Hack It: Get Efficient, Change Out Your Toilet | RenewaBlue

Hack It: Get Efficient, Change Out Your Toilet

Jessie Ferguson

Recently, I received this notification from Fort Collins Utilities.water-source


We have known our toilets were leaky since we moved in at the end of 2014. They require handle-jiggling on a regular basis. We’ve put off replacing them because both of our 1980s bathrooms need total facelifts. Why replace the toilet only to have to rip it out and reinstall it again after other updates? We should do flooring at the same time, right? That means we should do the vanity, bathtub, trim, doors, etc. etc. at the same time, right? Unfortunately, every time we save up a little cash, an unexpected expense hits and the bathroom projects end up lower on the list. Then, our toddler went rogue and somehow managed to leave us in need of new toilet seat on one of them. This was the excuse we were waiting for. Why spend money repairing when we want/need to replace the whole thing?


When I received this notification from the city, claiming that we could save $32 per year, per toilet, that caught my attention. Knowing that Fort Collins Utilities also has great rebate programs, I checked in to see what toilet rebates were available. Score! Double rebate through 12/31/16! With the install of a high efficiency toilet and recycling of the old one, I can get a whopping $150 EACH. This will come as a credit on my utility bill (and can take up to 8 weeks to receive).

toilet rebates image

courtesy http://www.fcgov.com/utilities/residential/conserve/water-efficiency/toilet-rebates

After crunching the numbers, here’s how we are spending our way to home efficiency.

Niagara Conservation Stealth Toilet $256.55 x2 $513.10

(only 0.8 Gallons Per Flush!)

Free shipping/store pick up from Lowes $0.00

Taxes (on 2) $41.42

TOTAL Purchase Amount $554.52

I am too cheap to take anything at retail value so I purchased some 10% off coupons on EBay. For $4.99, I got three 10% off coupons, delivered to my inbox within 10 minutes. Add this to the total amount spent and our new total is:


10% off the base price of 2 toilets -$51.31

Fort Collins Utility Toilet Rebates $150.00 x2 -$300.00

Gift Cards -$150.00

I used credit card miles to purchase Lowe’s gift cards


TOTAL out-of-pocket expense $58.20

If I can really save $32/year per toilet, I will be saving money on this purchase in less than a year. Even if you don’t have the option of credit card gift cards, the total out-of-pocket would be $208.20. At the same savings rate, these are paid for in 3.25 years. As efficiency projects go, this is an incredible return on investment. We’ll also put this on our high mileage credit card and take full advantage of 559 points, even though we’ll get that back.

Here’s the best part. If we just went out and bought the cheapest (inefficient) toilets currently available, they’d run us about $89 each. Why buy the cheap ones when we can lower our utility bill and save water for less out-of-pocket at the end of the day?!

We plan to install them ourselves with a little elbow grease, further saving us a handyman or plumbing bill…as long as we don’t screw it up! So, there you have it. This is how our family hacked our way through the purchase of a few new toilets.


Water Efficiency