Lawn conversion & irrigation upgrade rebates

Effective January 1, 2015

Reduce your water bill and earn rebates for one or more landscape and irrigation equipment upgrades.

Up to $2,500
Single- and Multi-Family (4 units or less) Residential
Up to $20,000
Commercial and Multi-Family (5 units or more)

Choose from a menu of cost-effective upgrades you can use to create low water use landscaping, improve irrigation efficiency, and lower your water bill:

  • Convert high water use lawns to sustainable landscaping.
  • Convert sprinklers to drip irrigation.
  • Replace conventional sprinkler nozzles with high-efficiency rotating nozzles.
  • Replace conventional irrigation timers with smart controllers.
  • Install pressure regulators to improve system performance.
  • Install submeters to improve leak detection and irrigation management.

The program is available to qualifying single-family homes, multi-family properties, and commercial and institutional landscape irrigators. Please note that rebates are not retroactive. 

General guidelines

  • A telephone interview and/or pre-inspection with an EBMUD representative and subsequent written approval is required before starting a project.
  • The project must be completed within six months of application approval.
  • A post-project inspection is required.
  • Rebate applications must include an original receipt for the purchase of qualifying equipment and be postmarked or received by EBMUD within 90 days of purchase.
  • Rebated equipment must be installed and inspected within 180 days from equipment purchase date.
  • Water guzzling and invasive plants don’t qualify for a rebate. Get information on low water-use plants here.
  • Artificial turf does not currently qualify for a rebate.

Other terms and conditions apply to this offer. Please see details and an application form below.

Rebates offered by the state and EBMUD

Frequently asked questions

EBMUD-served households may qualify for additional turf replacements rebates from the State Department of Water Resources. Learn about the additional incentives available, program requirements, and how the state program works in conjunction with EBMUD's program. 

Yes. For every square foot of lawn removed and meeting eligibility criteria, EBMUD will rebate 50 cents per square foot, and the state will rebate $1.50 per square foot.

No. Make sure to apply to each rebate program separately. 

No. Rebates from the state and EBMUD are not retroactive and projects completed prior to application approval are not eligible for rebates from the state or from EBMUD. Please do not start your project until you receive your project approval. 

  • The state rebate program is offered to single-family residential properties only. 
  • EBMUD offers lawn conversion rebates to qualifying single-family residential, multi-family residential and commercial customers.
  • The state will rebate up to 1,000 square feet and up to $1,500 per household in the EBMUD service area.
  • The EBMUD residential rebate is limited to $2,500 per property within a 24-month period for all EBMUD landscape rebate offers combined. EBMUD offers 5 other landscape irrigation rebates.

No, there are important differences to keep in mind when applying for both programs: 

  • The state will rebate grass (dead or alive).
  • EBMUD will rebate replacement of existing irrigated lawn. If you have stopped watering because of the drought, eligibility for the EBMUD rebate is based on evidence that the area to be converted was irrigated in the recent past.
  • For the state rebate, after receiving reservation approval notice, you will have 120 days to complete your project and submit the rebate application form. 
  • For the EBMUD rebate, after receiving approval notice, you will have six (6) months to complete your project and notify the EBMUD Water Conservation Office of project completion.

No, there are some important differences to keep in mind when planning and implementing your lawn conversion, specifically: 

  • State tree requirement: The state rebate requires that customers plan to incorporate one tree, either new or existing, in the conversion project area. There is no tree requirement for the EBMUD rebate.
  • Decomposed granite: The state rebate limits decomposed granite to 25 percent of the total project square footage; there are no granite limits for the EBMUD rebate.
  • Mulch: EBMUD customers must apply a minimum of three inches of mulch on soil surfaces; the state does not specify a minimum depth for mulch. EBMUD does not consider rubber bark mulch permissible; the state rebate program will approve rubber bark mulch.

To learn more about the rebates available to you, visit Save Our Water rebates and EBMUD's Water Smart Center. 

Lawn signs for the water saver

Saying goodbye to your lawn? Letting your lawn turn golden during the dry months? You’re doing your part, and EBMUD wants to say thank you with a free lawn sign. Inspire curious passersby and neighbors to let their lawn go too.

Removing your lawn? Here’s your sign:


Not watering during the dry months?  Here’s your sign:


Order your sign today on EBMUD’s store. Please allow 7-10 days for delivery. If you want your sign right away, you may pick it up at: EBMUD Administration Building, 375 11th Street, Oakland. Thank you for conserving!

Landscape photo gallery

Get inspiration and ideas for your lawn conversion.

EBMUD Landscape & Plant Book

Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates is an indispensable guide to choosing plants that love the East Bay climate and are low water users.

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phone: 1-866-403-2683

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Your resource for conservation services and incentives for home and business, publications, workshops and events, and more.