By Kathleen Ferris
Thinking about some changes to your yard? Upgrading your kitchen, bathroom or laundry? If you upgrade to a more water-efficient home, your city may be willing to contribute to your project.
Seven of 10 AMWUA member cities have concluded that offering residential rebates help them meet water conservation goals. A city creates a water conservation program based on the demands of its customers and its infrastructure. A city must consider its demographics, budget, age and size, and the age and size of its houses. For example, Phoenix doesn’t offer rebates but does offer to install free, water-efficient toilets in low-income neighborhoods. It has installed 300 so far.
Here are six water-saving changes you can make to your home that could earn you incentives from your city. Cities make these rebates generous enough so residents will take the time to fill out a rebate application. A few may surprise you.
- Toilet: The City of Tempe offers residents a rebate for half the cost, up to $75, if they replace a traditional toilet with a new low-flow fixture. The new toilet must use 1.28 gallons or less per flush. That’s up to $75 for each toilet in a house. The cities of Avondale, Peoria and Scottsdale also offer rebates on toilets and some include shower heads.
- Irrigation controller: The City of Chandler will pay for half of a resident’s new Smart Irrigation Controller, up to $250. These controllers also are known as weather-based or Evapotranspiration (ET) controllers. They make water adjustments up to 365 times a year based on weather and site conditions, such as soil, slope and plant type. The cities of Avondale, Chandler, Peoria, and Scottsdale also offer rebates on automated irrigation controllers.
- Water softener: The City of Scottsdale offers three water softener rebates.The city will give residents a $50 to $100 rebate to replace their current water softeners with a system that saves water or reduces the use of salt. Residents who permanently remove a water softener get a $250 rebate. Scottsdale is the only city to offer this rebate.
- Turf removal: The City of Mesa offers residents a $500 rebate for removing 500 square feet of grass or more and replacing it with desert-adapted plants. The cities of Avondale, Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe and Peoria also offer a variety of turf removal rebates.
- Clothes washer: The City of Avondale offers residents $100 toward the purchase of a high-efficiency clothes washer if it replaces a standard top-loading model. Old top loaders can use up to 39 gallons for every load of wash while the front-loaders use 16 gallons. Avondale is the only city that offers a clothes washer rebate.
- Hot water recirculation system: The City of Scottsdale offers a rebate of up to $200 to residents who install a hot water recirculation system. These systems provide instant hot water to any faucet, saving the water that runs down the drain as you wait for it to heat up. Scottsdale is the only city to offer a hot water recirculation system rebate.
Cities budget a limited amount of money for these programs, so it’s smart to fill out an application quickly. AMWUA has links to details about all of these rebates on its website’s conservation pages. It’s worth taking a look.
For 46 years, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities’ ability to provide assured, safe and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more water information visit www.amwua.org.