How Your Utility Bill Is Calculated

In general, utilities consist of electricity, gas, water, and sewage. In some cases, other services like telephone, cable television, and internet services are also considered to be utilities as they have become almost part of all American families. The way you use your utilities may change over time so that when you review your utility bills it may look different. Sometimes the changes are fairly small but other times the changes are much larger. If you find a substantial change in your utility bill then you should talk to your bill administrator or your local service company about reviewing your bill.


Sewer and drain utility costs

are the largest expenses for many residential and commercial properties. In some metropolitan areas, sewer capacity limits restrict how much can be built in new developments. In other areas permits are required before any building can be constructed. In both cases, the rules and regulations change periodically and utilities are required to upgrade to meet current needs. There is a special rule that states that a well with an open connection must have an automatic back-flow prevention device to prevent sewage contamination.


The second-largest expense for utilities

is potable water and sewer maintenance. Potable water is used for drinking, laundry, and household washing. Both wastewater and potable water can pose a threat to the environment if improperly managed. Sewage containment tanks and other septic system components can lead to contamination of drinking water supplies and can create additional costs for municipalities. Contamination of potable water supplies has led to lawsuits and major fines against municipalities.


Telephone services

are another area where most individuals and businesses spend money each month. Nearly everyone has a cellular phone, so this service is considered a utility. Most people have either a landline or a mobile phone and these two services are generally billed separately from utilities. In some cases, telephone companies are managed by electric companies. This means the monthly phone rates are added to the utilities. This can cause a significant rise in monthly utility bills.


In addition to water and sewer

many people also have home phone services. These services can be billed individually as well, but sometimes the utility bill alone is not enough to cover the expenses. For those people who use both their landline and cellular phone services, they may need to add the cost of their home phone service to their monthly utility bill. This is especially true for individuals living in apartments.


Many people cannot avoid paying their utility bills

because they have emergencies such as inclement weather. When utilities are interrupted, repairs are needed on infrastructure or other problems require maintenance on the facilities, a credit or debit card is often the only way to pay for the service. Utility companies may require a post-date statement or they may bill the customer for the full amount due on the due date. Customers should check with their service provider for more information.

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