This is the end of the journey! Last time, I had dug SO MANY holes and put in the plants and the composting system, and the irrigation. Well, someone else put the irrigation system in for me…
Anyway, there was one more thing I needed to do to really wrap up this project, and that was to complete my rebate application through SoCal Water Smart and LADWP. When I first applied for the rebate (remember, you must apply before you start the project, essentially to reserve the funds for your future rebate), the rebate was $3/sq ft of conversion. But, the number just went up! To $5/sq ft, so either LADWP got a sudden influx of money, or the REALLY really want more conversions to happen. Originally, I had until mid August to complete the project, but due to water restrictions in the summer, they pushed my deadline back to November.
This is important because garden conversions actually eat up lots and lots and lots of water. The initial cost is high, but the long term goal is to stop needing water entirely. So if I had pushed to try to finish the garden in the summer, my water costs would have been astronomical, and I most certainly would have broken all water restrictions. Luckily, since I was in the process of suffocating my lawn, the restrictions worked out fine because I wasn’t watering my lawn then anyway. In addition, because it was soooo so hot in the summer, I was terrified that if I were to plant anything new, it would die immediately no matter how much water I gave it. So thanks SoCal Water Smart for pushing that back for me!
Finalizing the rebate application was far easier than I thought. There were a bunch of dropdown menus on process, like what your water retention feature was (dry creek, although I ended up with multiple rain barrels in the process. Turns out my AC produced so much water and filled up multiple 50 gallon tanks), and who did the labor (mostly myself + friends but I did hire a contractor for the irrigation).
Then, I had to upload pictures of the converted project (at least 8 color pictures) showing the plants, the water retention feature, and the new irrigation lines, along with anything else you want to show off! And then they want a recent water bill, and receipts from the project. I totally have not been keeping track of all the expenses, like the tarps or shovels that I bought, so I just submitted the major receipts that I had on hand – the rocks, the plants, the rain barrels, the irrigation. They didn’t ask for a total cost for the project, so they probably know not everyone is great at tracking expenses. And then that was it! I clicked submit, and now to just wait for 6 weeks while they review everything. And hopefully I get the new, higher rate for the conversion!