What are average utility costs?

A study from the U.S. Energy Administration report

A study from the U.S. Energy Administration reported that the average monthly energy bill was about $112. Depending on where you live (hot or cold climates) and how much energy you consume, this could be your biggest expense.

Renters may pay about 20 percent of rent on utilities. If you have roommates, this cost may go down to about 10 percent. (It pays to live with others!)

To give you an idea, here are some average numbers for how much apartment utilities cost each month:

  • Electricity: $70 (excluding air/heat/stove)
  • Air conditioning: $65 (averaged over the year)
  • Heat: $65 (averaged over the year)
  • Internet and cable: $100 (depends on the services you choose)
  • Water: $50
  • Trash and recycling: $20
  • Renters insurance: $13 (about $150 billed annually)
  • Parking: Highly dependent on area, could be $150 in urban areas
  • Cooking gas: $10
  • Total costs: ~$400 (more if high-priced parking is necessary)

When it comes to cooking, you might pay anywhere from $15 to $100 per month on your gas bill depending on how often you use your gas cooking range or oil heater. If your apartment uses an electric stove or heater, your gas bill will be significantly less, if not already bundled with the cost of your rent.

You might not be directly responsible for everything above, and they’re just estimates, which can be higher or lower than your actual utility costs.

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Average Cost of Utilities in Every U.S. State

StateElectricityGasWaterSewerCableInternetTOTAL
Alabama1496330734550410
Alaska11813568725570518
Arizona1194664435030352
Arkansas1057626374730320
California1145577594550401
Colorado836439594730321
Connecticut14713769734550521
Delaware1129946794730414
District of Columbia928826662320316
Florida1293933654730344
Georgia1238728874730401
Hawaii1606264604550442
Idaho954938954245364
Illinois8710326264730319
Indiana1189030634550395
Iowa947232335550337
Kansas1068727295030329
Kentucky1169149464550397
Louisiana1184721995030365
Maine9313824674550416
Maryland1239346834730422
Massachusetts12811634464730401
Michigan1088929444730347
Minnesota957628374730313
Mississippi1316323514730345
Missouri999339724550398
Montana926338474550336
Nebraska947023235030290
Nevada1035326205030281
New Hampshire11310927434730370
New Jersey1078272294730367
New Mexico805732214730267
New York10511530474535378
North Carolina1147220414550342
North Dakota1058331274245332
Ohio10311227324550369
Oklahoma1008735335030334
Oregon10067761224730442
Pennsylvania11010231274730346
Rhode Island13112332425030408
South Carolina13467331164730427
South Dakota1156526335550344
Tennessee1266443874730397
Texas1306537664730375
Utah7362381014730352
Vermont10112518254730346
Virginia1248536315030357
Washington958475724730403
West Virginia1218391923530452
Wisconsin957018194550297
Wyoming908053604550379

Cable The Expense You Can Play Around With

Average Cable Bill: $0 – $100 (depending on plan)

Here’s where things get interesting.

Yes, we recognize having cable TV access isn’t a necessity, but it’s definitely a quality-of-life choice that most people find to be well worth the cost.

But don’t worry about not having access to entertainment and information, because there are a plethora of great options for audio/visual content available at many price points.

Digital Antenna:

Digital Antenna:

By far the cheapest option, as long as you’re within range of a local broadcaster, digital antennas allow you to watch a handful of television stations (typically including ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS) for free.

Average Price: $0

Cable Subscription:

Here you’ll see fewer options, depending on where you live, but all companies are required to offer basic cable packages along with additional channels and bundles with internet and phone service.

Average Price: $100/month

Streaming Television:

Recently, many companies have sprung up offering streaming television through the internet, offering customers an alternative to paying whatever their local cable company feels like charging.

Average Price: $25 – $40/month

Dedicated Streaming Services:

And if you’re more into watching things strictly for entertainment, there are plenty of streaming video services that offer a variety of content that appeal to almost every niche from film buffs, to classic television, comedies, and horror.

Average Price: $8 – $15/month (per service)

The bottom line

When looking at potential homes, it’s important to ask, “how much are utilities?” to plan your budget. The answer will depend on multiple factors. For a start, look at national averages to get a baseline idea of how much utilities cost in the U.S.

Research for low monthly rates

Once you’ve determined what you’re responsible for, start shopping around for the best prices. Retail energy providers can help you find the lowest rate and lock it in. Search online for one in your area.

Gas companies are very competitive, with some even offering cash-back incentives to use their service. Cable and phone companies often bundle services for a discount.

Compare:

  • Installation charges
  • Services provided
  • Fees
  • Length of introductory rates

What seems like a bargain to begin with can quickly shoot up once the initial rate expires.

How Much is the Average Electricity Bill?

Your electricity bill will likely be the largest portion of your total utility bill. For a typical one-bedroom apartment with no A/C or heater usage, your electricity bill will likely be around $84.

Two major contributing factors of cost include:

1. The Size of Your Apartment: The bigger the home the more space you’ll have to heat or cool if those appliances are electric. Consider both your floor space and the height of your ceiling.

2. The Number of Roommates: Prepare for your electricity bill to be significantly higher if you live with roommates.

How to Save Money on Your Electricity Bill

The best way to save money on your electricity bill is to target habits and appliances that drive costs up.

Here are some of the biggest electricity drainers and how to reduce their use.

  • A/C &/or Space Heater: These two appliances combine for over 32% of residential electricity usage. Though you don’t have to toss these appliances to the curb, simply reduce your use of them for big savings.
  • Water Heater: Water heating makes up 14% of residential electricity usage. Most water heaters are set to 140℉, but only need to be set at 120℉.
  • Lighting: Lighting makes up over 10% of electricity usage in the average American household. Invest in energy-efficient LED light bulbs and remember to turn down the lights.
  • Electricity Provider: Have you done a cost analysis of electricity costs by provider? If not, get on it — you could be overspending. Switching providers takes less than 5 minutes, which can save you up to 40% a month.

What Does It Cost To Get Online, Watch Cable TV Or Make A Phone Call?

Your phone service, internet connection, cable TV service, garbage collection and recycling pick-ups are all utilities too. When estimating how much you’ll spend on utilities each month, you need to also consider these additional costs.

Consider cable or pay TV. Leichtman Research Group reported in October 2018 that about 78% of U.S. households with a TV subscribe to some form of pay TV service. Leichtman also reported that subscribers spent an average of about $107 a month on pay TV services. That’s a slight jump of 1% from a year earlier.

How much are households paying for internet service? In 2018, personal finance site CreditDonkey said the average internet bill in the United States was $66.17 a month.

Total Cost Of Utilities By State

When you add up all the utilities that serve your home (everything from water to electricity, cable and internet), how much can you expect to pay each month?

In 2018, studied every state and determined how much consumers in each paid every month on average for utilities.

Here’s a look at the results:

Alabama: $411.78

Alaska: $527.96

Arizona: $441.41

Arkansas: $388.28

California: $437.85

Colorado: $404.25

Connecticut: $496.07

Delaware: $421.99

Florida: $448.99

Georgia: $455.34

Hawaii: $730.86

Idaho: $343.71

Illinois: $403.63

Indiana: $411.36

Iowa: $436.46

Kansas: $422.06

Kentucky: $413.85

Louisiana: $380.79

Maine: $464.45

Maryland: $429.61

Massachusetts: $469.13

Michigan: $410.72

Minnesota: $404.50

Mississippi: $391.46

Missouri: $436.49

Montana: $359.03

Nebraska: $399.45

Nevada: $376.93

New Hampshire: $477.02

New Jersey: $432.72

New Mexico: $392.12

New York: $477.31

North Carolina: $417.91

North Dakota: $411.95

Ohio: $447.30

Oklahoma: $431.90

Oregon: $381.30

Pennsylvania: $430.80

Rhode Island: $521.98

South Carolina: $473.78

South Dakota: $382.57

Tennessee: $402.35

Texas: $409.78

Utah: $350.17

Vermont: $468.30

Virginia: $430.41

Washington: $369.18

West Virginia: $393.39

Wisconsin: $390.65

Wyoming: $392.91

Tips for Saving Money on Your Electricity Bill

If you’re looking to save money on your electricit

If you’re looking to save money on your electricity bill, it’s important to reduce your consumption. Specifically, one of the highest energy consumers in your home is the air conditioner, so it’s essential to learn how to optimize its performance. First, change the HVAC filters regularly and adjust the temperature. If you live in cooler places, you might not even need to use the air at all. Otherwise, if you live in the South or other warm areas, make it a habit to leave the thermostat at a higher temperature than what you would typically set it at during the winter months. Just a few degrees will make a big difference at the end of the month.

Another way to reduce your consumption is to swap out regular light bulbs with LEDs. Although they’re pricier upfront, LED bulbs last longer and consume less electricity. Similarly, consider incorporating smart power strips for appliances that enter standby when not in use, yet still consume electricity. These devices account for a significant portion of your energy consumption, which you can easily reduce. Alternatively, you could also unplug them when not in use.

How Much Is the Natural Gas Bill in Texas?

A lot of people rely on natural gas for heating their houses and apartments. Not all people do, though. Around 70% of people use natural gas furnaces to heat their homes, the other 30% mainly being electric furnaces, especially in northern states. The situation is a little bit different in Texas. Since Texas’s climate is warmer overall than most other states, high-performance natural gas heaters aren’t needed as much as in the northern states. As a result, electric heaters typically have the lowest upfront costs. This is why only 40 percent of people living in Texas opt for natural gas heaters . Still, 40% of Texas is a lot of people, and those people typically have to pay a natural gas bill of $110.58 on average , which is pretty good compared to other states and the US average. In fact, Texas ranks the 12th lowest according to natural gas prices.

Some homes have relatively poor heat insulation, which puts more pressure on the heating system to keep up with heat seeping into the house in the cold months and effortlessly out of the house in the hotter summer months. As you might expect, having good heat insulation installed can significantly reduce the amount of energy needed to heat or cool the house. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that people can save 15% of all heating and cooling costs by adding quality insulation in the crawl spaces and attics , saving the average Joe about $200 every year.

From a studio apartment to a 4-bedroom apartment, here’s how much you can expect to pay for natural gas monthly:

  • The monthly gas bill for a studio apartment is $16.34
  • The monthly gas bill for a 1-bedroom apartment is $18.85
  • The monthly gas bill for a 2-bedroom apartment is $37.36
  • The monthly gas bill for a 3-bedroom apartment is $52.21
  • The monthly gas bill for a 4-bedroom apartment is $70.41

Typically, your electrical bill and natural gas bill will be lumped together. If you want to dive deeper into what your bill summary would be, you can head to your utility provider’s website. There, you’ll find a quick overview of how much gas and electricity you’ve used.

Quick tip: When moving to a new apartment in Texas, try considering appliances that use natural gas. This is mainly because natural gas appliances tend to be less expensive than electrical appliances.

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Heating and Air Conditioning Different Variables Affect Cost

Average Heating Bill: $21.56 – $26.13 (3 – 4 months/year) Average Air Conditioning Bill: $21.56 – $26.13 (3 – 4 months/year)

Heating and cooling usually make up 35%-40% of your energy bill.

A few things to consider when trying to estimate energy costs…

  • How large is the residence? The more square footage you have the more costly it will be to keep maintain a certain temperature.
  • What’s the climate like? Very hot or cold climates will mean higher energy bills.
  • How old are the appliances? If your HVAC system is 10-15 years old it’s likely going to be less efficient than a newer unit.
  • How well insulated is the home? Are windows double-pane and well sealed? Is the house older? Then it likely isn’t as well insulated as a newer home.

Once you’ve figured all this out, here are some energy saving tips.

Energy Saving Tips

While many of the factors above are going to be largely out of your control, there’s plenty you can do to save energy when it comes to heating and air conditioning.

  • Thermostats: When it comes to setting the temperature in your home, keep things set as warm as you can stand in the summer and as cold as you’re comfortable with in the winter in order to keep your heat and A/C running as little as necessary.
  • Ducts: Make sure your ducts are well-maintained, regularly checking for and sealing leaks to ensure efficient use of your heating and cooling equipment.
  • Fans: According to SplendidFans, ceiling and floor fans use way less energy than air conditioning, as long as you can remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
  • Windows: You can also keep your home cool by closing shutters during the day opening windows at night in the summer. Opening blinds to let the sunshine in can keep things a bit warmer in the winter too.
  • Filters: You’ll want to change your furnace filter every 2 – 3 months to keep your machines running efficiently and improve the quality of air in your home.

But what if your place hasn’t gone all-electric?

What are The Typical Average Utility Costs?

We’ll get down and dirty with the details in the next part of this guide. But for now, let’s take a look at the average utility bills for apartment renters across the United States.

According to a 2016 report by the United States Energy Administration, the average monthly energy bill an apartment renter could expect is $112. However, this last report was compiled in 2016 (yikes). Energy costs have increased substantially since then, especially in certain parts of the country.

Depending on where you live (region, state, city) and on the type of energy consumed (gas, electric, etc.), renters could expect to pay an average of $150-$200+ per month on utilities not included in the rent.

Below is a Brief Breakdown of an Apartments Average Costs Based on Utility Type:*This is a rough average estimate and to be used for illustration purposes only

  • Average Electricity Bill $40-$70 (excludes that used for air/heat and stove)
  • Average Air conditioning Bill $35-$60 (averaged over a 12-month period)
  • Average Heating Bill $50-$65 (averaged over a 12-month period)
  • Average Cable and internet Bill $75-$180
  • Average Trash and recycling Bill $20-$30
  • Average Water Bill $40-$60
  • Average Renters insurance Bill $15-$25 per month

What impacts the cost of utilities?

These factors can affect the average household utility cost:

Where you live: If you’re in a temperate climate, utilities won’t cost as much because there’s less need for constant heating in winter and air conditioning in summer.

Your use of resources: Your average utilities cost depends on your use of electricity and gas. If you leave the thermostat at 72 degrees in winter, you’ll pay more than you will if you set it at 68 degrees. If you lower the heat when you’re not home, you’ll also pay less.

Installing a smart thermostat in your home is one convenient way to manage your utility usage. Many of these smartphone-controlled devices let you view your weekly or monthly usage history, which gives you a clearer picture of how often your heating and cooling systems are turning on and off. This helps you see opportunities to raise or lower your thermostat at certain times of day – or turn the system off completely – to save money.

How energy efficient your home is: Insulation and windows make a big difference in the average utilities cost in a home. Energy can easily escape if there’s no insulation or properly installed windows to protect that air transfer. Old, single-pane windows can also be drafty and contribute to heat loss.

Size of your home: Heating, cooling and lighting a home that’s 2,500 square feet will cost more than a home that’s 1,400 square feet. It’s also important to consider the home’s layout. For example, spaces with open floor plans generally cost more to heat and cool than homes that are more compartmentalized with separated areas. In these homes, it’s often possible to shut vents or doors when the rooms aren’t in use and don’t require heating or cooling.

Average Utility Bills by City

Making a move to a new city, and not sure how much your new utility bill will be? Find out how much the average utility costs will be in your next home to properly map out your monthly budget.

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Cities Average Electricity Bill Average Gas Bill Average Water Bill Average Fuel Bill Total Average Utility Bill New York, NY$144.72$83.44$39.70$15.80$283.65Los Angeles, CA$139.16$47.38$58.68$0.45$245.67Chicago, IL$110.49$79.70$47.92$0.58$238.69Dallas, TX$169.77$31.15$59.63$0.50$261.05Houston, TX$165.16$28.30$46.20$0.49$240.15Philadelphia, PA$144.67$71.84$48.82$13.46$278.80Atlanta, GA$149.91$58.15$40.86$0.86$249.78Washington, DC$144.79$54.36$47.41$4.50$251.06Miami, FL$160.05$5.72$52.87$0.33$218.97Boston, MA$144.90$79.25$49.16$29.57$302.88

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How Much Are Internet, Telephone and TV Bills Each Month?

According to a report by doxo, the average household pays around $116 per month for cable and internet bills. Your connection type is the biggest factor in how much you will pay. DSL is the cheapest option at around $50 per month, and a satellite connection is the most expensive. Other factors such as data caps and upload and download speeds can also affect your end cost. Many households opt out of cable services by signing up for streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, which have monthly subscription costs. Some of these plans include local channels, too.

When signing up, it’s a good idea to look for promotions that can lower your costs. Some streaming services offer bundle packages, so if you add options like HBO and Showtime, you save more than if you purchase these plans separately. If you don’t watch movies as often, you can also pay on demand. With this option, you only pay for what you watch instead of paying for a library of movies. Services like Amazon and YouTube offer movies for rent individually.

Most households use cell phone services as their main telephone connection. Regardless of what carrier you use, the average cell phone bill is around $70 a user. You can control your cell phone costs by choosing a no-contract plan or by using a smaller carrier. You may only get a limited service area, but it’s ideal for those who tend to stay close to home.

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