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Rebates & Incentives

Residential Rainwater Harvesting (Rain Barrel) Rebate Pilot Program

Rebate Applications Accepted Starting January 15th for Rain Barrels Purchased on or After 1/1/2012!

Landscapes can soak up more than 50% of the water used at a typical San Diego home. Capturing rain from your roof is a quick way to conserve water and help prevent pollution by reducing the amount of runoff entering our storm drain system. City of San Diego (City) Public Utilities residential customers that are served by an individual water meter can receive a cash-back rebate when purchasing and installing a rain barrel and connecting it to the home’s rain gutter downspout. Read below to understand the program requirements and application process. Rebates will be distributed on a first-come, first served basis and funding is limited. Read through the guidelines (PDF) prior to filling out an application (PDF).

Rebate Process

  1. Read through the program guidelines (PDF) and get an application (PDF).

  2. Take pre-installation photos.

  3. Purchase and install rain barrel(s).

  4. Take post-installation photos.

  5. Send in completed and signed application, sales receipts and photos.

  6. Receive a rebate.

Rebate Level & Program Requirements

  • Effective March 1, 2013 Rebate is $1.00 for every gallon of rain barrel storage capacity, up to 400 gallons and $400.00. Minimum rain barrel size is 50 gallons. Multiple barrels are ok.
  • Participants must refer to guidelines (PDF) for program requirements and parameters.

What are Rain Barrels and how do they work?

Rain barrels are used to collect rainwater from hard surfaces such as rooftops. When you install a rain barrel at your home you are helping to maintain a healthy urban watershed by reducing the demand on the potable water system to irrigate your garden, and by reducing the amount of wet weather runoff that is collected and sent into the public storm water system, which goes untreated into our bays and estuaries.

How much water do Rain Barrels save?

The amount of water that can be collected from a rooftop depends on several variables, including the dimensions of the rooftop, the collection capacity, and the amount and timing of the rain received. Be sure to do some calculations to determine how much rain barrel storage capacity you need. Remember, San Diego typically receives around ten inches of rain annually.

Rainwater catchment rule of thumb:

1,000 square feet of roof surface captures
625 gallons of water for every
1 inch of rain that falls.

Costs that are covered by the Rain Barrel rebate

Total rebate amount will not exceed the cost of the device(s), or $400.00 per property. Only expenses for purchase of the rain barrel are eligible for a rebate. Expense for labor, shipping, and incidental materials related to installation do not qualify, nor do home-made rain barrels.

Important: Read the GUIDELINES (PDF) and APPLICATION (PDF) PDFs for detailed information about the Rainwater Harvesting (Rain Barrel) program requirements and rebate application process.

This pilot program is made possible through funding from the City of San Diego Transportation & Storm Water Department. The program is administered by the Public Utilities Department, Water Conservation Program.