We are affirmative that bills are, in most cases, not a pleasant surprise for your pockets, especially when you’re greeted by them each month. Yes, apart from your monthly rent, it’s the utility bills that we are talking about. And an important aspect of your utilities is the water bill. Knowing the cost or at least the general estimates of your water bill helps you efficiently plan your budget for your monthly utilities.
Since the average water bill varies from state to state and even from region to region, it is best that you have some understanding of what constitutes the bill. This will help you be prepared for any surprises that might come your way after receiving your first bill, especially if you’ve recently moved to a new location. And that’s exactly what we want to help you figure out: how much does the average water bill cost. Read along to know about the cost as well as some handy tips that can help you bring them down.
Understanding Your Water Bill
Saving on bills is important for everyone and more so for people trying to manage their finances on a tight budget. In such a scenario, the clearer you are about your consumption and usage, the easier it is to control and calculate your monthly water bill cost. Before we get to how your bill is calculated, it is important to know that your water bill might be calculated in CCF or centum cubic feet while your usage would be measured in gallons of water. CCF, also known as HCF (hundred cubic feet) is a common unit used to measure water usage, but if you’re more familiar with gallons, then just keep in mind that 1 CCF is equal to 748 gallons of water.
Depending on your area of residence, your water bill could be calculated through either of the following ways:
Fixed Flat Rate
Though rarely used today, this is the simplest type of rate structure where all residents pay a fixed flat fee for water, irrespective of their individual usage. Under this rate structure, your house does not have a meter to keep a track of your usage. So whether you’re away from home for a 2-week vacation or you have a couple of guests staying at your house for a few days, you will be charged the same amount for your water bill every month under the fixed flat rate structure.
One of the most popular methods of calculating your water bill is through metered service. Here is when our calculation of 1 CCF is equal to 748 gallons will come in handy. Your metered water bill will be calculated based on your CCF usage. If you need to understand how many gallons of water you’re consuming, you will have to multiply your CCF reading by 748. For instance, if your monthly water bill specifies 7 CCF of water usage, it means you’re using around 5,236 gallons of water. Keeping a tab on your CCF reading will thereby help you control your water usage as well.
Block Rate Scheme
You have both the increasing as well as declining block rate structure under this scheme. Basically, each succeeding block of usage is charged at a higher rate than the previous block under the increasing block rate structure. Declining block rate structure is exactly the opposite of this. Popular in rural areas serving large farming populations, the declining block rate structure charges a lower rate for every succeeding block of usage.
Water Budget Based Rates
Sometimes also referred to as individualized, goal-based, or customer-specific water rates, this system works by giving households a ‘water budget’ based on their anticipated needs. This could either be calculated based on the number of people in the house and/or by the size of the house. You will be charged a fixed amount as per your water budget and an additional higher rate for use that exceeds your water budget.
Do keep in mind that these are some of the most popular and common methods used by water suppliers to calculate your bill. You should check with your local supplier to understand their billing rate and structure.
How Much Does The Average Water Bill Cost
Across all the states in the US, the average water bill costs vary between $10–$73, with the lowest average monthly water bill of around $9 in Florida and the highest average monthly water bill of $73 in West Virginia. But like we’ve mentioned before, the average water bill varies with every location. So, even if you shift from one locality of the state or town to the other, you’ll most probably also witness a change in your average water bill.
Factors Determining Your Water Bill Costs
To understand or calculate your water bill costs, you need to know about two main factors influencing the rates. They can be categorized as:
Not only the state but also the ZIP code and region that you’re based in will be crucial in determining the cost of your water bill. That’s simply because water charges vary with every location in the United States. Easy or scarce availability of resources in your neighborhood could end up directly affecting your water bill as well as other utility costs. So if you’re planning to move to a different locality, you would probably notice a change in your utility bill costs.
See Also: Cost Of Utilities By State
The Total Water Usage Of Your Home
Naturally, the more is your water usage, the higher will be your average water bill. So, whether you’re living alone or with family, in a 1-bedroom apartment or a 4-bedroom house, and the number of bathrooms as well as additional facilities (swimming pool, lawn, etc.) you use, all these aspects would directly affect your water usage and consequently your monthly water bill as well.
Tips To Lower Your Water Bill Costs
Figuring out your water usage can get a little tricky. While it might be hard to imagine that a single person uses around 100 gallons of water per day, on average, it takes absolutely no time to see all those gallons add up on your water bill. But you don’t need to be stressed out. With a few conscious efforts and easy-to-follow tips, you can definitely reduce your daily water usage and consequently your monthly water bill as well. Let’s have a quick look at what these tips are.
Reduce Your Shower Time
As per general estimates, you could be using around 30–40 gallons of water while taking a 10-minute shower. As much as you enjoy unwinding under the hot water shower, know that it’s one of the main generators of your high water usage. If you’re using an old or a traditional showerhead, it could be spurting out 5–6 gallons of water per minute. So, along with cutting back on your overly long shower time, also make sure to use a low-pressure showerhead that uses only about 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
Turn Off The Tap While Brushing Your Teeth
If you don’t turn off the faucet when not in use while brushing, you can end up wasting over 50 gallons of water per week. And by simply doing the needful, that is, keeping the tap off, a family of four can save over 10,000 gallons per year, resulting in lower water bills.
Fix All Leaks
Leaking toilets and dripping faucets can significantly increase your water bill cost. Wondering how a tiny drip could cause such an effect? As per general estimates, a dripping faucet could be wasting around 10,800 gallons per month while a leaking toilet can be wasting over 21,000 gallons of water per month. These figures can definitely be a big blow to your monthly water bill. Make sure to frequently check all pipes for any leaks or damages and get them repaired at the earliest.
Use An Aerator For Your Faucets
A faucet aerator is a small, round device attached to the tip of the faucet that creates a steady, splash-free stream of water. Usually, a standard aerator will limit the flow of water to 1.8–2.2 GPM (gallon per minute), thereby reducing water waste to a great extent. This small yet impactful change will definitely help in lowering your water bill costs.
Use Energy Efficient Appliances
You should try and upgrade your outdated dishwasher, washing machine, and faucets to ones that are labeled WaterSense or energy efficient. While you might feel that a large amount of water is used when using a dishwasher, on the contrary, it is actually a lot more efficient than washing your dishes under a running tap. A standard energy-efficient dishwasher usually uses around 4–5 gallons of water per cycle which is significantly less than the water used by your running faucet for around 10–15 minutes.
What Causes A High Water Bill?
Leakages and change in your water usage are some of the most common causes of a high water bill. A leaking toilet, a dripping faucet, automated irrigation systems, and water-cooled air conditioners are all common reasons for your unusually high water bill. In addition to these, if you have a swimming pool, a lawn, or a garden that needs to be watered regularly, your water bills are bound to lean towards the higher end.
How Much Water Does A Single Person Use Per Month?
As estimated by the water industry, a single person uses about 3,000 gallons of water per month for cooking, bathing, washing, recreation, and other watering purposes.
How Much Is The Water Bill In Florida?
The average monthly water bill in Florida is around $9. Amongst all the states in the US, the Sunshine State has the lowest water bill costs.
Also See: Moving to Florida
How Much Is The Average Water Bill In Michigan?
The average monthly water bill in Michigan is around $28. This amount is significantly lower than the US average water bill of $71. However, it is your total water usage and consumption that would ultimately determine your water bill cost.
Now that you know about these easy ways of minimizing water wastage, you can definitely have some control over your water usage. These simple steps will help you keep your water bill in your budget as well as ensure optimum usage of all resources. If you need help understanding your other utilities as well, you should check out our Utility Bills 101 Guide that gives you all the information you need to know about your utilities.
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