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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. The 2020 program is full. Prepare for 2021 by signing up for one of the following:
    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.


Designs Due

Installation/Inspection Due

Session A

  • Plan in fall
  • Plant in spring


End of June

Session B

  • Plan in spring
  • Plant in summer

End of July


XIP: What to Expect

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

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 out
  • 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?
  • 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 approval

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 approval

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


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 landscapes

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