Non-residential buildings: Volume-based pricing for water consumption

Last updated January 16, 2024
Reading time: 2 min

Since January 1, 2023, buildings in part or in full intented for non-residential use pay a rate based on the volume of water consumed. Learn about how the new ecofiscal mesure will be applied and what building owners can do to better manage their water use.

What is volume-based pricing?

Volume-based water pricing means that people must pay for the water they consume. Water volume is calculated in cubic metres using water meters that provide the city with data on water consumption in each non-residential building.

Montréal has opted for volume-based pricing by progressive blocks, meaning that the rate increases with each consumption tier:

  • 1,000 m3 to 10,000 m3: $0.10 per m3
  • 10,000 m3 to 100 000 m3: $0.20 per m3 
  • 100,000 m3 or more: $0.60 per m3


If part of the building is for residential use, a volume of 225 m3 per dwelling is deducted from the total annual consumption.

However, if the building’s annual non-residential water consumption is equivalent to 1,000 m3 or less, you are not be billed.

Bills based on the volume of water consumed are sent the following year.

This ecofiscal measure is separate from the special water tax shown on your yearly property tax bill.

Example of a billable water volume calculation

Owners of non-residential buildings with two residential dwellings will see their bill calculated as follows:

Total water consumption measured for the building:

2,300 m³

Deduction of water allowance for the two dwellings:

(450 m³)

water consumption attributed to the non-residential portion:

1,850 m³

Non-billable volume threshold - non-residential portion:

(1,000 m³)

Total billable water consumption:

850 m³

Rate applied to the billable water consumption:

x $0,10

Amount of the bill issued:


View your water meter

It is possible to access data from the meter(s) attached to your building to track its water consumption. The meter is generally located inside the building, near the main water inlet. All you need to do is lift the cover to view the number shown.

What to do right away

Reducing water consumption in a building has a direct impact on billing. Examples of best practices to adopt include repairing leaks and defective plumbing fixtures, reducing watering, and replacing any prohibited cooling appliances that use drinking water.

To adapt to climate change

This ecofiscal measure aims to promote environmentally friendly behaviors, while ensuring users contribute to the costs of water services in proportion to their usage. 

The new revenues thus generated will be earmarked for water management activities.

Further information

Have you received a water bill? Here’s some useful information on how to pay your water bill.