Cashing In On Water Conservation Rebates


When Mayor Eric Garcetti challenged Los Angeles residents, businesses and city agencies to cut their water use by 20% this October, our first thought was Yipee! Los Angeles needs more conservation for sure. According to the latest tally, Southern California has dropped its water use by just 1.7%. Compare that to the statewide drop (7.5%) or the Bay Area (13%).

Our second thought on hearing the news was Yikes! This is going to be tough. Thankfully, making a few water-saving changes at home can go a long way to getting to 20%. The best part? You can get cold, hard cash for making water conservation upgrades, courtesy of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) rebate program. To get you started, we’ve created a simple guide to help you navigate the many cash-back programs.

Before you start

  • The LADWP rebate program is administered by SoCal WaterSmart.
  • These rebates are available only to LA Department of Water & Power (LADWP) customers.
  • Each type of rebate can only be given once per mailing address.
  • Always check whether the item you’re buying is eligible for a rebate before you purchase. Visit the SoCal Water$mart website or call 888-376-3314.
  • Keep in mind that rebate amounts can change rapidly, so be sure to confirm the current rate when you apply.


Inside Your Home

Clothes Washers

  • What: High-efficiency clothes washers
  • How much: starting at $85 per unit
  • Requirements: Washers must have a water factor of 4.0 or less. Click here for a list of models.


  • What: High-efficiency toilets
  • How much: starting at $100
  • Requirements: Toilets must be certified EPA WaterSense and meet 1.28 gallons per flush or less. 

Free Items

  • What: Bathroom faucet aerators, kitchen faucet aerators and showerheads
  • How much: 100% free!
  • Requirements: To get your free items, contact Customer Service at 800-342-5397.


Outside in the Yard

Rain Barrels

  • What: Rain barrels to collect and re-use rainwater
  • How much: starting at $75 per barrel, up to four barrels
  • Requirements: Rain barrels must be at least 50 gallons and must be designed specifically to capture rainwater.


  • What: Rotating sprinkler nozzles direct the spray only on your landscape.
  • How much: starting at $4 per nozzle
  • Requirements: minimum 15 nozzles

Irrigation Controllers

  • What: Weather-based Irrigation Controllers that automatically adjust the schedule and amount of water used based on weather conditions
  • How much: starting at $80 per controller for less than 1 acre of landscape and $35 per station for more than 1 acre
  • Requirements: Only models that are certified EPA WaterSense qualify for the rebate.

Soil Moisture Sensor

  • What: Soil moisture sensors to measure the moisture at the root level of your yard.
  • How much: starting at $80 per unit for less than 1 acre of landscape and 35 per station for more than 1 acre
  • Requirements: You can only receive this rebate if you haven’t already gotten a rebate for an irrigation controller.



Comments (4)

  1. Rusty Austin
    November 10th, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Instead of paying people thousands of dollars to replace their lawns, why not just make it illegal to have grass except at cemeteries, parks, and golf courses. Most people that have 1500 square feet of grass or more have plenty of money, why are we giving them more to do something they should do anyway? There’s lawns in Beverly Hills that are well over 75,000 square feet, why in the world should some poor guy who lives in an apartment with no grass subsidize their lawn replacement?

  2. Bettina
    January 22nd, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    How much do you think it would cost to manage and enforce the “no lawn” law and to then prosecute the violators?

    An incentive program makes better financial sense and is less bureaucracy.

    Also, most humans don’t do something because someone else tells them they “should” do it. Most people would never think about removing their “perfectly good lawn” to then spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to re-landscape. Incentivizing the removal of those lawns is the only way those people might ever think about getting rid of them.

    You have to think these things through, friend.

  3. Rick Anon.
    January 22nd, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    I am a landlord of a 4-plex. To change 1 water meter to 4 will cost $28,000 to $30,000. The savings will be 40,000 to 44,000 gallons per year. Multiply that by the number of 4-plexes & triplexes in L.A. & you will see real savings. So why does DWP refuse to create a rebate/incentive program to accomplish this?

  4. Eco Desarrollo
    January 25th, 2015 at 9:12 am

    @Rusty Austin – you made very interesting points, hope City also get it.

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