As part of the regional response to severe drought conditions, the San Diego County Water Authority and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) have teamed up to streamline the rebate process for qualifying high-efficiency clothes washers. Residents in SDG&E’s service area can now receive two rebates totaling $135 per high-efficiency clothes washer using one application at www.SoCalWaterSmart.com. Previously, customers needed to complete two applications to receive rebates of $85 and $50.
Clothes washing is among the most water-intensive activities inside a typical home, accounting for 22 percent of home water use, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. High-efficiency clothes washers (HEWs) use 65 percent less water and 55 percent less energy than conventional clothes washers, according to the California Urban Water Conservation Council. The water savings for each residential HEW can be as much as 11,000 gallons per year. HEWs save energy because they use more efficient motors, require less hot water and reduce the amount of drying time needed for clean clothes.
“The streamlined rebate process offers an opportunity for our customers to save money and make the most of every drop this year and into the future,” said Caroline Winn, SDG&E’s vice president of customer services. “Providing more ways to conserve energy and reduce water use can help the region become more drought-proof.”
The Water Authority and SDG&E have worked together for more than two decades on programs including the distribution of low-flow showerheads and rebates for energy-efficiency audits of water agency facilities such as pump stations.
“During the unprecedented drought conditions faced statewide, it’s critical that each of us looks for ways to reduce water use – including the adoption of water-saving technologies,” said Mark Weston, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “By installing high-efficiency appliances such as clothes washers, people can hard-wire water conservation into their daily life. It’s a great way to save.”
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and its member agencies, including the Water Authority, fund the $85 HEW rebate along with rebates for other water-saving devices available at www.SoCalWaterSmart.com. SDG&E funds the $50 HEW rebate. The Home Depot and Sears will continue to offer SDG&E’s rebate at the point of purchase. Customers purchasing HEWs from other retail locations or online can now apply for both rebates at the SoCal WaterSmart website, which includes a complete list of approved HEWs.
Rebate applicants must reserve their HEW rebate at the website before making their purchase. Addresses that have already received an HEW rebate are not eligible for another. Funding is limited. Rebates will be offered until Dec. 31, 2015, or when funds run out.
California is in the fourth year of drought, and it is critical that every resident and business in San Diego County immediately reduce non-essential, discretionary uses of water. Outdoor water use accounts for more than half of the water used at the typical home, and residents should cut back or eliminate lawn watering to conserve. Indoor water use can be minimized by taking shorter showers, turning off the faucet while brushing teeth, and fixing leaks quickly.
For more information about drought conditions and conservation-related resources –
including turf removal rebates, a home water-use calculator and water-efficient landscaping workshops – go to www.whenindrought.org.