Flush with cash? Talking taxes and toilets

Whether you’re getting a refund or not, buying a new loo makes economic and water sense.

April 12, 2017 | By: Steve Snyder

During tax season, you likely fall into one of two categories: Either you’re excited to get your tax refund and looking to spend it, or you’re bummed to be paying the IRS and trying to save money in other places.

A man installs a water-efficient toilet
A member of Mile High Youth Corps installs a toilet as part of the Energy & Water Conservation Program. Denver Water also offers rebates to customers who install certain models of ultra-high-efficiency toilets.

Either way, Denver Water can help.

As people are crunching numbers all across the country, our conservation staff members have done some math of their own. And it adds up to spending a little money now to save a lot of money — and water — in the future.

Just head … to your head.

“Getting a more water-efficient toilet is an easy way to lower your water use and your water bill,” said Mark Cassalia, Denver Water conservation specialist. “And replacing your toilet is more affordable than people think.”

To put this in practical terms, let’s look at the following example, using the current average water and sewer rates within the city of Denver.

  • A family of four averages about five flushes per person, per day.
  • By replacing a toilet that uses 3.5 gallons per flush with one that uses 1.1 gallons, the family can save more than 1,400 gallons of water and nearly $10 per month.
  • In a year, that’s a savings of more than 17,000 gallons of water and almost $120 dollars.

Now, here are the numbers that should really get your attention:

  • Ultra-high efficiency toilets start as low as $149.
  • Denver Water offers rebates of up to $150.

That means you can get a new, water-efficient toilet at an affordable price, while lowering your water use and your water bill at the same time.

Cassalia says it’s important to check which models of toilets are eligible for rebates. Only WaterSense-labeled toilets that flush an average of 1.1 gallons or less qualify.

But toilets are just one of many ways you can invest in efficiency. Some high-efficiency sprinkler nozzles and sprinkler controllers are also eligible for rebates. And now that spring has sprung, there are many ways to save money and water by changing your landscape.

So if you’re rushing to make that April 18 deadline, take a moment to think about putting money back in your pocket as well. Not everything needs to be taxing this time of year.

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