Money-Saving City Services To Spruce Up Your Yard

Money-Saving City Services To Spruce Up Your Yard

If you have a barren, open yard, you're the perfect candidate for several services and programs offered by SAWS, CPS Energy and the City of San Antonio. Combine them just right for an affordable total yard makeover!

When it comes to sprucing up your landscape, the City of San Antonio and its two municipally owned utilities — San Antonio Water System and CPS Energy — have quite a bit to offer. And if you have a barren, open yard, you’re the perfect candidate for all the programs!

Here are the programs listed by suggested order of which to do first and tips for the best way to use them to achieve a total yard makeover.

SAWS Irrigation Design Rebate

You will be eligible for a rebate if you remove parts of your irrigation system or retire it entirely. Signing up for a free irrigation consultation should be done before you do any work in your landscape, especially if you plan to apply for the WaterSaver Coupons. At your appointment, we’ll make you a rebate offer and provide recommendations for improving your system.

This program is year-round, but keep in mind it must be done first before coupon programs, which are seasonal. (See next topic.)

SAWS WaterSaver Coupons

WaterSaver Landscape and Patioscape Coupons are offered in spring and fall (March-June, August-November) and perhaps the most robust program for your yard makeover. You can apply for up to eight coupons (four per season) to replace 200 square feet of grass with drought-tolerant plants or patioscape materials. For each coupon, you get $100 towards a minimum of 15 eligible plants or flagstone, pavers or stepping stones.

SAWS WaterSaver Rewards

The WaterSaver Rewards program lets you earn points for attending approved gardening and water conservation classes. Points can be used toward a $30 Rain Barrel coupon (3 points), $50 mulch coupon (5 points) or a $70 garden material coupon (7 points). The program is year-round, but points reset to zero every Jan. 1. Check out the program page for details on how to sign up and the calendar of events.

CPS Energy Green Shade Tree Rebate

If you’re lacking shade in your yard, a tree can help reduce your electric bill and your water bill. The Green Shade Tree Rebate offers $50 rebates towards eligible trees purchased between October and April, with a maximum of five trees per household. If you plant them to cover your home and some grass, the grass will need less water since it won’t be in direct sun any more.

City of San Antonio Mulch

Did you know if the City of San Antonio picks up your trash, you can get a pound of mulch for $0.03? That’s right, only $0.03 per pound (20 pound minimum). The mulch is finely ground and undyed, which is better for your garden than artificially dyed mulch. It’s available at the Bitters Road Recycling Center off Wurzbach Parkway. City of San Antonio residents who pay the City's environmental fee can get it. Just be sure to bring a recent copy of your CPS Energy bill, a photo I.D. and a big truck (don’t forget the tarp!). Details available here.

There you have it! All the various city services can come together to help you save money on electricity and water while making your yard beautiful. If you have any questions about any step in the SAWS program processes, give us a call at 210-704-SAVE.

Ask the Garden Geek

Need Tips for your garden or have questions about conservation? Ask an Expert!

Send a question
Sarah Gorton

About our expert

Sarah Gorton

Sarah Gorton is an intern with SAWS Conservation department. She is passionate about bats, having worked in wildlife rehabilitation, volunteering at Bracken Bat Cave and researching bats with acoustic monitors. Sarah has the greenest porch at her apartment complex and is slowly expanding her potted native plant jungle to the nearby sidewalks. Sarah is on a mission to enhance her native plant knowledge through Master Naturalist and Texas Native Plant Society certification courses. She can often be found hiking with her small dogs in large national parks to increase her collection of Junior Park Ranger badges.