Tampa Water Department Re-Opens "Build Your Own Rebate" Program

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Tampa, FL January 6, 2014 – This month, City of Tampa water utility customers can once again take advantage of a unique opportunity to save water and money. The City of Tampa Water Department is re-opening its “Build Your Own Rebate” (BYOR) program, a water efficiency program that helps customers reduce their water use and their monthly water charges.

“Last year was the first year for our BYOR program, and it was very successful,” said Brad Baird, Water Department Director. “Almost all of our participants achieved more than a 20 percent reduction in water use over the prior year’s use. Participants also achieved reductions in their water costs that ranged from $191 to $1,699 over the program’s six-month period.”

This year’s BYOR program is expanded to offer rebate options for both single-family residential and commercial account holders. Residential customers can make a commitment to save a pre-selected percentage of water in 2014 and, by achieving their reduction goal, qualify to receive rebates of up to $500. Commercial customers can select from a menu of fixture and equipment upgrades for their businesses and qualify to receive rebates of up to $2,500 per account.

Applications, participation requirements and additional program information are available online at TampaGov.net/BYOR. Applications must be processed no later than January 31, 2014 to participate in the program.

The single-family residential portion of the BYOR program is open to account holders whose average monthly water use with the City of Tampa is 15,000 gallons or more. The department estimates about 10 percent of Tampa’s single-family customers may meet this criteria, although the average use for this type of account holder is a little less than 6,000 gallons a month.

Single-family residential customers can choose their own ways to reduce use - no specific reduction method is required by the program. Some ways to reduce water use could be:

• Modifying irrigation schedules to meet seasonal plant needs;
• Checking for and repairing leaks; or
• Placing a rain sensing device on their irrigation system;

Participants in the single-family residential program will be assigned a personal efficiency coach and be offered individual counseling and advice to help achieve selected goals. Along with other program specific tools, participants will be able to use mobile and online tools to help track their progress.

The process is simple. The customer chooses a targeted water use reduction goal: 5, 10, 15 or 20 percent. Customers who reach their goal will receive a rebate based on the level of reduction they selected:
• 5% = $50
• 10% = $150
• 15% = $300
• 20% = $500

The reduction amount will be determined by comparing customer’s February-July 2013 bills with their February-July 2014 bills. Customers that reach their goals will receive rebates as a credit on their utility bills in September.

Commercial account holders participating in the program can make upgrades that range from the installation of ultra-low-flow toilets to high efficiency coin-operated clothes washers to sub-metering for multi-unit locations. Rebate amount per option range from $75 to $1,000 per unit, and all commercial rebates are capped at $2,500 per account.

For more details about the “Build Your Own Rebate” program and information about registering to participate, visit the City of Tampa Water Department at tampagov.net/byor or contact a Water Efficiency and Conservation Coordinator at (813) 274-8121.