This program offers rebates for non-residential retail water service customers who can significantly reduce their use of potable water through upgrade or replacement of existing onsite indoor water using equipment.
Eligible projects must achieve a water savings of 200 ccf (149,000 gallons) or more a year to qualify. We will provide qualifying projects rebate funding of $1.00 per ccf over a 10-year lifespan up to 50% of the project’s equipment costs. A single customer may apply for more than one project.
We will consider two types of equipment retrofits:
1) Fixed Water Saving Retrofit Projects: these consist of standardized equipment with predictable water savings projects. Eligible projects include the installation of equipment listed below.
Estimated Annual Water Savings
(1 ccf = 748 gallons)
|Cooling Tower pH Controllers
|50% of the equipment cost, up to $8,000
|Medical Equipment Steam Sterilizers
|50% of the equipment cost, up to $2,500
|Water Efficient Ice Machines
|50% of the equipment cost, up to $1,800
|Commercial Laundry Retrofits
|50% of the equipment cost, up to $1,700
|Dry Vacuum Pumps
|50% of the equipment cost, up to $1,000
|Connectionless Food Steamers
|109 ccf per compartment
|50% of the equipment cost, up to $545 per compartment
Any fixed water savings retrofit project that can metered may participate as a custom project and receive a rebate based on the custom rebate criteria.
2) Custom Retrofit Projects: these consist of unique or site specific equipment retrofits that result in project-specific water savings. They include any water savings equipment retrofit not mentioned in the Fixed Water Savings Equipment Projects list above that results in a minimum of 200 ccf of annual potable water savings and meet the program requirements. Custom Retrofit Projects are approved on a case- by- case basis and require metering 60 days pre equipment installation and 60 days post equipment installation to verify equipment retrofit savings. If you have a project that meets the eligibility criteria, please click the link below to register for SFPUC's online application system and complete the program application:
- Consider if your project is a fixed water savings retrofit or custom project.
- Review the application directions and program terms.
- Register the water account with our online Water Conservation Application System.
- Apply for the Commercial Equipment Retrofit Rebate Program online.
- Applicants are required to submit a completed W-9 form to the City Controller's Office.
The deadline for the current fiscal year 2023-2024 applications is May 1, 2024. Applications for fiscal year 2024-2025 will be accepted after May 1, 2024. For questions about the Water Efficient Equipment Rebate Program or assistance in completing your application, please contact our rebate team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Water Conservation Section at (415) 551-4730.
Qualifying projects may also be eligible for an energy rebate through the Food Service Technology Center.
Completed Project Examples
Following are examples of some of the many non-residential projects that received assistance through our rebate program. See the completed project list.
American Linen & Supply Company Commercial Laundry Efficiency Project – 1575 Indiana Street
The American Linen & Supply Company (referred to as ALSCO) worked with the SFPUC to increase the water efficiency of their commercial washing machine water use. ALSCO contracted with Norchem Corporation (www.norchemcorp.com) to install an ultrapure wastewater treatment and recycling system. The Norchem system is a fully automated, modular, chemical free, patented metal oxide filtration system that is engineered specifically for wastewater treatment and energy recovery, which results in reduced water and wastewater costs. Norchem’ s membrane design maximizes flow rates at the same time reducing oil emulsions from fouling or plugging the membrane channels and treats 100% of the wastewater prior to being discharged to sewer. The system is estimated to save over 35 million gallons over the next 10 years. The project’s hardware cost was approximately $1,200,000 and ALSCO received a SFPUC commercial equipment rebate of $48,905 based on the projected water savings.
Hotel Nikko San Francisco Dish Machine Replacement Project - 222 Mason Street
The Hotel Nikko San Francisco worked with the SFPUC to increase the water efficiency of their dish washing machines. Due to the high-water consumption of the old equipment, all four were replaced with new dish machines able to wash ware in over 1,300 racks per day with an annual projected water savings of 184,937 gallons per year. Some additional machine upgrades included reductions in detergent and water consumption, energy use, and final rinse of the new machines activating only when are is in the rinse zone. The new dish machines are estimated to provide over 1,849,000 gallons in water savings over a ten-year project life span. The project's hardware cost was $96,300 and Hotel Nikko SF received a SFPUC commercial equipment rebate of $2,742 based on the projected water savings.
UCSF Bulk Steam Sterilizer Replacement Project, Helen Diller Building, Mission Bay Campus - 1450 3rd Street
The SFPUC partnered with UCSF to increase the water efficiency of two bulk steam sterilizers. Both sterilizers broke down regularly and were using about 12 million gallons per year. The new sterilizers are connected to the campus chilled water system to temper steam condensate. The condensate from the sterilizer flows to a return system, eliminating the tempering consumption, and returning heat energy to the campus system. In addition, the new equipment is programmed to a sleep cycle while not in use, further reducing consumption. The new sterilizers are estimated to provide 88,000,000 gallons in water savings over a ten-year project life span. The total hardware cost was $984,000, and SFPUC issued UCSF a $117,804 commercial equipment rebate.
Marriot Marquis Hotel Dish Machine Project - 780 Mission Street
Marriot Marquis Hotel increased the water efficiency of its associate cafeteria dish washing machine by replacing the old one with a new water efficient version, a Hobart Model CLPS66E. Based on the estimated project life span of 10 years, the lifetime water savings in combination with the total project hardware cost were used to calculate the rebate amount. The project resulted in 262,000 gallons per year and received a $3,510 commercial equipment rebate from the SFPUC.
Hotel Nikko San Francisco Water Cooled Ice Machine Replacement Project - 222 Mason Street
The Hotel Nikko increased the water efficiency of its ice-making operations by replacing 19 inefficient water-cooled ice machines with air-cooled machines. Once through water-cooled ice machines use cold water to cool the condenser and then the water is dumped down the drain, resulting in significant water waste. Water consumption of once-through water cooled ice machines is 8 times greater than air-cooled machines and water savings is estimated at 129 gallons per machine per day for each air-cooled model replaced (an 89% reduction of condenser cooling water use) or 895,000 gallons per year collectively. Based on project cost and water savings, the hotel is slated to receive a SFPUC commercial equipment rebate of $32,400.
Davidson Dental Dry Vacuum Project - 2375 Ocean Avenue
Dr. Daniel Davidson found that the vacuum pump supplying suction to his dental office was performing poorly, resulting in problems with the vacuum lines and impacts to daily operations. Davidson Dental worked with Yaeger Dental Supply to specify a new dry vacuum pump that would use no water and reduce water demand by 120,000 gallons per year. The TSV-5 Dry Dental Vacuum by Toppen Solutions, LLC was installed to replace the old, inefficient liquid ring vacuum. The SFPUC provided a $1,000 rebate.
UCSF Sterilizer Replacement Project, Genentech Hall, Mission Bay Campus - 600 16th Street
UCSF significantly increased water efficiency of its Genentech Hall sterilizers. The project replaced seven old 120 Century sterilizers with new Gentinge 533LS-E water efficient sterilizers. The new sterilizers were purchased for a hardware cost of $326,000 with additional installation costs of $349,000 for a total project cost of $675,000. Pre and post water metering shows an average water savings of 18,000 gallons per day or 6,489,000 gallons per year. Based on the estimated 10 year project life water savings of 64,388,000 gallons and the project's hardware cost, the SFPUC issued UCSF a $86,080 commercial equipment rebate.
UCSF Sterilizer Replacement Project, Hooper Lab, Parnassus Campus - 505 Parnassus Avenue
UCSF increased the water efficiency of the Parnassus Campus Hooper Lab's equipment sterilization process. The project replaced an old sterilizer used to clean laboratory glassware with a new water efficient sterilizer. The UCSF Parnassus Campus Hooper Lab was equipped with a new Gentinge Model 533LS-E Sterilizer. Based on the estimated 10 year project life water savings of 5,387,400 gallons and the project's hardware cost of $37,415, the SFPUC issued UCSF a commercial equipment rebate of $7,202.
Sutter Health Refrigeration Efficiency Project - 2333 Buchanan Street
Sutter Health's California Campus converted four compressor-maintained walk-in coolers and freezers that store perishable goods. The original inefficient cooling approach caused water to flow through the condenser section of each unit and then to the drain. The completed project converted the once-through cooling design to a closed loop cooling design. The water-cooled condensers at each unit were connected to the chilled water central plant condenser water loop supply and return lines located directly outside the door to the room where they are located. A small electric circulation pump was installed to supply roughly 2 gallons per minute required by each condenser. Isolation valves were installed for condenser servicing and balancing valves were installed to insure proper flow at each condenser. With a total project cost of $108,000 and an annual water savings of 4.35 million gallons, the SFPUC provided a $17,407 commercial equipment rebate.