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Your water bill: what does it mean and how can you save?

 

Your water bill: what does it mean and how can you save?


Every month, you probably get a water bill from your city or municipality. This bill can be very confusing, especially if you’re not sure what the terms used on it mean and how they affect your bill. This article will help you understand what your water bill is telling you and how to reduce it in ways that help the environment as well as your wallet.


water bill
water bill



What Is My Monthly Water Bill?

Your monthly water bill is a statement from your water provider that shows how much water you've used in the past month, as well as any other charges that may be included. The amount of water you use each month can vary depending on the season and your household size, but your bill will usually be based on the number of gallons used. For example, if you are paying for an unmetered service - meaning there's no device to measure the amount of water flowing through your pipes - then your monthly water bill will just show a total cost for the month with no indication of how many gallons were used. If you have an unmetered service, you'll need to estimate and pay accordingly.


How do I Save Money on My Monthly Water Bill?

  1. Check for leaks. A small drip can waste a lot of water and money over time.
  2. Install low-flow fixtures. This will help reduce the amount of water you use without sacrificing performance.
  3. Fix running toilets. A toilet that runs constantly can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day.
  4. Don't let the faucet run while brushing your teeth or doing the dishes. 
  5. Run the dishwasher only when full. 
  6. Wash clothes in cold water unless there are stains, then wash in warm/hot water with detergent and bleach to kill bacteria. 
  7. Don't overfill sinks, tubs, or buckets with water. 
  8. Turn off the tap when you're not using it.


How Do I Know If My Water Is Safe To Drink?

The best way to know if your water is safe to drink is by checking the quality of your local water supply. If you're on a private well, have your water tested regularly. You can also check for notices of boil advisories or other warnings from your local health department. Finally, keep an eye out for changes in your household's plumbing - one sign that could indicate contamination is a new type of smell coming from your faucet.


How Can I Make Sure My Appliances Are Energy-Efficient?

There are a few things you can do to make sure your appliances are as energy-efficient as possible. First, read the labels on your appliances before you buy them. Look for the ENERGY STAR label, which means the appliance meets or exceeds federal guidelines for energy efficiency. Second, use your appliances wisely. For example, only run your dishwasher when it's full, and don't leave the fridge door open any longer than necessary. Finally, replace old inefficient appliances with newer ones that have better energy ratings.


Understanding my water meter

My water meter is a simple way to measure my family's water consumption. By reading my meter, I can understand how much water we use in a day, week, or month. This information is important because it helps me conserve water and save money on our monthly bills. The first step is understanding the readouts from the meter. 

If your readout shows 300 gallons, this means that 300 gallons of water have been used since your last reading. You may also see numbers like 1 unit which means one gallon of water has been used since your last reading. Units are often abbreviated with letters like a gal.


What Should I Do if My Water Meter Doesn't Move For Several Days?

If your water meter doesn't move for several days, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue. First, check for leaks in your home. A leaky faucet or running toilet can waste a lot of water and increase your bill. Next, check your outdoor sprinklers to make sure they're not overwatering your lawn. Finally, contact your local water utility to see if there are any issues with the water supply in your area. For example, if there's a drought going on nearby and your water is coming from that source, then this could be causing the problem.


Why am I Getting An Excess Charge On My Bill?

Excess charges on your water bill can be caused by a number of things, such as excessive consumption, leaks, or incorrect readings. If you're not sure why you're being charged an excess, the best thing to do is contact your water company and ask for an explanation. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help lower your consumption and avoid excess charges in the future. First, make sure that when you're brushing your teeth, flushing the toilet, or running other water-using appliances like dishwashers and washing machines you have enough supply for everything. Try leaving taps dripping after use rather than shutting them off entirely - this will help ensure that there's always some available if someone else wants to use it at the same time.


What are General Service Charges and Utility Taxes on my bill?

These are simply monthly fees that all customers must pay in order to receive water service. They are not based on your water usage. 

What is the Base Rate? (two sentences): The Base Rate is a set fee that covers the cost of operating and maintaining the City’s water system, including treatment plants, pumps, and pipelines. This charge is also not based on your water usage. 

What is the Volume Charge? The Volume Charge is calculated by multiplying the number of cubic meters or gallons used by a rate per cubic meter or gallon. It reflects what it costs to provide water to your home or business. For example, if you use 5 cubic meters per month, then the Volume Charge will be $6/cubic meter x 5 = $30 on your bill. If you use 10 gallons per month, then the Volume charge will be $1/gallon x 10 = $10 on your bill.


What Is The Difference Between General Service Charges And Utility Taxes on my utility bill (for Los Angeles Department of Water & Power customers)?

General service charges are a monthly charge for the maintenance and operation of the water system, including fire protection. Utility taxes are assessed by local governments and vary depending on the jurisdiction.

For Los Angeles Department of Water & Power customers, the general service charge is $11.15 per month for residential customers and $16.80 per month for commercial customers. The utility tax is 10% of the monthly bill. Utilities may have higher or lower rates, so check your bill to find out what those are. If you live in unincorporated L.A., the utility tax rate is 7%. In other areas in L.A., such as West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, or Culver City, the rate ranges from 5% to 8%. How To Save Money On Your Water Bill: Understand which services your utility provides and why they're important to you. Understand whether there are any special discounts available, like rainwater harvesting rebates or programs that offer assistance with paying off high-interest loans.

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