This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Free or reduced-priced compact flourescent light bulbs have been a successful way for utilities to help customers reduce energy use. In return, power companies don’t have to add as much power generation capacity thanks to the lower demand. But what about water? Building sewage treatment plants costs money. Without fanfare or any media notice (except at QA View), Seattle Public Utilities began giving out brand new efficient toilets, delivered to your home and installed by a professional plumber – all for free. You have to be fairly low income to qualify, and you have to have an old toilet and live in your own home, but other than that there aren’t any strings – just a shiny new piece of porcelain ready to save you around 24,000 gallons of water and $140 a year.
If this turns out to be as popular as their kitchen compost bin giveaway (more compost = less trash to haul down to Oregon), they’ll run out of toilets quickly.
Hey, toilets are infrastructure. Sort of.