Smart Irrigation Controllers

Get rebates for making Water Wise choices.

Soil Moisture Sensor (SMS) or Evapotranspiration (ET) Controller

Up to $250 rebate available.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, residential outdoor water use in this country requires more than 9 billion gallons of water each day. In order to conserve potable water while reducing costs to the consumer, Tampa Bay Water Wise is offering rebates to homeowners who over-water their landscapes and install a soil moisture sensor (SMS) or evapotranspiration (ET) controller. Soil moisture sensors measure how much water is in the soil and will prevent an automatic irrigation/sprinkler system from watering if the soil is already wet enough. Evapotranspiration controllers monitor weather conditions, like temperature and humidity, to determine how much water your plants need, and then adjust the automatic watering schedule accordingly.

Eligible homeowners who over-water their landscapes, as determined by Tampa Bay Water Wise, will be able to save water with either the SMS or ET controller. To ensure proper installation, applicants must work with a Tampa Bay Water Wise approved irrigation contractor. For more information regarding the rules, restrictions, and requirements, please review the Frequently Asked Questions section below, and the program’s Terms and Conditions.

General Requirements

  • Applicant must be an existing potable water utility customer of the city of St. Petersburg, city of New Port Richey, Pinellas County, Pasco County or Hillsborough County.
  • Single-family detached homes must be at least 2 years old with an automatic in-ground irrigation/sprinkler system installed which uses potable water..
  • Single family homes with over-watered landscapes, as identified by Tampa Bay Water Wise, are eligible to apply.
  • Applications must be submitted within 90 days of purchase.
  • Installations must be completed by an approved contractor listed here to receive a rebate.
  • Installed ET controller must be listed on the EPA WaterSense eligibility list available online at https://www.epa.gov/watersense/product-search.
  • Installed SMS must be one of the four identified qualified models listed in the online application. To review the models, please visit the program Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Applicant agrees to Customer Agreement (see below)
  • A picture was taken, showing probe installation depth and orientation

Documentation Requirements

  • An itemized receipt/invoice identifying the make, model and model number as well as purchase or installation date, and individual costs for product and installation. Costs for materials, hardware or other supplies other than what was supplied in the product packaging are not eligible for reimbursement.
  • A copy of your utility bill is required.
  • If rebate is payable to a representative of the homeowner, a completed and signed general release form is required. You may download a general release form here.
  • A completed checklist for either SMS or ET, signed and dated by the installing contractor certifying that the installation followed manufacturer or University of Florida optimized use installation requirements. A checklist for ET controllers may be downloaded here, and for SMS here. In addition, SMS rebate applications should include a photograph of the installed SMS probe prior to being covered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which soil moisture sensors are eligible, and what are the rebate amounts?

The following 4 models are eligible for rebates. The rebate amount is flat (fixed) and calculated based on each soil moisture sensor’s manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP).

Soil Moisture Sensors Qualified Products

  Brand   Model #   MSRP   Rebate (Flat)  
  Toro   PSS (Sensor + Probe)     $           210.00    $           95.00 
    PSS (Probe Only)   $             96.80    $           44.00 
  Hunter   Soil-Clik   $           161.00    $           73.00 
  Rainbird     SMRT-Y   $           230.40    $         105.00 
  Baseline    WaterTec S100   $           275.00    $         125.00 

Why do the product and labor costs have to be itemized on the invoice?

The SMS and ET rebate is based on two costs: the cost of the product, and the cost of the labor. A total rebate of up to $125 is offered for each, up to a maximum rebate possible of $250. The reimbursable product cost is for anything included in the product packaging, and does not include costs for additional materials, hardware or other supplies. The reimbursable labor costs include all labor associated with the proper installation of the smart controller as required by the program including site evaluation, product installation, and any other associated labor costs.

How does a contractor get approved to install smart irrigation controllers in order to participate in the rebate program?

Licensed irrigation contractors must attend a training session with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) in order to become approved to participate in the rebate program. These one day courses are designed to educate contractors about best practices in the installation of evapotranspiration (ET) and soil moisture sensor (SMS) controllers. Attendance by one employee will make your company approved to participate in the rebate program. Any other employees who install the device in association with the rebate must be trained by the employee who attended. The procedures for site evaluation and controller installation are available in this document: Recommendations for Optimizing Use of Smart Irrigation Controllers (UF IFAS). When available, upcoming training opportunities will be listed on this website as well as on the Florida Irrigation Society’s (FIS) website http://www.fisstate.org/. You can also join the FIS email list to receive notices about these upcoming training opportunities and other events.

Customer Agreement

View Agreement

  • Applicant must be an existing potable water utility customer of the city of St. Petersburg, city of New Port Richey, Pinellas County, Pasco County or Hillsborough County.
  • Tampa Bay Water Wise reserves the right to verify the purchase and installation of the devices. Evaluations of the installation shall be allowed by the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program specialist in each county. If they are unable to conduct a scheduled evaluation visit to verify purchase and/or installation, the rebate check may not be issued.
  • Applicant must allow Tampa Bay Water Wise or the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ specialist access to review the completed installation for up to two (2) years after a rebate check has been paid in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
  • Tampa Bay Water Wise reserves the right to inspect all submissions to determine eligibility. Fraudulent requests for rebates or duplicate submissions will be denied. Any paid rebates will be subject to repayment to Tampa Bay Water Wise if fraudulent activity is determined.
  • Rebate(s) will be issued as a check made payable to the account holder or homeowner. Checks will not be issued to third parties or contractors, unless designated by the homeowner with a general release form here.
  • Applications submitted with missing or incomplete information will be subject to processing delays and/or denial of the rebate request.
  • In order to receive a rebate, applicants must fulfill application requirements, meet rebate criteria, and accept the customer agreement.
  • Rebates are offered on new products only. Used or refurbished items are not eligible for a rebate.
  • Unless explicitly stated, all products must be owned by the customer. Rented or leased products are not eligible for a rebate.
  • New construction projects are not eligible.
  • Purchases must be made on or after March 1, 2020, with applications submitted within 90 days of purchase.

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