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Replacing California's Legacy Toilets

Residential toilets are among the largest users of water in the interior of the house. To capture water savings in this sector, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an Executive Order on April 1, 2015 that directed the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to implement a Statewide High Efficiency Toilet (HET) Retrofit Program to provide monetary incentives for the replacement of legacy toilets that use a lot of water.

Directive Number 4 directs the “California Energy Commission (CEC), jointly with DWR and the California Water Resources Control Board, to implement a time-limited Statewide Appliance Rebate Program to provide monetary incentives for the replacement of inefficient household devices.” As part of this effort, DWR has implemented a statewide HET Retrofit Program with $12 million of Proposition 1 funding.

HET Retrofit Program Overview

DWR supports removal and replacement of inefficient toilets through $100 customer rebates for residential toilets. The $6 million program budget supports the retrofit and replacement of roughly 60,000 inefficient toilets throughout the State. Applicants are eligible for one rebate per toilet and one toilet per household. DWR also supports the removal of high volume per flush legacy residential toilets and replacing them with HETs in underrepresented (underserved), disadvantaged communities (DAC) or economically distressed regions of the state that are severely drought impacted with medium to high priority ground water basins during the drought emergency. DWR will partner with the Department of Community Services and Development to provide for the direct installation of HETs in these locations.

Announcements (New)

Workshops were held on July 15, 2015 in Fresno, July 16, 2015 in Oakland and July, 17 in Lynwood to present the initial planning for the Turf Replacement Initiative, HET Retrofit Program and CEC Statewide Appliance Rebate Program and to receive comments. Information presented at the meetings can be viewed here:

Applications for residential rebates were accepted beginning August 12, 2015. Information on the programs can be found at SaveOurWaterRebates.com.

Program Objectives
    • Save water through streamlined rebate incentive program for HET toilets.
    • Drive consumers into action by partnering with local government, community organizations, utilities, and local water agencies to spread awareness.
    • Target outreach and education activities to drought stricken and low-income communities.

Key State Agencies

The California Department of Water Resources collaborates with the following state agencies to implement California's Drought Rebate Program
California Energy Commission
State Water Resources Control Board