Successful rebate programs
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Successful Rebate Programs. Brent Mecham Irrigation Association. Metropolitan Water District Southern Nevada Water Authority San Diego Water Authority Denver Water Seattle Utilities East Bay Metropolitan Utility District Central Utah Water Conservancy District

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Successful rebate programs

Successful Rebate Programs

Brent Mecham

Irrigation Association

Thanks and appreciation

Metropolitan Water District

Southern Nevada Water Authority

San Diego Water Authority

Denver Water

Seattle Utilities

East Bay Metropolitan Utility District

Central Utah Water Conservancy District

St. Johns River Water Management District

Frisco, Texas

McAllen, Texas

Fort Collins, Colorado

Greeley, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Eugene, Oregon

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Oviedo, Florida

Apopka, Florida

Thanks and Appreciation


What is meant by successful?

Has water use been substantially reduced?

Have rebate programs increased awareness?

What is the motivation for reducing water use? (Controlling the peak or the quantity?)

If the program is too successful, then there is a revenue shortfall. (Is that successful?)

Important concepts
Important concepts

Public agencies have to set the example

Parks departments, public medians, schools, etc.

TELL the public lots of times what is being done. Lots of messages not just once.

Residential & Commercial programs

Tiered rate structures

Rebate amount has to be significant $$$

Rebate at least 50% of equipment costs

Top residential programs
Top Residential Programs

“Free” audit or irrigation inspection

In-house staff (seasonal employees) or hired contractor

Visual inspection of all of the sprinklers with property owner present to see problems

Perhaps measure one or two sprinkler zones

Create an irrigation schedule based on average seasonal needs

Follow-up to see that repairs were performed

Why is this successful
Why is this successful

Huge PR benefit

Promote neighbor to neighbor education

Focus on the top 10-20% of accounts = greater water savings potential

Most volunteers for audits tend to be doing a reasonably good job, they want validation

Residential equipment rebates
Residential Equipment Rebates

#1 Smart Controllers

Weather based, Soil Moisture based

SWAT Listed or Agency approved list

#2 High efficiency nozzle retrofit

#3 Microirrigation conversion

#4 Pressure regulating sprinklers

#5 Rain sensors

Successful programs
Successful programs

Getting rebate is easy

Online processing, reduce paper work to one page

Quickly get money to property owner

Vouchers = instant rebate, but more work for retailer and utility

Saturday is the busiest day, accommodate the customer

Rebate is significant amount of money

Rebate covers at least 50% of equipment cost

Preferred contractor list

has participated in local training, becomes an advocate for the utility to the customer


Sustained water use reductions have been documented on properties getting audits

Savings from controller retrofits 10-20%

People doing deficit irrigation won’t yield much water savings

Rain sensors don’t save much water where it seldom rains

Commercial programs
Commercial Programs

Contractor involvement

Train and empower

Lead with education & information vs a sale

Reward good contractors

Preferred listing or recognition

(punish the bad actors)

Equipment rebates
Equipment Rebates

Multiple options available--customize per property

Smart controllers $15-$40 per station up to the cost of the controller

High efficiency nozzles $4-5 per nozzle retrofit

Microirrigation retrofit

Innovative programs
Innovative programs

Mandatory irrigation inspections every 3 years (biggest water savings)

Comprehensive irrigation retrofits with technical assistance (new law with forced compliance)

Irrigation Efficiency Program

Performance based incentive

Pre-approved before implementation

Potential water savings > 3 ac/ft per year

$3,000 or $6,000 per acre foot water saved pro-rated over 5 years

Irrigation Management Services

Water budget approach


Easier to document results on large properties with meters

Average water savings 15-25% where mandatory measures are implemented

Value of water saved to customer = $$

Money saved by utility = $$$$$

reducing peak demand

eliminating the need to develop water source