient.    
Minnesota Statues, Section 103G.291 rates go into effect January 1, 2010
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