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Water Efficient Equipment Rebates

Updated 10/6/2020 

commercial washerWe are offering a rebate program 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.

Qualifying Projects

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. 

Equipment Type

 Estimated Annual Water Savings

(1 ccf = 748 gallons)

Rebate Amount

Cooling Tower pH Controllers

1,734 ccf

50% of the equipment cost, up to $8,000

Medical Equipment Steam Sterilizers

670 ccf

50% of the equipment cost, up to $2,500

Water Efficient Ice Machines

364 ccf

50% of the equipment cost, up to $1,800

Commercial Laundry Retrofits

344 ccf

50% of the equipment cost, up to $1,700

Dry Vacuum Pumps

279 ccf

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

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: 

Click here to submit an online application

If you would like to view the program guidelines/terms and the list of required application questions, please click the link below.  Please note: the document linked below is not the program application. 

Click here to view the program guidelines/terms and required application questions

The deadline for the current fiscal year 2020-2021 applications is May 1, 2021.  Applications for fiscal year 2021-2022 will be accepted after May 1, 2021.  For questions about the Water Efficient Equipment Rebate Program or assistance in completing your application, please contact our rebate team at 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, click here to learn more.

Completed Project Examples

Following are examples of some of the many non-residential projects that received assistance through our rebate program. Click here to view a PDF of the completed project list.

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

1450 3rd St

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

780 Mission St

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

222 Mason

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

2375 Ocean Av

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

600 16th St

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

505 Parnassus

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

2333 Buchanan

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.

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Last updated: 11/20/2020 8:47:02 AM