Southern California is experiencing a major drought and turf grass is one of the most water-intensive plants around. In order to encourage Los Angeles residents to say goodbye to their lawns, the LADWP offers a cash incentive to replace healthy, green grass with California Friendly® landscaping. The cash runs from $1.50 to $2 per square foot for residential customers and commercial customers may receive $1 per square foot. In place of water-thirsty and high maintenance grass, L.A. residents are encouraged to install California Friendly® plants and other water-wise features to help save money while conserving water. You can request a rebate one time on any qualifying property and it does not have to be the entire lawn on the property in order to qualify.
What does California Friendly® mean? This is an approved list of trees, perennials, vines, succulents and shrubs that are more water-friendly. The program also supports other ways to enhance a landscape with non-vegetative groundcover or paving materials like decomposed granite, pea gravel, rocks, pebbles, mulch and wood chips. A list of landscaping options and plants available at www.bewaterwise.com.
In order to qualify for the rebate customers must pre-apply for a rebate and receive LADWP approval before starting the turf replacement ant the LADWP will also inspect the lawn before and after the project. Projects can’t include live turf of turf-looking plants and must include plants however synthetic turf is eligible for rebates in some areas.
In order to begin you set up an account and submit a proposal. It’s important to measure your project correctly because your final rebate cannot be larger than your reserved amount, even if you remove additional square footage. Along with your application you must submit at least five color photos of the areas you plan to remove as well as a copy of your most recent water bill. Once you have submitted your proposal you must wait to hear back from the LADWP which can take several weeks. After you receive approval you have 120 days to complete your project.
Once your project is completed you log in and make a rebate application by submitting photos of the complete project and a copy of your recent water bill. If your project includes synthetic turf, submit a photo or scanned copy of your synthetic turf receipt. Your rebate application will be reviewed and you will receive an email with the results in 4-5 weeks.
The application website at SoCalWaterSmart includes instructions for submitting photos and how to measure your lawn.