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Utilities

The Xeriscape Incentive Program (XIP) is a comprehensive, education-based incentive program offering Fort Collins Utilities residential water customers a post-project rebate in return for transforming a high-water use area to a water-wise landscape. Participants receive a $0.75/square foot rebate up to 1,000 square feet, or up to $750, per approved project, per address.

In partnership with Nature in the City, the program is offering an additional $0.25/square foot rebate up to 1,000 square feet or up to $1,000 total for those projects planted with a minimum of 80% plant species native to Fort Collins or Colorado. For more information about native plants, visit the Residential Program Materials and Design and Installation Resources pages.

Interested in an attractive, water-wise landscape?#

Swap your grass for some cash. Here's how:

  1. Attend an upcoming XIP training. NOTE: All trainings will be held online until further notice.
  2. Enroll for the program when you’re ready for a project.
    • The enrollment link will be sent once your training is complete.
    • Enroll in the session that works for your schedule (see table below for details).
    • The training requirement is good for one year from your attendance date.
  3. Sit down for one-on-one help.
  4. Get your design approved.
    • Submit your designs for approval by your session due date (see table below).
  5. Install a sharp, new landscape.
  6. Receive your rebate!
    • Look for your bill credit 6-8 weeks after your inspection.

Session

Designs Due

Installation/Inspection Due

Session A

  • Plan in fall
  • Plant in spring

Mid-March

End of June

Session B

  • Plan in spring
  • Plant in summer

End of July

Mid-October

XIP: What to Expect#

Landscaping is a home improvement project and it costs time and money!highlight_off

But consider the benefits! Swapping out grass for low-water requirement landscape can save as much as 14 gallons of water per square foot per year. Converting half a typical front yard would save an estimated 14,000 gallons or 175 bathtubs of water a year!

Do-it-yourself vs. hiring it outhighlight_off
  • There are pros and cons to each:
    • DIY projects cost an average of $2/square foot of area converted but require several hours of labor and trips to the hardware store.
    • Professional projects cost an average of $5/square foot but are completed in a shorter timeline by a professional.
  • Mix and match:
    • Draw up your own design and hire someone to install it, or hire a landscape designer and install the project yourself.
    • You could also have a professional move the earth and install the hardscaping and then install the plants and mulch yourself.
Working with a professional?highlight_off
  • We suggest chatting with a handful of landscape designers to find a professional who is compatible with your landscape vision.
  • Request quotes from three different contractors to determine the best fit for you and your budget.
  • For spring installations: contact landscape contractors in the fall.
  • For fall installations: contact landscape contractors in the previous fall or spring.
HOA approvalhighlight_off

It's up to you to know your HOA requirements and get approval if necessary. Did you know? By state law, HOAs cannot require grass on landscapes (Colorado Revised Statute 8 §38-33.3-106.5 (1)(i)).

City approvalhighlight_off

Some parkway strips require approval from City of Fort Collins Zoning. We will help you figure out if you need to get City approval.

Irrigationhighlight_off

When you change your landscape, you must change the way it’s watered. Whether watering by hand or using an automatic system, attend a XIP training session to learn how to make a water-wise decision about irrigation.

Front yard landscapeshighlight_off

Per XIP rules, plant material must cover 50% of the front yard. If you are planning on wall-to-wall rock, this program is not for you. That’s what we call “zero-scape.” Xeriscape is a set of guidelines to follow for a beautiful, low-water landscape. Learn more about the Seven Principles of Xeriscape.

Contact Information#

Fort Collins Utilities Water Conservation
Program manager: Katie Collins
xeriscape@fcgov.com
970-416-4378