The Annual Water Conservation Rebate Program is now open and accepting rebates, as of May 1. Each year the Town continues to make modifications and improvements to the program, and this year is no exception, with a few significant changes residents will notice.
“We are excited to announce that not only are toilets back, but we’ve also restructured the entire program to remove the maximum rebate for households, and instead have applied a maximum rebate per item,” said Jinny Toffelmire, environment and sustainability coordinator. “This change rewards people who are making more of an effort to conserve water, and means residents are eligible for more money back on water conservation purchases.”
While in previous years the maximum rebate per household was $200, this year’s program has a maximum eligible amount per household (up to a 50 percent rebate) for each rebate item. The total amount rebated to a household depends on the number of eligible items applied for.
Other new items include rain barrel spigot replacement; irrigation master valves, and soaker hoses. The program has also added over 20 eligible plants to give residents more variety, bringing the total perennials, trees and shrubs to over 85 varieties.
The Town also has a new ‘Raising the Canopy’ project to help residents add to the Town’s local tree canopy. Raising the Canopy provides an extra $100, in addition to the rebate funding, towards any tree on the plant list. Residents simply apply for the rebate, and will receive $100 towards the cost of the tree, as well as 50% up to $100 for the remaining cost. Funding is limited to the first 100 applications, with one tree per household. Additional trees purchased fall under the regular rebate program.
This year’s residential xeriscape rebate opened early on March 1 and is already full. Residents can still apply to put their name on a waiting list in the event a space for funding opens up.
The community’s water-use peaks during the summer months, which increases pressure on the Sheep River to provide water for outdoor activities, and on the water treatment plant to keep up with demand. This program supports residents who make efforts to reduce water consumption. As well as helping residents save money and time, most of the eligible rebate items also support long-term water conservation.
Other approved water rebate items include rainwater harvesting systems, rain sensors, WaterSense® irrigation controllers, watering timers, rain barrels, mulch, drought-tolerant turf, and turf alternatives (such as white Dutch Clover).
Application forms are online and accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds are depleted. A plant list, rebate amounts and full details are online at okotoks.ca/WaterRebate.