The City of Bellingham Water Use Efficiency Program offers rebates to single-family residential and commercial water customers. New in 2015, rebates are only available to City water customers that participate in the Community Energy Challenge (CEC) AND install a high efficiency toilet and/or clothes washer. The City has partnered with the CEC to offer home water assessments in addition to the energy assessments already offered through the CEC. The partnership combines efforts to reduce water and energy use, provide education and understanding of the water-energy nexus, and offer financial assistance to retrofit water and energy fixtures and appliances. It takes energy to produce and deliver drinking water, and it takes water to produce energy.
Participation is voluntary, on a first come, first serve basis. If you are a City of Bellingham single-family residential, duplex, or commercial utility customer, you participate in the Community Energy Challenge, and you replace a high volume toilet and/or clothes washer, you may apply. New construction is not eligible for the rebates. Follow the steps below if you wish to apply for a rebate.
The CEC provides a low-cost water and energy assessment of your home including, quality information, a customized water and energy action plan detailing cost-effective measures of retrofit options, exclusive program rebates, assistance with utility rebates, reliable contractors, and quality assurance. The goal is to help you identify where energy and water savings can be found in your home, and the no-cost, low-cost, rebates, and financing options available to you. Guided by this information, homeowners can then decide how you want to implement water and energy saving measures.
City residential water customers are eligible for a $100 rebate for participation in the CEC, if they also retrofit a high volume toilet and/or clothes washer. The assessment fee is $195, and the CEC will provide an additional $95 rebate to participants who implement a water or energy saving measure.
For more information and to sign up, visit www.communityenergychallenge.org or call 360-676-6099.
Once you have signed up for the CEC, you are eligible for a rebate after you purchase and install qualifying high-efficiency toilet(s) and/or a clothes washer.
A $100 rebate is available per toilet for up to two WaterSense labeled high-efficiency toilets purchased and installed. Toilets can account for about 30% of an average home's water consumption. Older toilets use 3-5 gallons of water per flush. Extensive performance testing over the past decade has significantly improved new high efficiency toilets to ensure quality and functional products. A large range of tested and certified WaterSense labeled toilets are available for under $200.
Toilets eligible for this rebate must be EPA certified WaterSense Models 1.28 gallons or less per flush, and replacing a 3+ gallon per flush model. Search “Toilet” within Product Category at the EPA site. Narrow your search by choosing store brands or by specifying a manufacturer carried by a locally owned retailer. View detailed information regarding WaterSense and qualifying labeled toilets at www.epa.gov/watersense/products/toilets.html . Consult the Maximum Performance (MaP) testing list of WaterSense toilets for toilet model performance information.
A $100 rebate is available for qualifying clothes washers. EPA estimates ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers use about 37% less energy and 50% less water than regular washers. In a typical American home, clothes washers are used for about 350 loads per year. An older, top-loading clothes washer uses about 41 gallons of water per load. A newer, more efficient washer uses an average of less than 20 gallons per load and has a higher capacity, which means you can wash more clothes per load. At 20 gallons per load, there is potential to save 4,000 gallons of water per year. High efficiency clothes washers also have a faster spin cycle than older models, reducing drying time. The ENERGY STAR website notes that if your washer is over 10 years old, you could save $135 on utility bills.
Clothes washers eligible for COB rebate must be ENERGY STAR® models meeting qualifications for the Puget Sound Energy (PSE) Clothes Washer Rebate program. Qualifying models must have a Modified Energy Factor (MEF) of 2.4 and above and a Water Factor (WF) of 4.0 and below. Visit www.PSE.com/Appliances for the list of qualifying models. If you are a PSE customer, you may also be eligible for an additional $50 rebate through PSE.
Toilets: Both Sanitary Service Company (SSC) and Recycling and Disposal Services (RDS) offer toilet recycling. Costs are minimal and water customers are encouraged to recycle their toilets- the crushed porcelain can be used in sidewalk and roadway construction projects within the city- see one of the first projects at: www.cob.org/documents/pw/engineering/poticrete-nr.pdf
Clothes washers: Appliance Depot, a self-sustaining job training business that salvages, refurbishes, and sells used appliances, accepts clothes washers and other items donated by residents. Donations are tax deductible. Appliance Depot partners with social service agencies to provide job training for low income residents. http://www.appliancedepotbham.com/index.php
The City's commercial water customer class makes up approximately 18% of the City’s total annual water consumption. This customer class is comprised of restaurants, hotels, fitness centers, grocery stores, etc. A study of water audits completed at 741 commercial sites in six states found potential water savings from efficiency measures ranged from 20 to 26%. At most sites in national studies, the greatest water savings (63%) were achieved through conservation measures related to domestic plumbing fixtures- low-volume toilets, urinals, showerheads and faucets.
Rebates are only available to customers who participate in the Community
Energy Challenge and retrofit high volume fixtures and/or appliances. CEC participants receive a water assessment of their
business in addition to the free energy efficiency services offered by the
CEC. The City will consider rebates for water saving equipment on a
case by case basis.
For more information or to sign-up, contact Emily Larson Kubiak at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 647-7093 x113.
Rebates are available for qualifying toilets, clothes washers, food
steamers, dish washers, ice machines, and other select equipment that is
purchased and installed.
Toilets must be WaterSense labeled.
Clothes washers must meet the
Consortium for Energy
Efficiency Tier 3 list requirements.
Food steamers and dish washers must be ENERGY STAR® models and listed on the Puget Sound Energy's list of qualifying models.
Ice machines must be air cooled, and meet the Consortium for Energy Efficiency Tier 1 list requirements OR Puget Sound Energy's qualifying ice machine list.
Please contact the Water Conservation staff at the Operations Division of the Public Works Department if you would like more information and to verify specific product eligibility.