The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California adopted a program to provide incentives for replacing toilets at multi-family housing properties.
MWD’s October 13 board meeting included approving a $250 incentive to replace toilets with a flush volume of 3.5 gallons or greater and a $125 incentive to replace toilets with a flush volume of 1.6 gallons or greater. MWD also authorized up to $2.75 million annually for the program, which including administration costs is expected to fund the replacement of approximately 10,000 toilets each year.
In December 2018 MWD authorized a pilot program to determine whether an enhanced incentive would increase the installation of new toilets in multi-family housing units. Because a contractor can replace multiple toilets in a single visit an economy of scale was assumed, which had been the case when some MWD member agencies provided incentives to replace toilets. The pilot program gave a $250 incentive to replace a toilet with a premium high-efficiency toilet, which has a flush volume of 1.1 gallons or less. Eligibility was limited to properties built prior to 1994 which had not previously participated in a toilet rebate program, and the pilot project included pre-installation inspections to verify the existing flush volume and post-installation inspections. The lessons learned from the pilot project were utilized in the adoption of the perennial incentive program.
The new program also limits the incentives to properties built prior to 1994 with no previous participation in a toilet rebate program and includes pre-installation and post-installation inspections. The second-tier rebate of $125 for newer but not premium high-efficiency toilets was added. The lower rebate for 1.6 gallon tanks may encourage property owners and contractors to replace the toilets on the property, and many of the 1.6 gallon toilets are more than 20 years old and may not be as efficient as when they were installed.