Increased cash rebate amounts are now being offered by certain water providers in Santa Barbara County for making existing landscapes more water-wise. The “Smart Landscape Rebate Program” is available from the Carpinteria Valley Water District, the City of Santa Barbara, the Goleta Water District, the City of Lompoc, and Vandenberg Village Community Services District. The City of Santa Barbara and Goleta Water District are now offering up to $1,000 for single family homes and up to $2,000 to $4,000 for businesses and Home Owner Associations (HOAs). The City of Lompoc and Vandenberg Village have rebates up to $1,000. Carpinteria Valley Water District offers up to $500 for single family homes and businesses and up to $2,000 for qualifying HOAs.
Program qualifications vary by participating area, but all programs apply only to existing landscapes and must result in a net water savings. Vandenberg Village’s program is strictly a “cash for grass” rebate for turf removal. The other four water providers’ rebates cover 50% of pre-approved improvements to irrigation systems as well as water wise plants and mulch, which reduce water usage in the landscape. For those four programs, the rebate must be pre-approved before work is started on the landscape, and the rebate is not retroactive. Eligible residents should check with their water providers before breaking ground.
This program is timely, after some record-breaking December rains and early January cold snaps, as gardeners and homeowners plan for spring. Now is the time to re-assess the landscape and consider new plantings and other changes in the garden. For more information, contact your water provider or go to www.sbwater.org.