AIR conditioners remain in the council's crosshairs as it continues to look for ways to cut back city water use.
Tamworth Regional Council water director Bruce Logan said a new rebate could be offered to residents and businesses to address thirsty air-con units in the city.
Mr Logan spoke to a number of Tamworth business-people on Monday on behalf of the council to address water security and policy concerns in the community.
He said a "surprising" and significant trend has been noted by the council when it came to evaporative air conditioner use.
The city's water consumption has increased by as much as 50 per cent on hot days, which have been increasingly common this summer.
There has been just 10 days since December 1 where the maximum recorded temperatures in Tamworth didn't exceed 35 degrees.
The council held talks with local air-con sales and service-people to find a way to ease the strain on the water supply in warmer months.
The council staff were told air-con units were guzzling more water than necessary because they were poorly maintained.
The eventual outcome could be a council vote on rebates for air-con servicing, Mr Logan said on Monday.
"That would result in a significant reduction in water consumption," he told the local business representatives.
"It is not going to stop it completely by any stretch."
Evaporative units can use anywhere from five to 40 litres per hour, according to the council's data.
He suggested a rebate scheme for replacing evaporative units with reverse-cycle options could be considered as well.
However, he conceded this would be a hugely expensive option and it mightn't prove popular or feasible.
Mr Logan said up to 50 per cent of Tamworth's residential properties had an evaporative cooler.
"We have 17,000 residential properties in Tamworth, so if we go to 50 per cent, that's 8000 evaporative air conditioners which means it is a big problem and it's a lot of money for council to be shelling out for rebates," he said.
Since Level 5 water restrictions came into effect in September, the council has been encouraging people to limit personal water use to 150 litres per day.
The water consumption rates in Tamworth, Moonbi and Kootingal have exceeded this benchmark in recent weeks.
The city's water users guzzled 19.8 megalitres last week, which was more than 22 per cent greater than the 16.1 megalitre target.
Concerns were raised at the business water forum on Monday about how the region's schools would affect water consumption once term one begins.
Chaffey Dam has fallen to 13.2 per cent capacity and it has been releasing 30 megalitres per day.