Average Utilities Cost in America

If you were wondering which utility is the most expensive, the answer depends on the state. While electricity usually costs the most, in some states, the natural gas bill is the highest. Some consumers pay hefty amounts for cable, internet, and phone. Yet, when calculated separately, these aren’t as expensive as electric power or gas.

Average Electric Bill

In most states, the electric bill contributes the highest share of the average utilities cost per month. The average electric bill stateside ranges between $65.33 and $88.10.

Average Water Bill

While the average water bill in the US hovers around $68, the amounts vary drastically depending on the state and circumstances. Pool owners, for example, should be aware that the average water bill with a pool is by $40-$60 higher. The difference between the highest and lowest average monthly bill by state is $66. These figures reveal that the average cost of utilities for certain jurisdictions could be higher by $800 a year from water cost disparity alone. 

Average Sewer Bill

Just like all utility bills, the paying for sewer services drastically varies by location. The average sewer bill per month in the US ranges between $14.04 and $135.57. In this category, Memphis is the cheapest, while Seattle is the most expensive destination. Typically, you can expect your sewer bill to be included in your water and garbage monthly expenses.

Average Gas Bill

A significant part of the average cost of utilities for a house comes from the natural gas price. Americans pay an average gas bill per month of $80. Naturally, the average gas bill in winter is much higher, especially in cold states. 

Average Garbage Bill

For those wondering what is the cheapest utility bill, the answer is garbage. The average garbage bill per month in the US is $14, but trash and recycling costs mostly vary between $12 and $20.

Average Cable Bill

Cable TV is another significant contributor to the average cost of apartment utilities. US households pay an average cable bill of $85. This high average cable bill per month lately inspires consumers to look for cheaper alternatives. Streaming services, for instance, are a popular and affordable option at about $10 a month. Hence, the average cable bill per month for one person may soon become irrelevant as more and more users go cableless.

Average Phone Bill

US consumers deal with an average phone bill per month of $15-$30. Different plans naturally impact the average phone bill. In any case, it is still among the lowest contributors to a household’s average cost of utilities.

As for cell phone bills, these range depending on how many people you have in your plan and which carrier you use. The average phone bill for 2 among AT&T customers is between $80 and $88. Verizon, by contrast, has an average cell phone bill for 2 of about $140.

Average Internet Bill

Americans pay $56 or so a month for internet on average. Note that the average internet bill per month often includes the phone, too. Either way, it all depends on the subscription plan. Signing up for a package of internet, phone, and even cable TV gets consumers better deals alongside longer commitment.

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Trash and Recycling An Often Unexpected Expense

Average Trash Bill: $12 – $20/month

It’s rare for anyone to put too much thought into garbage collection beyond taking it out once a week.

But yes, it does cost money to get other people to haul away your waste.

The average monthly cost of waste collection is between $16 and $28.

So, fairly inexpensive compared to most other utilities.

While most cities have companies that bill residents directly for trash collection, others factor waste disposal into local taxes.

Other areas have also begun implementing Pay-as-You-Throw systems which charge customers based on how many bags they throw away to incentivize recycling.

According to EPA Collection Cost data, an average household pays about $1.13 for weekly recyclable collection, adding up to a cost of $58.67 each year to recycle.

How Much is the Average Gas Bill?

Hot water, heating, and your stove could all impact your gas bill. Your average gas bill will likely be around $9 to $152 per month, but it'll depend on your appliances, where you live, and usage. Natural gas appliances tend to be cheaper than their electric counterparts, something to consider while apartment hunting.

Your gas bill and electric bill will typically be lumped together. Going on your utility provider’s website and looking at a bill summary will give you an overview of your gas and electricity usage.

How to Save Money on Your Gas Bill

When it comes to gas use, heating and cooling are going to be the primary culprits of a high gas bill. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to reduce gas use.

Here are three heating and cooling tips to help you lower your gas bill.

  • Don't turn your heat all the way down. It takes more energy and gas to heat your home warmer from 50℉ to 65℉ than it would take to heat it from 60℉ to 65℉.
  • Reduce drafts. In cooler months, poorly-insulated windows and doors can be drafty which reduces the efficiency of your heating. Take time to identify and reduce drafts in your home, especially if you live in an older homes or an apartment unit!
  • Reduce oven use in the summer. If possible, stick to stovetop recipes in the summer months. Heating a gas-powered oven can use up a lot of gas and oven use in warmer months can cause your apartment to heat up.

The Most And Least Expensive States For Utilities

Along with the above list and using 2018 data, put together a list of the 10 states in which the combined cost of utilities were the highest as well as one for the 10 states where they were the most affordable.

Here were the 10 states in which utility costs were the highest each month:

1. Hawaii: The big culprits in Hawaii are electricity and natural gas, both of which rank as the most expensive in the United States. Electricity costs an average of $300.04 a month while natural gas costs $232.20. That helps account for Hawaii’s high $730.86 average utility cost each month. 

2. Alaska: said that Alaska residents paid more for internet service in 2018 than the residents of any other state, an average of $107.43 a month.

3. Rhode Island: Natural gas and internet costs rank high in Rhode Island; fourth and second in the nation, respectively.

4. Connecticut: Natural gas costs an average of $114.11 each month here, higher than in most states. Connecticut’s average $187.29 electricity bill is high, too, ranking third-highest in the country.

5. New York: New York residents pay an average of $173.84 a month in electric costs. This helps explain why the state’s average monthly utility costs rank so high.

6. New Hampshire: Electricity and natural gas costs are higher than average in New Hampshire at $169.35 and $107.67 respectively.

7. South Carolina: South Carolina residents pay a lot for natural gas, an average of $150.03 a month, according to .

8. Massachusetts: The electric bills are high in Massachusetts, ranking fourth in the country at an average of $185.05 per month.

9.Vermont: Vermont residents face higher-than-average monthly electricity and natural gas bills at $160.20 and $110.43. That combination puts this state in ninth place on this list.

10. Maine: Maine brings up the rear of the states in which utilities cost the most. Maine residents who are wondering why they’re in 10th place merely have to look at their natural gas and electricity bills, which are $146.30 and $132.04 on average.

If you’re looking for smaller monthly bills, consider moving to one of these 10 states. ranks them as the states with the smallest average monthly utility bills.

1. Idaho: The Gem State is the place to live if you’re interested in paying the least for utilities. According to ‘s list, natural gas is particularly cheap here, averaging $52.89 a month in 2018. Electricity is pretty cheap, too, costing an average of just $93.82 a month (the fifth-cheapest in the country).

2. Utah: In Utah, electricity, natural gas and internet service all rank below average. Natural gas costs are the second most affordable in the country at $52.33 a month.

3. Montana: Montana ranks as the third-cheapest state for utility costs thanks to natural gas costing just $52.12 a month on average in 2018, the single most affordable rate in the country.

4. Washington: says that internet costs in Washington are expensive, but ultra-cheap electricity and natural gas costs make up for that, earning Washington the title as fourth-cheapest state for utility costs.

5. Nevada: Affordable natural gas costs are again a main factor for Nevada, which ranks as the fifth most affordable state in America for utility costs. Electricity is pretty inexpensive here as well, coming in at just $101.71 per month on average in 2018.

6. Louisiana: Louisiana claimed the smallest average monthly electric bill in 2018, $86.83. Mostly because of this, the state ranked as the sixth-most affordable when it came to monthly utility bills.

7. Oregon: Residents of Oregon are fortunate to pay below-average monthly fees for both electricity and natural gas. Thanks to this, the state has one of the lowest monthly utility costs in the country.

8. South Dakota: While their electricity costs aren’t particularly low, residents of South Dakota don’t pay as much for internet service or natural gas as most of their peers across the country.

9. Arkansas: The average monthly electric bill in Arkansas is the one of the lowest in the country, ranking in 48th place at $89.52. The state’s average internet bill at $51.04 a month also ranked as 48th in the United States.

10. Wisconsin: Monthly electric bills were among the highest in Wisconsin in 2018, but both internet access and natural gas costs were far below the national average.

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.

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

What Is the Average Water Bill?

The average person uses roughly 85 gallons of wate

The average person uses roughly 85 gallons of water per day, which is split between the bathtub, toilet, washer and shower, as well as the water used for dishwashing, hygiene, drinking water and outdoor use. And, while utilities like water, sewage or garbage are often included in the rent, several other services related to water and sewer provision may also be part of a local bill — such as the clean water program, the drinking water program, stormwater policies and more.

So, before signing the lease, ask your landlord whether the water bill is included in rent. If it’s paid separately, then you’re looking at an average water bill of about $39 monthly — and, again, depending on where you live, this price can change. If you add an average sewer bill, you’re looking at an extra $55 monthly. On top of this, a small fee may also be added to your bill for garbage collection, but your rent or city fees most likely already include this amount.

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How Much Does Electricity Cost?

According to the Energy Information Administration, the average cost of electricity in the United States is 13.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, and a typical household uses around 908 kWh per month, making the average monthly electric bill around $120.

Just like water costs, electricity costs vary from state to state. Generally, you are paying to build, finance, maintain and operate the plant where you purchase your electricity from. If you pay attention, the cost of fuel in your area will correlate with the cost of your electric bill. In states where fuel prices are high — such as Hawaii and New York — your electric bill will be much higher than in places where fuel prices are lower, like Idaho and North Dakota. Other factors that can determine your electric bill cost include the time of the year, market changes and disruptions in how much fuel is on hand.

A smart thermostat can learn your household patterns and adjust temperatures based on when your home is active or unoccupied. This will help you save on your heating and cooling bills. Keeping your household appliances in top condition is also an important factor in controlling utility costs.

Other Utility Bills to Consider

Electricity, gas, water, and internet cover the main essential utilities. However, there are a few other bills you'll want to consider.

Cable

Cable is nearly obsolete as there are more streaming alternatives available than ever before. The number of cord-cutters in the US is expected to grow to 40.1 million this year.

If you can’t live without cable, consider what you’re watching. Lower tier packages might suit your needs just fine and can be as cheap as $20.

Average cable bills are around $50 a month, and adding on the extras can put you in the $70-$80 range. The top-tier packages could put you over $100 a month.

Streaming Services

Let's face it. You've probably ditched cable TV for a variety of services years ago. These services offer a ton of variety and often have full seasons of shows that you may watch on cable. Better yet, all these streaming services have costs under $18 a month. Here's a look at some popular streaming service options:

  • Netflix: $9.99 – $19.99
  • Disney+: $7.99 – $12.99
  • Hulu: $6.99 – $12.99
  • Apple TV+: $4.99 – $19.95
  • HBO Max: $14.99
  • Amazon Prime Video: $9.00
  • Paramount Plus: $4.99 – $9.99
  • Peacock: $4.99 – $9.99
  • Discovery Plus: $4.99 – $6.99

Also, look into bundle packages. Many cable providers offer discounts when you bundle different services including internet and cell phone service. If you’re having a great experience with your provider, then switching all your services to a single provider can help you maximize your savings.

Phone Plan

According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends $94 a month on their cell phone bill. This translates to $1,128 a year, which is around the price of most smartphones these days. Most families don't use landline phones anymore, so we've only included data for cell phone plans.

Generally, cell phone bills include the cost of the rented or leased device, carrier service, taxes, fees, and the cost of any add-ons you may have.

Your phone bill can be pricey, so here are a few of our favorite tips on cutting back that cost.

  • Calculate the costs of leasing or buying your device. Many cell phone service carriers enable you to lease your current cell phone for a fixed monthly rate. You can then opt to buy the phone outright or upgrade to a newer phone. Unless you need the newest phone, purchasing your phone outright may save you money and interest in the long run.
  • Shop around. Many consumers benefit from great savings and decent service by opting out of yearly cell phone service providers. If you prefer the guaranteed speed and reliability of a contract-based plan, shop around to catch a deal.
  • Add service lines. Most cell phone service providers offer deep discounts for those who add more lines to their plan. You can stay on a plan with your family to reduce costs, or you may be able to add roommates/significant others to your plan.
  • Consider your data usage. Look at your data usage trends on your phone or on your profile with your provider. If you’re paying for an unlimited data plan, but only use 2 GB a month, you can save big by switching to a plan with lower data limits.

Trash

For most renters, your trash collection will not be a part of your total apartment utilities bill. The fee is commonly bundled in with the price of rent or the owner may pay the bill out of pocket. If you'll be in charge. of the trash collection bill, here's what you should know.

Trash rates are typically determined by local-level governments or private waste collection companies. As a result, the amount you'll pay for waste collection is essentially a roll of the dice.

For example, Sunnyvale, California residents pay a set garbage collection fee based on their resident type and the size of their cart. A multifamily unit with a large cart must pay a monthly fee set at $115.68. Those in Athens County, Georgia must pay $37.60 a month for a large 64-gallon cart.

The Power of Negotiating

Do you realize that the $200 suggested at the beginning of this article may not be enough to meet your utility bills every month? But there is no need to despair because you can put on your negotiating hat and bring those costs down. 

It’s much easier to negotiate before moving in than trying to do so after. Here are some things you can do. 

Have the Attitude That Everything Can be Negotiated 

They may think you are unreasonable for asking for a discount for the lawn service or the electricity bill. Still, there is also a possibility that they actually charged you more, expecting that you would ask for a discount. If you don’t, it’s your loss.

Shop Around 

To negotiate, you will need to know the possibilities by researching the competing service providers. This is the reason why you need to do your research beforehand. Well, if they are not willing to offer a discount, you can always move to the next best offer because you have several of them down your sleeve. 

Change Suppliers 

In states that have what is called an “energy choice,” you can negotiate the cost of utilities like electricity and gas. The arrangement allows you to switch to an energy supplier that offers you the best rates.

And that’s…all there is to it?

Look, we get it. There’s a lot to consider here, but hopefully, this guide gives you a decent idea of where to start in budgeting for utilities wherever you’re living.

And if you’re in the midst of planning a move, check out our moving cost calculator for some help with getting everything where it needs to go. You really don’t want another thing to worry about, do you?

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