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TIR Toolkit

LADWP: Turf Replacement Rebates

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power: Turf Replacement Rebates

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Turf Replacement program provides rebates to residential and commercial who replace turf with sustainable landscapes that includes:

  • California Friendly® plants, including native species, appropriate for the Los Angeles climate
  • Mulch and other groundcover to help retain moisture in the soil
  • A rain capturing feature like a rain garden, rain barrel, cistern, infiltration trench, or vegetated swale
  • Drip irrigation (as needed)

LADWP's goals with this program are to help consumers save on their water bills while also contributing to groundwater recharge, reducing urban stormwater runoff, and enhancing wildlife habitat.

To further foster participation, LADWP provides resources such as:

  • Sustainable Landscape Checklist
  • "Transform Your Lawn Booklet"
  • Example California friendly plants
  • Landscape transformation videos

When a property owner applies for a turf replacement rebate, they pledge to keep the new sustainable landscape in place. This pledge helps ensure that LADWP can rely on these decentralized infrastructure solutions going forward - an important component of localized strategies, as LADWP views water conservation and stormwater capture as sources of supply.

To finance this program, LADWP has accessed its capital budget but also uses grants, forgivable loans, and 0% interest loans. And operating and maintenance costs are paid for out of the utility's operating budget.

LADWP's decision to debt-finance localized infrastructure drew on the utility's leaderships' experience in the energy sector and involved LADWP working with the city council, the local ratepayer advocate that advises on rates, and the lending agencies and bond buyers to address their concerns about the impact on water use and revenues and how the program would be governed. A key lesson learned is that it is essential for the utility to able to show ratepayers and oversight agencies that the costs of localized infrastructure are outweighed by the benefits to water system.

More information about the Turf Replacement program is available here.

 

 

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