By Courtney Brown, Conservation Garden Park
Rebates for various water-efficient products have been available in many Utah cities for years, but the demand on our limited water resources is now the driving force behind expanded rebate programs. With the launch of UtahWaterSavers.com in 2017, many parts of Salt Lake County are eligible for new water conservation programs and rebates. The website was recently expanded further to include rebates statewide for smart sprinkler controllers. Statewide rebates for high-efficiency toilets will soon follow.
From a water conservation perspective, replacing old toilets with new toilets provides instant, quantifiable and long-lasting water savings. On average, toilets use more water in the home than any other appliance, accounting for nearly 30 percent of a household’s water use. Older toilets use even more water, some as much as six gallons per flush. These toilets can last for decades with relatively minor repairs, so there are thousands of them still in use throughout the state. In 1994, national plumbing codes required all new toilets to use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush. In recent years, toilets have become even more efficient. Modern high-efficiency toilets use only 1.28 gallons per flush or less while still providing equal or better performance.
Through UtahWaterSavers.com, eligible homeowners can receive a rebate of up to $100 to replace an old high-flush toilet with a new WaterSense-labeled toilet. Toilets in homes built prior to 1994, that also use more than 1.6 gallons per flush are eligible for the rebate. To receive a rebate, follow the steps listed below:
1. Photograph the toilet you are replacing. This should be done before the toilet is removed. You will be asked to upload this photo as part of the rebate application.
2. Purchase and install a qualified WaterSense-labeled toilet. Remember to keep your proof of purchase.
3. Complete your rebate application on UtahWaterSavers.com. You will be asked to provide photos of your old toilet, proof of purchase and a photo of your newly installed WaterSense-labeled toilet.
4. Receive your rebate. Checks will be made out and mailed to the property owner.
5. An inspection of the installation may be performed to verify compliance.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rigorously tests high-efficiency toilets and awards the WaterSense label to products that meet superior performance and efficiency standards. WaterSense labeled toilets are available at common retail stores at a variety of price points, beginning at around $100. According to the EPA, replacing old, inefficient toilets with WaterSense-labeled models can save nearly 13,000 gallons of water per home every year. Depending on the cost of water in your city, this could save you $150 or more every year. In short, you may be able to be reimbursed for the full cost of a new toilet, then save the equivalent value of that toilet every year in reduced water usage.
Go to UtahWaterSavers.com to review the program overview and eligibility requirements.