The residential environmental technology (RET) credit was established to reward customers who have installed and/or maintained a qualifying stormwater best management practice (BMP) within their property. In general, a BMP is any measure that reduces the amount of stormwater leaving a property, slows down or reuses stormwater runoff, or removes pollutants from the property's stormwater runoff. BMPs usually accomplish this by collecting stormwater runoff and allowing it to evaporate into the air and/or soak into the ground.
The following items are a few examples of RET qualifying BMPs:
1. Construct and Maintain a Rain Barrel
A rain barrel is attached to a downspout and collects and stores rainwater from rooftops that can be reused to water lawns, gardens, or wash cars. Recycling rain water can also reduce irrigation water bills.
2. Construct and Maintain a Rain Garden
A rain garden is a man-made, planted depression located in a natural low point that is designed to absorb rainwater runoff from impervious areas. Rain gardens reduce stormwater runoff by slowing it down, acting as a filter, and allowing the stormwater to soak into the ground instead of draining directly into storm sewer systems and streams.
3. Construct and Maintain a Stormwater Management Facility
A stormwater management facility is a best management practice that is designed specifically to provide permanent or temporary storage of stormwater runoff. Some examples are stormwater ponds, lakes, bioretention areas, and enhanced swales. These facilities must be located on your property and can qualify for the RET credit if properly constructed and maintained. There are many other BMPs that can qualify for the RET credit. However, most alternative BMPs will require the design by a Certified Design Professional, and will require specialized construction to ensure long-term functionality.