The Chesapeake Bay Trust is proud to partner with Prince George’s County on its Rain Check Rebate Program. The Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Program offers rebate incentives to homeowners, businesses, and others to install practices that will improve stormwater runoff quality, reduce pollution, and improve local stream and river health.
What this funds: Seven types of stormwater practices are eligible for rebates: rain barrels, cisterns, rain gardens, urban tree canopy, pavement removal, permeable pavement, and green roofs.
Who can apply: Property owners within Prince George’s County, Maryland, are eligible to participate with the following exception:
- The City of Bowie manages its stormwater program independently of the County. Therefore, properties within the City of Bowie are not eligible.
NEW: The Prince George’s County Department of the Environment (DoE) was awarded funds to supplement existing tree planting programs as part of the Five Million Maryland Trees for Climate Progress initiative. As supplemented by these funds, reimbursement for urban tree canopy installations may be doubled to $300 for every 2-2 ½ caliper or larger native tree within eligible underserved communities. This additional rebate funding will be distributed on a first come first serve basis. See the online application or contact program staff at email@example.com for more details.
Eligibility: An applicant must be the property owner or a nonprofit organization with an agreement to complete a project on public property. Applicants are not eligible for a rebate under this program if the project is part of the permit approval requirements for new building construction or renovations.
For nonprofit organizations working with residential property owners to install Rain Check Rebate practices on residential property, see our Rain Check Rebate Grant Program to apply for grant funding.
Maximum rebate amounts: Each of the practices supported by the program has its own rebate allowance based on the type and size of the project (see the section below on the practices) that will determine the rebate amount allowed by the program. A project must meet the practice’s criteria and minimum size requirements to qualify for a rebate.
The total maximum rebate amount for the lifetime of the property is $6,000 for residential properties and $20,000 for commercial, industrial, and institutional properties. An applicant may complete multiple projects until the total maximum rebate amount is met.
**Projects whose costs exceed the rebate allowance per practice or maximum rebate amount for the property must have separate funding to pay for the difference. The rebate amount will be dependent upon final project size(s) and receipts/invoices for costs associated with the project. The rebate amount will be the maximum rebate allowed or the actual costs, whichever is lower. A rebate request cannot exceed the cost of the project.
Need Help Finding a Landscape Professional? The Prince George’s County Rain Check Rebate Contractor Training Completion List contains the names of those individuals and companies that have attended and completed a County-sponsored training course.
Are you a Landscape Professional interested in attending in a Rain Check Rebate Contractor Training class? The Prince George’s County Department of the Environment offers a 1 ½ day contractor training course twice a year (spring and fall). It’s geared towards landscape professionals wanting to know more about how to plan, design, construct, and maintain the seven Rain Check Rebate practices. The course is offered through the nonprofit Low Impact Development Center. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Program Status: OPEN
Interested applicants should review the Program Guidance and Application Instructions document prior to submitting an application.
Funds are available on a first come, first served basis, and demand for the program this fiscal year has been high.
Deadline: Rolling. Applications are accepted on an on-going basis.
Applications are processed within two weeks of submission and the applicant will receive an email with next steps. All projects, except for rain barrels, must be pre-approved prior to project installation.
Download the paper application form here or contact us to get a copy mailed to you. Complete the paper application form and the appropriate property owner agreement form and mail to the address indicated on the form.
Property Owner Agreement Forms
Complete the appropriate agreement form with as much information as you can, read the Terms and Conditions, and sign the form. Upload and submit the completed form with your online application or mail it in with your paper application.
View the Trust’s Application Accessibility Statement
A rain barrel is a container used to collect and temporarily store rainwater that flows from the rooftop. Collected water can be reused for non-potable purposes such as watering your flower garden, trees, or lawn.
Rebate allowance: $2/gallon
Requirements: must be at least 50 gallons for residential properties and 100 gallons for all other property types
A cistern (essentially a larger version of a rain barrel) is a sealed tank used to collect a temporarily store rainwater that flows from the rooftop. Collected water can be reused for non-potable purposes such as watering your flower garden, trees, or lawn.
Rebate allowance: $2/gallon
Requirements: must be at least 250 gallons for all property types
Urban Tree Canopy
Trees in urban environments are important for intercepting rainfall before it becomes stormwater runoff. Trees catch falling rain, filter out pollutants, and absorb stormwater runoff.
Rebate allowance: $150/tree
Requirements: must be native species, at least 5 feet tall when planted, and planted between October and May
A rain garden is a planted shallow depression that uses water-tolerant native plants and landscaping to soak up stormwater runoff.
Rebate allowance: $10/square foot
Requirements: must be at least 100 square feet and contain native plants for all property types
Pavement removal is the replacement of impervious surfaces, such as asphalt and concrete, with grass, native plants/trees, or permeable pavement.
Rebate allowance: $6/square foot
Requirements: no minimum size requirement for residential properties and at least 400 square feet for all other property types
Permeable pavement is a type of pavement that allows stormwater runoff to soak into the ground compared to traditional asphalt and concrete where runoff accumulates and flows across the surface.
Rebate allowance: $12/square foot
Requirements: must be installed by a qualified contractor, no minimum size for residential properties, and at least 400 square feet for all other property types
A green roof is a vegetated roof system that stores rainwater in a lightweight, engineered soil.
Rebate allowance: $10/square foot
Requirements: must be at least 1/4 roof retrofit for all property types, have a structural load analysis report from a licensed structural engineer, and be installed by a certified green roof contractor
What is the process in order to receiving a rebate?
- Submit online application
- Pre-installation site visit + satisfy contingencies
- Pre-approval by Trust
- Install project
- Submit invoices and receipts
- Post-installation site visit
- Application is sent to County for official approval
- Check is sent to homeowner in approximately 6 – 8 weeks
How long does the process take?
It depends on 1) how soon we can schedule the site visits, 2) how soon you can satisfy the contingencies, and 3) how soon the project can be finished. Usually anywhere from 2-4 months to up to a year.
How long does the application take to complete?
It usually takes 5 – 10 minutes to complete.
I just submitted my application, what happens next?
Applications can take 2-3 weeks to be reviewed and processed. The RCRP Coordinator or intern will get in touch with you via email on the next steps after the application is processed. Note: Applications (and the scheduling of site visits) are reviewed on an on-going, first come-first served basis.
I am not the property owner, can I still apply?
You specifically cannot apply but your landlord/the property owner can apply on your behalf. The property owner MUST be the applicant.
I live in the City of Bowie, why can’t I participate?
City of Bowie residents do not pay into the same fee that Prince George’s County residents pay into, thus do not have access to the funds. They pay into their fee/their fee is handled differently. Check with the City of Bowie to learn of the programs they offer their residents.
I live in the Towns of Cheverly or University Park, am I eligible to participate in the program?
Applicants in the Towns of Cheverly and University Park are eligible for rain barrel, cistern, rain garden, permeable pavement, pavement removal, and green roof rebates through this program, but for Urban Tree Canopy projects, they should contact their Town’s Department of Public Works to participate in those towns’ specific tree planting programs.
I have just completed renovations/have a new building; can I participate in the program?
Potentially. Applicants are not eligible for a rebate under this program if the project is part of the permit approval requirements for new building construction or renovations or if the property is located within a municipality that has a similar rebate program for stormwater management projects. So if you go above and beyond what is required by your permit, you can participate.
Do I have to apply for permits?
Most projects will not require permits. However, if a project on its own or in conjunction with a concurrent project on your property involves any of the below activities, a permit is likely required. Always check with the County’s permitting office if you think you may need a permit.
- 5,000 square feet or more of ground is disturbed;
- 100 cubic yards or more of earth moving occurs; or
- 12-inch change (+/-) in grade that alters drainage flow.
Is a pre-installation site visit required?
Yes, for all practices except rain barrels. In some cases, we can forgo the pre-installation site visit for trees after submission of valid photos. You must not begin your project until you are pre-approved, which occurs after the pre-installation site visit.
How long do I have to complete the project?
You have a year from the day you submitted your application to complete the project. Applications are closed due to inactivity after one year. If you need a little more time, just contact the RCRP Coordinator for a short extension (1 – 3-month extension).
What are the allowable costs?
Only costs associated with the stormwater functions of a project are eligible for reimbursement. Related structural features of a project that do not directly play a role in the treatment of stormwater are not eligible for a rebate. Examples include benches, decorative items such as boulders, walkways, bridges, and other similar items. Itemized, detailed invoices must be submitted to the Trust upon the completion of the project.
I have my documents/contingencies ready to be sent to the RCRP Coordinator, how do I send them?
Upload it to the contingency requirement in your online portal at www.grantrequest.com/SID_1520.
As a residential property owner, how much am I eligible for?
$6,000 per property maximum (non-renewable) – NOT per practice or per property owner.
How long will it take for the check to arrive?
After your application is finalized and sent over to Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, they will review and upon their approval you will receive the check in approximately 6 – 8 weeks.
Where does the money come from?
The RCRP is supported through the Clean Water Fee that Prince George’s County residents* pay on their property tax bill. The fee is in part made up of a flat rate and in part the percentage of impervious cover that exists on your property. The funds go back into the community for beautiful and stormwater treatment purposes.
*Except for City of Bowie residents – they do not pay into the same fee that Prince George’s County residents pay into, thus do not have access to the funds. They pay into their fee/their fee is handled differently.
I don’t know what I should install, what do I list in my application?
You can submit the bare bones of an application and just indicate what you are interested in. We will help you figure out the best practice for your property at the pre-installation site visit (except for rain barrels).
I need help finding a contractor!
While we cannot endorse or recommend any company (this is a County program and we must remain neutral), we do have a list of contractors that have completed the Rain Check Rebate Contractor Training. They are knowledgeable of the program by way of this training. We always recommend you reach out to several different companies to find the best fit for you.
“This is a very worthwhile program to help protect our local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. We planted over 15 trees on our property to help reduce stormwater runoff... The coordinator continued to act as a liaison with Prince George's County regarding our rebate and we were reimbursed in full. We are very happy we found out about this program!”Jessica and FranklinRebate Amount: $2,100
"I think the entire Rain Check Rebate program is a great idea... I was very impressed with the program coordinator, who paid a visit to my house, looked over the installation, and expertly answered all my questions."DougRebate Amount: $100
"This program is a no-brainer if you are considering any of the green initiatives they cover, which run the gamut. The process of applying for a rebate was so much easier and more straightforward than we expected... Good stuff by Prince George's County and the Chesapeake Bay Trust!"Val and DanielRebate Amount: $4,000
"My husband and I had been wanting to set up rain barrels around our home for a few years. When we finally found the right barrels last summer... We did not have to use our outside water faucets to water plants the whole growing season! ...the Rain Check Rebate program... covered over half [of the expenses] and was a nice reward for doing a little bit to help the environment and the Chesapeake Bay."FrancesRebate Amount: $440