Water Use Efficiency Rebate Project

The City of Bellingham Water Use Efficiency Program offers rebates to single-family, multi-family, and commercial water customers. 

Single-family Residential Customer Rebates

Single-family rebates are available to water customers who participate in a free water audit prior to installing a high efficiency toilet, clothes washer, and/or weather-based irrigation controller. The City has partnered with the Community Energy Challenge (CEC) to offer home water assessments at no charge. The home water assessment will identify water fixtures that could be upgraded to save water and energy, as well as detect for water leaks and provide free installation of low-flow showerheads and sink aerators. To schedule your free home water audit, contact the CEC.

Blue and white icon of a toilet

Up to a ​$100 rebate is available per toilet when WaterSense labeled high-efficiency toilets purchased and installed. Toilets can account for about 30% of an average home’s water consumption.

EPA WaterSense logo with green and blue water drop

Eligible toilets must be EPA certified WaterSense Models and replace a 1.6+ gallon per flush (gpf) model.

Three rebate types available for toilet upgrades:

Existing ToiletReplacement ToiletRebate Amount
3.0 gpf or more1.28 gpf$100
1.6 gpf1.28$50
1.6 gpfUltra-high-efficiency 0.8 gpf$75

Blue and white icon of a clothes washer

A $100 rebate is available for ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers. The EPA estimates these clothes washers use about 37% less energy and 50% less water than regular washers. In a typical American home, clothes washers are used for about 350 loads per year. An older, top-loading clothes washer uses about 41 gallons of water per load. A newer, more efficient washer uses an average of less than 20 gallons per load and has a higher capacity, which means you can wash more clothes per load while saving water. At 20 gallons per load, there is potential to save 4,000 gallons of water per year. High-efficiency clothes washers also have a faster spin cycle than older models, reducing drying time. The ENERGY STAR website notes that if your washer is over 10 years old, you could save $135 on utility bills each year.

Blue and white logo that says Energy Star Partner

Qualifying clothes washers must be ENERGY STAR® models. If you are a Puget Sound Energy (PSE) customer, you may also be eligible for an additional rebate from them.

Blue and white icon of a hose with a water timer on it

A $75 rebate is available for WaterSense labeled weather-based irrigation controllers for water customers who choose to replace an existing irrigation controller. Weather-based irrigation controllers use local weather conditions to determine when and how much to water, making watering more efficient. In fact, replacing a standard clock timer with a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller can save an average home nearly 7,600 gallons of water annually.

EPA WaterSense logo with green and blue water drop

Irrigation customers can also save water and money by implementing best management practices on irrigation systems. The City has produced an Irrigation System Best Management Practices document, highlighting 13 focus areas to optimize maintenance and operation of irrigation systems while conserving water.

Multi-family Residential Customer Rebates

The multi-family residential customer class makes up approximately 21% of the City’s total annual water consumption. Indoor and outdoor water fixture rebates can help increase the efficiency of these customers’ water use and reduce their utility bills at the same time.

Rebates are only available to customers who participate in the Community Energy Challenge and retrofit high volume fixtures and/or appliances. The City will consider rebates for water saving equipment on a case by case basis, pre-approval is required for all multi-family rebate projects. For more information or to sign up, contact energy@sustainableconnections.org or 360-647-7093.

Rebates are available for qualifying toilets, clothes washers, and irrigation controllers that are purchased and installed.

Toilets: Up to $100 rebate per toilet, must be EPA certified WaterSense Models and replace a 1.6+ gallon per flush (gpf) model.

Three rebate types available for toilet upgrades:

Existing ToiletReplacement ToiletRebate Amount
3.0 gpf or more1.28 gpf$100
1.6 gpf1.28$50
1.6 gpfUltra-high-efficiency 0.8 gpf$75

Clothes washers: A $100 rebate per clothes washer. Qualifying clothes washers must be ENERGY STAR® models.

Irrigation Controller: Up to $750 (or 75% of the total cost, whichever is lower) for installation of weather-based irrigation controllers.

Commercial Customer Rebates

The commercial water customer class makes up approximately 18% of the City’s total annual water consumption. This customer class is comprised of restaurants, hotels, fitness centers, grocery stores, etc. A study of water audits completed at 741 commercial sites in six states found potential water savings from efficiency measures ranged from 20 to 26%. At most sites in national studies, the greatest water savings (63%) were achieved through conservation measures related to domestic plumbing fixtures, such as low-volume toilets, urinals, showerheads, and faucets.

Rebates are available to customers who participate in the Community Energy Challenge and retrofit high-volume fixtures and/or appliances. The City will consider rebates for water saving equipment on a case by case basis. For more information or to sign up, contact energy@sustainableconnections.org or 360-647-7093.

Rebates are available for qualifying toilets, clothes washers, food steamers, dishwashers, ice machines and other select equipment that is purchased and installed.

Toilets: Up to $100 rebate per toilet, must be EPA certified WaterSense Models and replace a 1.6+ gallon per flush model. Rebates apply to tanks, valves and urinals.

Two rebate types available for toilet upgrades:

Existing ToiletReplacement ToiletRebate Amount
3.0 gpf or more1.28 gpf$100
1.6 gpfUltra-high-efficiency 0.8 gpf$100

Clothes washers: Qualifying clothes washers must be ENERGY STAR® models. There are two rebate types available for clothes washer upgrades:

  • Up to $100 for qualifying high-efficiency clothes washer
  • $300 or up to 50% rebate for coin-operated clothes washer

Commercial kitchen appliances: Food steamers, dishwashers, and ice machines must be ENERGY STAR® models and listed on the Puget Sound ​Energy’s list of qualifying models.

Commercial kitchen equipment rebates:

  • Up to $500 for ENERGY STAR® food steamers
  • Up to $1,500 for EnergyStar® dishwashers
  • Up to $300 for EnergyStar® ice machines

More Information

Please contact the Water Conservation staff at the Operations Division of the Public Works Department if you would like more information and to verify specific product eligibility.

Whatcom Water Alliance Rebate – for residents outside City of Bellingham

Do you live outside City of Bellingham city limits? You may qualify for a water conservation rebate from the Whatcom Water Alliance when you upgrade your clothes washing machine, irrigation controller or toilet; visit the Whatcom Water Alliance Rebate webpage for more details.

Resources

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