Why My Municipality Won't Offer Incentive on Iro


#21

I guess we just disagree. Many of the electric and natural gas rebates have vanished in Oklahoma. Show me the proof that smart controller rebates make a huge difference. Education is the better route to go.


#22

Well as I said, when I see irrigation while it is raining it is hard to not think it would save water with a rachio or similar. I had one from the beginning on, so I cannot compare water usage, but I think there are enough examples in this community. I can see how often my sprinkler runs and I know how often it simply would have run unnecessary. There is also some common sense.

Question is where do you incentive and not. Some people cool their house to 68 degree in summer in Texas, some to 75 or more. Some shower 5 minutes some 20minutes. But I think having efficient appliances and smart appliances that save water, gas or power are obviously helping.


#23

Besides nearly all new homes have energy saving appliances, low flow faucets and toiliets.


#24

That’s a bit dismissive. Without getting into detail I’d say it is a fair and valid point.


#25

Well, it all comes down to changing human behavior. It is impossible to stop someone from taking a 20 minute shower. Education can help, but goes only so far. As water costs increase (to pay for necessary infrastructure upgrades from increased population) maybe sticker shock will force change.
Those of us who understand water conservation can share our experiences with neighbors - such as installing a Rachio, installing pressure regulated sprays and giving our sprinkler systems a tune-up.


#26

My point was that you cannot really compare buying new tires for example with getting a smart sprinkler or smart thermostat that saves you usage. I do understand the point, but we have so many little devices that consume more or less power. For the car, getting incentives on a solar powered car or even one that has very good fuel economy is another ting than new tires. But indeed where do you draw the line. Of course you can then say, I don’t have a pool and thus need less water than others or I don’t have a yard so I don’t need to irrigate much.

Bottom line, it is up to every city/community to give rebates or not. I think it would be a good thing to give incentives on such things like a rachio


#27

Point well made. I am happy for each person using a rachio or similar device


#28

I’ll chime in on my own views on this and a mini-review of Rachio.

When I first decided to buy a Rachio, it was because I wanted to save money and also have my lawn look decent [where decent means ‘green’ and vaguely grass-like]. I already had some dead spots on my lawn, and the ‘grass’ is mostly “trimmed weeds” anyway … (fortunately my HOA doesn’t complain too much about things like that).

I knew there were broken heads that were leaking. I knew there were broken heads that were stuck pointing in one direction. I knew the sprinkler system ran while it was raining (ie: the rain sensor did not work). IE: the fact that it was all broken was not exactly a surprise to me. There are too many heads on each zones, and they are layed out incorrectly, resulting in uneven watering.

I quoted out having it repaired by a local “professional”, and the cost was just more than I was willing to pay, especially considering I am sure it would have resulted in a less broken system, but I am also sure it would not be ‘fully proper’ either – the local contractors aren’t exactly NASA engineers, and are probably the same company that installed the heads in the wrong spots in the first place.

When I set up the Rachio, it helped me deal with replacing the broken sprinkler heads, as I was able to easily turn the system on and off as I replaced the heads (I had never done any irrigation work before), so this helped give me confidence in doing this. It helped me in adjusting the cutoffs to avoid overspray in the same way. The instructions on the catch cup test helped me figure out the optimal runtime. The easy-to-change website made it easier for me to toy around with having the sprinklers run at the most ideal time of day (completing just before sunrise).

Getting the rachio set up properly ultimately meant doing a huge amount of (necessary) work that I was otherwise procrastinating about.

In every case that the Rachio decided to do a Rain Skip, it was based on rain in the past, not predicted rain, and in all except for one case, the rain sensor (which I replaced at the same time as installing rachio) would have stopped the sprinklers from running anyway.

Put another way, the main thing that Rachio has done for me was to help motivate me to set things up right. (Or, as right as possible without digging up my entire lawn to reposition the heads)

If you give out free Rachio’s to people who do not care to put in effort to fix busted heads, adjust overspray, do a catch cup test and set the timing properly … It won’t save a single gallon of water.

The people who are going to install it and save water WANT to save water. The people who don’t, won’t.

I figure the amount of money it will save me in reduced water bills will pay for the Rachio in about 3-4 months depending on weather, etc … If my city was going to spend money to try and save water on irrigation, I’d prefer if they spent it fixing leaky pipes and sprinkler heads on city property.

On top of all that, most likely if my city did offer a rebate, they would require an inspection to qualify… I would happily pay $200 to keep the city inspector off my property if given the choice.


#29

Great insight. It is all so true.


#30

I asked my city (Phoenix) about rebates or incentives for switching to higher efficiency sprinkler heads, and this was their response,which I’m sure is the same response they would give for the Rachio:

Thank you for contacting PHX Customer Service. The city of Phoenix does not offer rebates. Rebates are used by water utilities to reach water conservation goals. However, due to the voluntary effort made by customers, Phoenix has reached goals set by the Arizona Department of Water Resources without needing to offer financial incentives. Our residential water use has fallen 30% over the last 20 years despite adding over 360,000 residents. If we were to offer rebates, we would need to use taxpayer funds to fund and administrate rebate programs. Instead, we are able to focus our funds on fixing leaks and improving the infrastructure of a system with 7,000 miles of water mains and 5,000 miles of sewer pipes.


#31

That is a very interesting response. As long as they are hitting their goals, no rebate.

Well, with or without a rebate, at least we are being reaponsible with the resources that God gave us and doing what’s right. Myself, I waiting on my 1st quarterly bill since switching to Rachio. I hope to see those savings because my county also doesn’t offer rebates.


#32

@garyjnj1 I would love to hear what kind of savings you see with your next bill!


#33

This is a reasonable response. Most utilities take a realistic look at rebates. They typically do not have a high return on water savings. You must realize the utility must have a budget for rebates, too. I lived in Scottsdale
and know at one time they offered rebates. Phoenix is facing a lot of other problems right now.