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Rebates & Incentives

Residential Sustainable Landscape-Turf Replacement Rebate

Did you know that more than 50% of the water consumed by most households is used to maintain landscapes and lawns? You can help reduce your outdoor water use, keep your landscape more attractive and healthy - and save money on your water bill - by replacing thirsty turf grass with a sustainable and water wise landscape. City of San Diego Public Utilities Department customers residing in a single family home, duplex, townhome, or condominium that is served by an individual meter can receive rebates for replacing living FRONT YARD turf with water wise landscape. Funding for a limited number of rebates is available through a State of California grant and the City's Storm Water Department, and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. Read through the guidelines (PDF) prior to filling out an application (PDF).

Rebate Process

  1. Read through the program guidelines (PDF) and submit an application (PDF).
  2. Have a water conservation survey and pre-site inspection. Get approval to begin project. (Original turf must be apparent at time of site visit.)
  3. Within 45 days: submit your plant list ($1.25 rebate level) or submit design plans ($1.50 rebate level).
  4. Within 120 days: complete your FRONT YARD project and schedule a post-installation visit.
  5. Receive a rebate check.

Program Requirements

Get $1.25 or $1.50 per square foot (up to $3,000 per customer) for replacing living FRONT YARD lawn with sustainable and water wise landscaping. See guidelines (PDF) for program requirements.

What does not qualify for a rebate?

  • High water using plants (as classified by WUCOLs)
  • Artificial turf
  • Vegetable gardens
  • Back yard turf conversion
  • Exposed soil surfaces (exceptions made to accommodate specific garden designs)
  • Impermeable surfaces such as bricks and flagstone mortared into place, or concrete
  • Dead lawn prior to applying for rebate
  • Planting of invasive species that have potential to spread aggressively

How much water does a sustainable landscape save?

Typically, cool season turfgrass uses between 14 and 40 gallons of water per square foot annually, depending on site conditions. Once established, low to moderate water using plants can require less than half of the water required by cool season turfgrass.

Costs that are covered by the sustainable landscape rebate.

The rebate is $1.25/SF of lawn area that is replaced with ornamental water wise landscape--up to a maximum of $3,000 per customer. The rebate increases to $1.50/SF if a landscape design professional is used to develop a scaled design plan showing details such as total water use requirements as a percentage of evapo-transpiration (ET) for the planned landscape, common and scientific plant names, plant coverage at maturity, and irrigation design (hydrozones).

Important: Read the GUIDELINES and APPLICATION PDFs for detailed information about the Sustainable Landscape-Turf Replacement rebate application process.

** This program is made possible by a grant from the California Department of Water Resources.