Don’t know how to save on water bill? DoNotPay knows the secret

According to a recent Bluefield Research study on water and wastewater bills in the United States, the figures increased by 3.6% in 2019. No wonder you find it difficult to cover these rising costs, right? Considering that this was the eighth year in a row to see such a significant jump in water bills, it is highly likely that this upward trend will continue in the years to come. It is only natural to start thinking about how to save on your water bill.

If you are not quite sure how to reduce water bills, DoNotPay can give you a hand with that. Instead of falling behind with payments and getting yourself into more trouble, check out the options DoNotPay has to help you start saving on your water bill.  

Turn to DoNotPay for help to save money on your water bill

DoNotPay is here to help you in just a couple of rather easy steps. You can get solutions to any issue you might have with a minimal effort on your part. Here are the major steps to take:

  1. Download and install DoNotPay app
  2. Log in to DoNotPay via the web browser or your iOS device
  3. Tell the chatbot what you need help with 
  4. Provide more in-depth information about your issue and how you’d like us to solve it
  5. Provide your personal information (full name, home address, email address)

The rest of the work is on us. You can expect everything to be finished in 48 hours or even sooner.

How to understand every item on your water bill?

It’s quite easy, actually. You can find all the details you need right here. Yes, you can’t do without water. Yes, you have to pay that huge bill at the end of every month. But that doesn’t mean that you should just give your money without even knowing what exactly you are paying for. When you know what you’re looking at when the monthly water bill arrives, you’ll also find it easier to make a plan on how to save money on water and sewer bills.

Water bills can be tricky to understand, but when you have everything broken down in a couple of items with more details on each, it gets much easier. The first thing to know is that this bill includes both water supply and sewer charges. Sewer is usually not metered, which means that they charge you based on the amount of water that you’ve spent that month. To understand why you’re being charged a certain amount, you should know more about the most common rate structures, including the following:

Rates

Description

Uniform rate

A uniform rate means a constant price per metered gallon or another unit of water consumed per year. Depending on a utility provider, the uniform rate may differ for different user groups. For instance, residential households and industrial users don’t necessarily pay the same uniform rate.

Increasing block rate

As the name itself suggests, increasing block rates refer to the structure where every following block is charged at a higher rate than the previous one. This type of rate is most common in the areas with limited water supplies. Its structure is supposed to promote conservation. 

Declining block rate

In this case, the opposite charging method is used—for every succeeding block, the rate is lower than for the previous one. Declining block rate is most common in rural and other areas where water is plentiful. Unlike increasing block rates, this type of structure is designed to subsidize large consumers, such as farmers.

Water budget-based rate

If consumers are charged at the water budget-based rate, it means that their water budget is limited. More precisely, they are charged at a certain rate for the water consumed within the budget limits, while the rate changes when they exceed the budget.

Drought rate

Drought rates are also designed to promote conservation. Depending on the drought level in a particular area, these rates rise accordingly. The higher the drought level, the higher the price for the water consumed. 

Seasonal rate

Seasonal rates are similar to the previous type, but they extend to an entire period. Most commonly, seasonal rates are charged during peak demand—for instance, during summer, when people tend to use more water. The increasing seasonal rates are designed to promote conservation, too.

Do not forget to check for errors

Before you lose your temper over a ridiculously high water bill, you need to check whether there might be some errors first. The first thing to do is to check if this is your bill. 

Start reading the bill from the top and make sure that the billing information is correct. This section usually includes your name and address, the account number with your water supplier, as well as the billing date and the payment due date. Always check these items carefully to avoid paying for someone else’s bill.

If you get a suspiciously high bill, you should also check for any unknown leaks. This is probably the first thing that your utility company will ask you about, so you should be sure that the mistake is not on your end. There are various appliances that help you save on your water bill. For instance, Flo by Moen is an excellent device that can help you spot any secret leak before it causes damage.

If you don’t know how to check for errors, don’t forget that you can always seek help from a professional to be on the safe side. Ideally, you have a friend who is a bookkeeper and can explain how bills are itemized to help you out. 

How can you negotiate your water bill?

Are you wondering how to get your water company to lower your bill? Here’s some good news—negotiating the water bill is an option for those coming from low-income households. If you decide to go down this road, the golden rule is to contact your water supplier as soon as possible to let them know that you are not able to pay the bill. 

You may also consider applying for some sort of financial aid from different organizations if you’re struggling with your water bills. Some of the organizations to consider include the following:

Organizations

What they offer

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has several locations all around the country. Even if there isn’t one nearby, they team up with many utility providers. Together, they offer various programs for financial relief, so you are bound to find some kind of solution. 

Saint Vincent de Paul

No matter your religious affiliation, Saint Vincent de Paul can offer financial aid for water bills and other basic needs. Since the funding is limited, low-income families are the top priority.

Catholic Charities

This national organization is there to help all people struggling with utility bills and other basic needs. All you need to do is provide an ID (or another document to confirm your identity), proof of income, and a copy of your water bill.

Lutheran Services in America

Lutheran Services in America is a national non-profit charity that provides financial help for paying bills. They can also help those looking for housing and medical care. The organization covers a variety of groups, including the elderly and the poor. 

If you are not that thrilled about charity organizations and you’d rather find another way to negotiate your water bill, here are some other options to think about:

  1. Consider getting a payment plan
  2. Check if you qualify for a discount
  3. Turn to a consumer rights advisor for help

Consider getting a payment plan

You can’t ask your water provider for financial aid. You can ask for some kind of payment plan to help you pay off your bill, such as the Low-Income Payment Program. If you are struggling with your bills, check with your water provider if you are eligible for any payment plan they may have on offer.

Check if you qualify for a discount

Another option is to ask for a discount. If you’re thinking about this one, it would be best to contact your water company to ask about the discount schemes they have. You can then choose one depending on the benefits you receive and your overall situation.  

Turn to a consumer rights advisor for help

If none of the above works out for you, it might be a good idea to turn to an expert for help. A professional consumer rights advisor can certainly find a way to reduce your water bills. It might even turn out that you’ve missed some error that your consumer rights advisor can use to help you lower water bills.

All of these solutions can come in handy if you find yourself looking for ways to lower the water bill through negotiation. They can be somewhat tricky or time-consuming, though. If you run into any additional hiccups that seem to complicate the process even more, you can always turn to DoNotPay and get everything done smoothly and quickly.

How to ask for an extension date for the water bill?

One of the most common things you can do when you’re not able to pay your water bill is to ask for an extension date. You don’t know how to go about it? You can handle this in different ways, just pick whichever you find most convenient. Here are your options:

  • Send a letter 
  • Call customer service
  • Go there in person

If you’ve never written an extension letter before, there’s no reason to worry about that. That’s what DoNotPay is here for. DoNotPay can generate an extension letter for you. This can be done in just a few simple steps. All you need to do is provide us with the necessary information about yourself and your situation. We will write a letter asking for an extension date for your unpaid water bill and send it on your behalf. The entire process will last no longer than 48 hours.  

Think about asking for a waiver on late fees for your water bill

Another convenient option for saving on your water bill is to ask for a waiver on any late fees you may have. Here’s what you can do if you decide to ask for a waiver: 

  • Send a letter
  • Call customer service
  • Go there in person
  • Turn to a lawyer
  • Contact a financial advisor

The most time- and money-efficient way, though, is to rely on your robot lawyer again. DoNotPay can help you out with a waiver letter, as well. We can send a waiver letter to your water supplier and ask for all late fees to be waived. Similarly to the extension letter, we just need you to provide your personal information and explain why you’re asking for a waiver on late fees. All the rest is up to us.

Use your credit card to pay the water bill

If you find it more convenient for whatever reason, you can always use your credit card to pay the water bill. The only issue with this option is that you can damage your credit scores if your bills are huge. To avoid this problem when using your credit card to pay the bills, make sure you pay everything regularly before the bills pile up. You probably won’t cause that much damage when you do this once, in case of an emergency, but you shouldn’t rely on your credit card all the time.

Think twice before you apply for a loan to pay off your water bill

While it is possible to apply for a loan to pay off your debt, it is not advisable to do so. It might seem tempting to solve everything at once by applying for a loan to cover your bills. You get the money, and your debt is gone just like that. Well, at least it seems so. In the long run, this is probably the worst thing you can do, as loans will turn out to cause more harm than good. 

What will happen if you don’t pay your water bill?

If it happens that you fail to pay your water bill, there’s no need to panic. Even in that case, your water supplier won’t disconnect you regardless of the money you owe them. Your water company can and will take certain steps to make you pay the debt, though. They can eventually take you to court, so you should be familiar with the steps leading up to it.

For instance, a collection agency may take over. You should do what’s in your power to avoid this scenario, but if it happens, here are some things to keep in mind to be able to deal with them accordingly:

  1. Understand the ins and outs of what collection agencies can do 
  2. Protect yourself by recording everything or keeping a paper trail 
  3. Offer to pay at least a part of your debt if possible

Understand the ins and outs of what collection agencies can do

If a collection agency takes over, it is crucial to know what exactly they can and cannot do to make you pay your water bill. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that a collection agency cannot sue you without the authorization by your water supplier.

Protect yourself by recording everything or keeping a paper trail

The safest way to go up against a collection agency is with a clean paper trail to prove what you’ve paid and what needs to be paid. Record everything regarding your debt progress so that the collection agency cannot do you any wrong, which they may attempt to do.

Offer to pay at least a part of your debt if possible

Dig into some savings and offer to pay off some part of the total amount you owe. Think about your income and some other debts you may have to get a real picture of how much you can afford to pay. Collection agencies usually accept this offer.

Can I count on DoNotPay to help me out with some other issues?

Thinking about the best way to save on water bills might be your major concern at the moment, but you may face various similar issues in the future. Be it some problem with other bills or your traffic ticket, DoNotPay will, again, be at your disposal to solve the problem for you.

We offer a wide range of services covering all kinds of more and less common issues people face on a daily basis. Here are some other services DoNotPay can provide you with to save you from another nerve-wracking experience: