The City of Palo Alto partners with Valley Water to offer stormwater rebates to residential and commercial property owners (including multi-family sites of 5 units or more) located in Palo Alto. Rebates for rain barrels, cisterns (above and below ground), rain gardens, and pervious pavement focus on projects that help mitigate stormwater pollution in our city.
This rebate program requires that cisterns, rain gardens, and pervious pavement be installed by a California-licensed contractor. This page includes information specifically for contractors to help guide their clients through qualified rebate projects.
Click on each rebate option below for information on each application process and rebate incentives, and frequently asked questions. See the contractor FAQ below to learn more.
If you and your client have already discussed a qualified project, the rebate can help offset the installation costs. What’s more, contractors can apply on behalf of their client with the written permission of the property owner!
Installation of these projects contribute to residential or commercial property improvements by:
Diverting rain away from foundations and rooftops, and toward surfaces where water can be absorbed into soil or stored for future irrigation needs;
Reducing moisture and ponding around building foundations;
Stopping street ponding at the source by allowing stormwater to infiltrate the ground rather than collect at low points;
Fixing gutter system blockages through the use of rain barrels or cisterns.
The rebate totals differ based on the type of project.
Rate: $2.00/square foot of roof area diverted
Rate: $1.50/square foot
Residential Max: $1,000
Commercial Max: $5,000
Residential Max: $3,000
Commercial Max: $55,000
Yes, applicants can apply for more than one stormwater feature. However, each stormwater feature is considered a different application (with the exception of rain barrels. Multi-rain barrel projects are considered one application).
Applicants are not limited to the number of rebates they may receive in a set amount of time. They are however, limited by funding maximums. See "How much of a rebate can my client receive?"
Any project with the following features will need a building permit or consultation with the City of Palo Alto Development Center before installation:
Rain garden installations that require moving more than 100 cubic yards of soil
Pervious pavement projects sized greater than or equivalent to 2,500 square feet
Commercial pervious pavement projects
Stacked rain barrels (one rain barrel on top of another)
Cistern with capacity greater than 5,000 gallons
Cistern with a pump, backflow device, or any other automatic feature. This includes an irrigation system.
Cistern connected to potable water in any way.
Once you have a client who intends to install one of the following features, you can view the City of Palo Alto Stormwater Rebate page for more information. Please note that applications for the rebate must be submitted prior to construction/installation.
Back to the Stormwater Rebate Program Homepage
Public Works, Watershed Protection Group
250 Hamilton Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
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Last updated on May 19, 2021