How To Lower Bills And Save Money

How To Lower Bills And Save Money – Monthly utility bills, including water and sewer bills, can pile up quickly. If you are facing high sewer rates or monthly water bills that barely keep your finances above water, you may wonder how you can keep your budget on track.

In this article, we focus specifically on water and sewer bills, helping you understand how your credit will be affected if you don’t pay and how you can reduce costs.

How To Lower Bills And Save Money

How To Lower Bills And Save Money

Depending on where you live, sewer charges may be included in your monthly water bill. You can usually see a breakdown of costs in the billing details or a summary of costs on the bill.

Oucc: Reduce Your Water Bill

Some utility companies meter the water that enters the property and the wastewater that exits the sewer system separately. Others have only one meter in the location and calculate both bills based on the volume of water entering the building. In either case, you can reduce your sewer bill by reducing the amount of water you use in your home.[1]

Taking steps to reduce your water use means starting to think about how water is used in your home. We provide six ways homeowners can examine their water use and start practicing water conservation.

Inspecting and repairing leaks can help you lower your water and sewer bills. In addition to speeding up your utility bills, leaks are also a waste of water – they cause more than 10,000 gallons of water to be wasted per household per year, and 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.[2]

While you may need a plumber to investigate and fix major leaks in your home, some leaks are often easy to fix on your own. Common sources of leaks include toilets, faucets, shower heads and garden hoses. To find surface leaks, check your faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for water outside the pipe. You can also check for leaks by checking your water meter after not using water for two hours. If the meter shows a change during the time you are not using water, you may have a leak.[2]

Ways To Save On Your Energy Bills And Reduce Energy Waste

Fixing leaks can save you as much as 10% on your water bill, which can really add up, especially over weeks or months of water use.[2]

Taking shorter showers and letting the water drain before showering also reduces the amount of water you use. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a standard shower head uses about 2.5 gallons of water per minute, so long showers can really add up.[3]

In addition to cutting down on your shower time, switching to a low-flow shower head can also help you save water. Water-efficient shower heads that meet the EPA’s WaterSense criteria are designed to use no more than 2 gallons of water per minute.[3]

How To Lower Bills And Save Money

You can also take some showers outside the house. For example, if you belong to a gym, try to use the shower when you can.

How To Save On Your Energy Bill

Similar to turning off the shower when you’re not using it, it’s better to turn off your faucet than to let the water run.

For example, turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth can save as much as eight gallons of water a day. Turning it off while you shave can save as much as ten gallons of water every time. If you brush your teeth twice a day and shave five times a week, you can save almost 5,700 water per year just by turning off your faucet.[4]

This applies to other areas of the house, too. Allowing your faucet to run for as little as five minutes while washing dishes can waste as much as 10 gallons of water.[4]

For that quick and easy action, turning off your faucet can reap big results when it comes to reducing your water consumption.

Lower Your Home Energy Bill

Waiting to use the washing machine or dishwasher until you have a full load can also help keep the bill down.

Limiting dishwasher use when full can eliminate one load of dishes per week, saving the average family nearly 320 gallons of water each year.[4]

Doing fewer loads of laundry – about 25% less than usual – can save about 3,227 gallons of water per year. Reducing the water level in your washing machine by as little as 10% can help you save an additional 1,291 gallons per year.[5]

How To Lower Bills And Save Money

Consider switching to water-efficient appliances. Similar to energy efficient appliances, water efficient appliances are designed to conserve water, and require less water to perform the same tasks as traditional appliances.

Save Money On Energy Bills

The average family reportedly spends more than $1,000 per year on water costs. Retrofitting their household appliances with ENERGY STAR certified appliances and waterSense labeled fixtures can save them as much as $380 per year.[4]

For example, an ENERGY STAR certified washing machine, which is energy and water efficient, uses approximately 20% more energy and 30% more water than a regular washing machine. Models with ENERGY STAR certification can save nearly $360 in energy costs over the life of the product.[6]

In addition to water-efficient appliances, using more efficient appliances in existing appliances can help reduce your water usage. WaterSense labeled products are reportedly 20% more water efficient but perform as well or better than standard versions.[4]

By replacing old faucets and aerators with WaterSense-labeled models, the average family can potentially save $250 in water and electricity costs over the life of the product.[4]

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Examples of low flow fixtures include low flow toilets, low flow shower heads and low flow faucets. These fixtures are also made for outdoor and landscaping equipment, like garden hoses and sprinkler systems.

If you miss paying your utility bill, you may be charged late fees or fines. If you miss a few payments, your utility could be disconnected.[7]

Most utility companies don’t report your utility bill payment activity to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), but if you don’t pay your utility bill, after 120 to 180 days from the first delinquent date, the provider may turn the debt over to a collection agency, and collection accounts may appear on your credit report.[8], [9]

How To Lower Bills And Save Money

Collection accounts generally have a negative impact on your credit score. It factors into your payment history, the most significant credit score factor: it comprises 35% of your FICO® score[10] and 40% of your VantageScore®.[11] The actual impact on your credit score may vary, depending on your unique financial situation and the model used, but it is best to avoid accumulating debt as much as possible.[12]

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Collections generally stay on your credit report for seven years from the delinquency’s first date, but the longer these negative items last, the less impact they generally have on your credit score.[13]

Although utility providers typically do not report utility bill payment activity to credit bureaus, you can use opt-in services to report your activity so you can build a credit history. Some service providers only report to certain credit bureaus, instead of all three, so the impact on your credit score may vary.

Experian Boost®, for example, allows you to add utility, phone, streaming and rent payments to your credit file to show evidence of on-time payments, which can help you build your credit history and improve your FICO® score.[14]

ECredable Lift allows you to report up to eight utility bill payments to TransUnion each month[15], while LevelCredit reports rent to all three bureaus, utility payments to Transunion and allows you to add up to two years of past rent and utility payments to your credit report . Since both charge for this service, evaluate the costs and benefits to see if it’s right for your needs.

Smart Home Devices To Lower Your Bills And Save Money 2020

Whether or not your monthly bills, such as utilities and rent, or other regular bills, such as car insurance and medical bills, affect your credit score depends on whether they are reported to the credit bureaus.

Household bills such as utility and cell phone bills are usually not reported to the credit bureaus. If you report them using Experian Boost®, late payments won’t lower your credit score because the service only reports positive payment history on the account you’re sending.[14] Some services report positive and negative payment history, so be sure to do your research.

Landlords generally do not report unpaid rent to the credit bureaus, but violating your lease can affect your credit score if any past-due rent is sent to collections.[16] If you want on-time rent payments to count toward your credit score as a positive payment history, you can use a third-party rent reporting service to report that information. Some charge a fee for this service so check out the details and compare the benefits each service can offer to help you make an informed decision.[17]

How To Lower Bills And Save Money

Many common bills do not directly affect your credit score unless you default on a payment and they go to collections and the collector reports to the bureau.

Ways To Save On Your Heating Bill

Medical providers usually do not report to the credit bureaus, but some medical debts can affect your credit score if they end up in collections.[19] The law surrounding medical debt has recently changed for consumers. As of July 1, 2022, unpaid medical collection debt does not appear on a consumer’s credit report,

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