Texas

Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

How to Score a Free Toilet in Texas: The Water Rebate Round-Up

Photo by ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images

At last week’s “Life By the Drop” panel on solutions for solving the water crisis in Texas, not everyone agreed on what the next steps should be. But there was universal acknowledgment that greater conservation efforts were essential for the state’s future.

And Texas’ many water utilities aren’t behind the punch. Many have water conservation plans in place that often include residential rebates for products that reduce water use. The items range from small to large, cheap to expensive, and go from around your yard to inside your bathroom. Water-efficient toilets in Dallas and low-flow shower heads in El Paso are just a few of the incentives that we’ve culled into a ‘Rebate Round-Up’ below, where you can see what water conservation incentives are offered in your city.

How you get that rebate depends on where you are. Some utilities give away free products, others give the money up front and, in a majority of cases, others require proof of purchase. There are also eligibility requirements, so be sure to check those before you go out and buy a fancy rainwater catchment system.

In addition to products, some utilities offer free services. For instance, several cities offer a free water-saving audit. And Forth Worth teaches free seminars with water saving tips for landscaping.

Without any further ado, here’s our water conservation ‘Rebate Round-Up:’

Allen:

  • Efficient Irrigation Systems: “50 percent rebate up to a maximum of $125 for the installation of qualifying SMART irrigation technology.”
  • Pressure Reducing Valves: Up to $125 for the installation (by a licensed plumber) “of a PRV to reduce the pressure of their home to a certain amount”
  • Rain/Freeze Sensor for sprinklers: “Rebate of up to $50… for installing a qualifying rain and freeze sensor on your established irrigation system that was installed prior to November 1, 2004.” Systems installed after that date are ineligible.
  • Rainbarrels: “Rebate of up to $25 each for up to two rain barrels”
  • Low-Flow Toilets: Up to $100 for replacing a high volume toilet with a “qualifying low-flow toilet”
  • Washing Machines: “$75, $100, or $125 to residents that purchase qualifying water efficient clothes washer”

Amarillo

  • Rainbarrel: Credit on utility bill for half the cost of a barrel at up to $12 for one barrel and up to $24 for two barrels
  • Large System Water Harvesting: A utility bill credit of a “minimum of $45 for a 300 gallon system up to a maximum of $500 based on a combination of” factors.

Arlington

  • Pressure Reducing Valve: A maximum of $150 for no more than half the price of a pressure reducing valve installed in a structure built prior to September 8, 2003.

Austin

  • Pool Cover: To help reduce evaporation, a 50% rebate of up to $50 for a manual cover and $200 for a mechanical cover.
  • Pressure Regulating Valve (PRV): $100 for the the purchase and installation of a new PRV.
  • Washing Machines: $50 toward the purchase of a new, qualifying washing machine.
  • Rainwater Harvesting System: This rebate of 50% the cost of the installation of a rainwater harvesting system at a lifetime maximum of $5000 is given through reduced rates in a water utility bill.
  • Irrigation Upgrade: “Customers who complete an irrigation evaluation and make all recommended improvements may receive up to $375 in rebates.”
  • Showerhead and Faucet Aerator: Free give-aways of showerheads and kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators all designed to reduce gallons per minute.

Carrollton*

  • Rain/Freeze Sensor (scroll down to “Weather-based irrigation controllers”): Free rain and freeze shut-off devices for systems installed prior to January 1, 2006 while supplies last.

Cinco Municipal Utility District 8 (Fort Bend County, west of Houston)

  • High-Efficiency Toilet (scroll to bottom of page): $100 for the first toilet, $75 for the second and $50 for the third.
  • Showerhead (scroll to bottom of page): $10 per showerhead
  • Faucet (scroll to bottom of page): $10 per faucet
  • Irrigation Timer (scroll to bottom of page): $30 for a system that has a rain sensor.

College Station

  • Rainbarrels: $25 per barrel or cost of barrel if lower for up to two barrels.
  • High-Efficiency Toilet: 50% of the cost at a maximum of $100 to replace an existing toilet or 25% of the cost at a maximum of $50 to install a toilet in a new construction.

Dallas

  • High-Efficiency Toilet: Give-away of up to two free, high-efficiency toilets (after application) or $90 rebate per toilet.

El Paso

Fort Worth

  • High-Efficiency Toilet: “Up to two free dual flush ultra-high efficiency toilets” for qualifying customers

Frisco

  • Irrigation Smart Controller: “Receive a one-time $100 rebate incentive on your water bill after registering” a newly purchased irrigation controller with the city.

New Braunfels

  • High-Efficiency Toilet: Up to two $50 rebates to replace old, high volume toilets “with any high-efficiency toilet that uses 1.28 gallons or less per flush.”
  • Washing Machine: Up to $100 for the purchase of an “Ultra High Efficiency Washing Machine, CEE rated Tier 3 only.”
  • Drought Tolerant Landscape Conversion: Up to $350 rebate, depending on yard size, to convert to landscaping that is more drought tolerant. Application deadline is July 31, 2012.

Odessa

Plano

  • High-Efficiency Toilet: Rebates to replace older, high-volume toilets with new, qualifying models. $100 for the first, $75 for the second and $50 for the third.
  • Rainbarrel: $25 water utility credit after proof of purchase for up to two rainbarrels.
  • Rain/Freeze Sensor: $50  water utility credit after proof of purchase of a new rain/freeze sensor for an existing residential irrigation system.

Round Rock

  • Efficient Irrigation System: A variety of rebates for both the purchase of new equipment and the retrofit of older systems with more efficient landscape irrigation mechanisms. Program ends July 31, 2012.

San Antonio

  • Toilet: Up to two free water-efficient toilets for “SAWS customers who have water wasting toilets in their residence…built prior to 1992.”
  • Hot-Water-on-Demand: $150 credit for a SAWS approved hot-water-on-demand system.
  • Showerhead and Aerator: Free high-efficiency showerhead and faucet aerators.
  • WaterSaver Lanscape: $100 gift certificate to a local nursery after approval of a landscaping plan and inspection.
  • Irrigation Design: “A maximum of $400 for any combination of options, depending on the number of zones converted or capped, and if irrigation remains at or below a personalized schedule for water use over a one-year period.”

San Marcos

  • Rainbarrel: Up to $50 for up to two rainbarrels.
  • Efficient Washing Machine: From $50-$100, depending on its efficiency rating, for a new washing machine.
  • High Efficiency Toilet: $25 for the replacement of a standard flow model and $100 for the replacement of a high-volume model with a new high-efficieny model.

The Woodlands

  • Water Saving Device (scroll to bottom of page): ”We offer a 50%, up to $150.00, on the purchase and installation of a rain sensor, ET Smart controller, or other water saving device for your sprinkler system.”

This is not an exhaustive list. If you know of any programs in your neck of the woods, feel free to add them in the comments section below.

*Since original publication, more municipalities have been added to the article: Carrollton, Frisco, Odessa and The Woodlands.

Daniel Ramirez is an intern with StateImpact Texas.

Comments

  • Angela

    Dang, this is all great information! Thanks so much! Looking forward to my Irrigation Audit from the City of Austin.

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