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SFPUC Boosts Rebate for Commercial Water-Saving Equipment by 600%

Commercial washer install at UCSF Mission Bay
UCSF used a crane to place a new water-saving sterilizer into the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center building in Mission Bay, partnering with the SFPUC to save water and thousands of dollars in commercial equipment rebates. Photo credit: UCSF

July 1, 2024

Nancy Crowley
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
(628) 629-1748

SFPUC Boosts Rebate for Commercial Water-Saving Equipment by 600%

Businesses Can Save Thousands of Dollars by Saving Water


SAN FRANCISCO – Local businesses can receive up to $750,000 from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission by saving more water.

The SFPUC is increasing its commercial equipment rebate by 600% effective July 1, 2024, to encourage more businesses to reduce their water use. Eligible projects must achieve a water savings of 75,000 gallons or more a year to qualify.

"Local businesses use about one third of the city's water every day," said SFPUC General Manager Dennis Herrera. "There’s never enough water to waste, especially given the multiple extended droughts we’ve experienced in California. With bigger rebates, we can help businesses use less water, saving them money on new equipment, and on future water bills. It's a win-win for businesses, the environment, and all our customers who depend on us every day for high-quality, affordable drinking water."

The SFPUC is raising the current rebate from $1 to $7 for every 748 gallons of water saved over 10 years, or covering up to 100% of the equipment cost, whichever is less. The meter for each facility will measure the water savings, with a maximum rebate of $750,000.

Standardized equipment designed to reduce water usage, but whose water savings can’t be measured through a meter, will continue to qualify for the $1 rebate for every 748 gallons saved or 50% of their equipment cost, whichever amount is lower. 

Eligible customers may apply for a rebate for more than one project to replace or upgrade commercial-grade equipment in restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, hotels, medical and research facilities, office high-rises, and manufacturing companies.

The SFPUC has offered the Commercial Equipment Rebate Program for 12 years, providing money back on both large and small equipment projects in exchange for using less water. By increasing the commercial equipment rebate, the SFPUC is matching incentives offered by California’s largest utilities, while incorporating a U.S.-based global water think tank’s recommendations to reduce urban water use. 
Past rebates covered a wide range of water-saving equipment, from new medical steam sterilizers at the University of California San Francisco’s (UCSF) Mission Bay campus to a dish washing machine at a major downtown hotel to a dry vacuum pump at a neighborhood dental office. The SFPUC’s updated rebate rules support fresh approaches to water conservation, enabling businesses to seek rebates for new project ideas and water-saving technologies.

"The SFPUC’s rebate program helped UCSF implement major water-savings projects,” said UCSF Conservation Program Manager Eliahu Perszyk. “We partnered with the SFPUC to increase the water efficiency of two bulk steam sterilizers at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center building in Mission Bay. Both sterilizers broke down regularly and were using about 12 million gallons per year. By replacing them, we reduced their water use by approximately 74% – 8.8 million gallons a year. The SFPUC’s rebate made the improvements more cost effective and helped us get the green light to proceed."

About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and meets over 70% of the electricity demand in San Francisco. The SFPUC’s mission is to provide customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to the agency’s care. Learn more at

The SFPUC offers a wide range of conservation assistance programs to help homes and businesses save water. These include free indoor and outdoor water-wise evaluations and water-saving devices, as well as rebates for clothes washing machines, free toilet replacement in residential properties, and more. The SFPUC also offers grants for replacement of large landscapes and irrigation systems and for installation of onsite reuse systems.  For more information, visit and