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Congrats! Your Water Bill Increased by 13%

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Our utilities have been increasing their rates across the board. While I haven’t looked at the specific increases for our electricity or gas, I can tell it has increased because we are using less but paying more. Our water bill is no exception – the rate has increased by 13%.

It doesn’t bother me too much that the rates increased for electricity or gas. I look at it as a reminder that would should be conserving where we can. There have been times when the TV has been left on even though no one is in the room. Reminders like a price increase help to get us back into conservation mode.

Now for the water bill. This one bothers me because we already conserve water and we are consistently billed for minimum usage. We cannot reduce this bill no matter what we do because it is already as low as it can go. The only thing we can do is pay the increase because we need water.

What about you? Have your utilitity prices increased significantly lately?


17 Comments

  • Reply Prince of Thrift |

    the city council here also voted to increase our water rates. I can barely pay the $40/mth now and they voted to increase them another $15/mth.

  • Reply susan |

    It’s crazy – everything is going up (except salaries). Our homeowners insurance bill recently arrived with a 21.5% increase! Fortunately our water bill isn’t horrible (about $40 for 2 months), but we have the highest electric bills in the nation (about $150/month for nothing – no pool, no CAC, no electric heat – just lights). We do everything we can to cut back, and now we’re going to be billed by the electric company an additional $3 every month to encourage us to switch to more “green” products to lower our bill (we’ve already done that so we won’t see any reduction).

  • Reply Nelson |

    Yes, the electricity in Puerto Rico, where I live, has been skyrocketing for the past 4-years. Now it’s gotten so bad that I pay close to $110 and this without using my air condition unit.

    If I use the AC unit, at least, from 10 am to 4 pm I can be looking at $180.00 for the bill for the month. I have to use it because when it gets hot on a tropical island, it’s no picnic being in a room with two computers generating their own heat.

    I can try and conserve electricity all I can, but what good does it do when the price keeps going up?

    I used to pay $60 a month in 2002 and I had my AC unit on all day.

  • Reply Mar |

    The state of Maryland deregulated electricity in 1999 but FROZE electic rates at 1993 prices for 6 years. I know, on what planet did this make sense? The rates “unfroze” in 2006 and are now about 100% more than we paid two years ago once you add in rate increases, distribution charge increases, tacking on charges to subsidize the purchase of flourescent lightbulbs at certain stores only (you know, the ones that charge more for them anyway), etc., etc. We admittedly saved during the frozen rates period, but the huge increases at one time are really hitting people hard.

  • Reply justine |

    Trish – most of all, congratulations on your conservation of critical natural resources! Regardless of the perk of spending less, I hope everyone is actively doing their part to preserve the environment for our children and grandchildren. The financial savings are just an extra bonus.

    Regarding water…that’s a really stupid pricing structure since it takes away the financial incentive of further conservation. It certainly seems like people who use less should pay less. Maybe there are a lot of infrastructure costs that need to be covered with minimum payments. Or maybe it’s just a dumb rule.

  • Reply Jim ~ mydebtblog.com |

    Mine has gone up but usage has not. I’m not sure why the rate keeps going up but I also pay it quarterly not monthly. The breakdown ends up being about $15-20 a month for us. Utility bills have gone up overall though because my electric and natural gas rates went up. I do have my natural gas locked for a year, but ComEd had removed their rate freeze on electric last year. Hopefully we’ll have a cooler summer since it was so cold this past winter.

  • Reply Tony Collett |

    I’ve read that in Juneau Alaska they had an avalanche in mid-April that resulted in a five-fold increase in their electric rates, at least for the summer until they can fix the problem.

  • Reply Joy SMith |

    My husband and I considered investing in solar powered panels to help with some of the utility bills. Every month our water bill seems to increase by $5 dollars. We have not used any more water than we normally do either.

  • Reply Maria |

    Investigate those utility bills closely, especially the actual usage. There are some municipalities that don’t actually read the meter, but instead send an average bill. Make sure you’re getting paid for what you’re actually using.

    I know someone this happened to. They looked all around the property for leaks. None were found. After going to the municipal office in person, and complaining, the following months’ bill was drastically lower, because they actually read the meter, as opposed to averaging the price, or using whatever formula it is they use when they don’t read the actual meter.

  • Reply Mike |

    Our gas and electric has seen an average 13.39% increase over the past year (year on year). Water is up 13.85%.

    We have been warned that sewer (which is part of water) could increase 1500% over the next 20 years or so.

    Not a misprint. 1500%…

  • Reply Bonnie |

    I live in Omaha. Due to a sewer seperation project the taxes on my water bill will be increasing every year until they reach $50 PER MONTH. These taxes will remain in effect until this $5 Billion project is paid for, no end date is set. We are lucky in that we have some of the lowest rates in the country for electricity.

  • Reply Prince of Thrift |

    Here in Topeka, they read the meter between Jan & April. Then estimate the bill, based on those 4 months, the rest of the year.

    And last month they voted to raise water rates a whopping $15-$25/month. I use the minimum and am paying $40/mth now. soon that will be $55. And one city council man, who portrays himself as a fiscal conservative, but doesn’t vote that way; said, that most voters would rather pay higher water rates then propery taxes.

    Sorry, I can’t afford water now.

  • Reply Connie |

    I work for a water utility and what many people don’t think about is that our pumps use electricity. We serve about 1500 homes in the central valley of California and our power bills are about $75,000 a year. When you consider how many of you probably think nothing of spending $1.50 on a bottle of water at a convenience store, $40 a month to cook, shower, flush, and drink is nothing. Bear in mind too that most water pipes were put in when the homes were brand new. So if your house is 50 years old, guess what? So are the water mains that serve you. And fixing them isn’t cheap either. So I’m in the same boat relative to rising utilities (avg. $250/mo year round) and I sympathize but wanted to let you know where the money goes. Last year our company made a 6% profit.

  • Reply Mike |

    Connie,

    I appreciate your perspective…. but while rates may vary, some of us are facing down extreme potential bills. The paper has warned us of rates as high as $500 per month in sewer charges alone in the next 20 years, with rates increasing 10-20% per year.

    The annoying thing is this is all because of sprawl and development in an adjacent county that is causing discharge problems downstream. We get to pay for those with mcmansions out in what would better be used as farmland.

  • Reply Mike |

    (that $500 per month is in constant inflation-adjusted dollars, btw)

  • Reply sarah |

    You *can* conserve your water use if you don’t have a rain barrel yet. Rain barrels collect the water from your roof’s drainage system and allow you to use that otherwise wasted water to water plants, wash cars, and take care of other outside things. If you already do this, then maybe you really are out of luck. Otherwise, maybe it’s worth giving some consideration too.

So, what do you think ?