What are the Most Common Utilities Renters Must Pay?

Heating, electricity, gas, and water are the four major utilities that must be considered as apartments are not considered habitable without access to these necessities. Typically renters pay their own electric bill, while landlords may include the costs of some or all of these utilities in the rent.

For example, many landlords in major cities will pay for things like heat, garbage pick-up, and other utilities because it’s easier to supply the whole building and charge a higher rent than break it up. Check your lease agreement if you are unsure if any utilities are included. Keep in mind that just because your landlord is paying the bill doesn’t mean it’s free. Apartments that include utilities are typically more expensive, and it may well be that the utility bill’s cost is less than the difference in rent. But you’re paying for the convenience of not having to go to the hassle of paying the bill monthly.

In addition to these vital utilities you also have to consider things like internet, cable, and streaming services. If you’re strapped for cash, you can do without these services. But for most modern renters, they are essential and should be considered when planning your budget.

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

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COST OF LIVING IN TEXAS

The cost of living in Texas can be 8% higher than the U.S. average. According to , Texas is on the rank no. 31 in terms of the average utility bill. The average utility bill per month in the state includes:

  • Electricity – $100.91
  • Natural gas – $110.58
  • Internet – $58.29
  • Cable – $100.00
  • Water – $40.00
  • Total – $409.78

Wondering how much are utilities per month in different Texas cities? Here’s a quick utility cost compilation to help you get a better idea:

Note: The costs can vary based on factors like the size of your apartment, the number of people living, the locality you’re in, and the amount of utility usage.

City/Utilities Average Gas Bil, $ Average Electricity Bill, $ Average Internet Bill. $ Average Water Bill, $ Car Gas, $ Total
Houston $110.58 $155.74 $60.33 $27 $164 $517.65
San Antonio $110.58 $160.26 $65.31 $45.64 $150 $531.79
Dallas $110.58 $128.50 $65.24 $41.23 $1505 $495.55
Austin $110.58 $147.04 $66.59 $70.39 $150 $544.6
Fort Worth $105.26 $122 $60 $40.39 $148 $475.65
El Paso $108.72 $124.36 $60 $42 $150 $485.08

The most expensive city in Texas is Austin. When compared to the national average, the monthly bills here cost 21.7% more. You can expect to shell out about $2300 per month to live comfortably in Austin. The cheapest city in Texas, on the other hand, is Amarillo. It has a cost of living index of just 80.1 as compared to the U.S. average of 100. Whether you’re moving to a large apartment or a small apartment, a more expensive city or a comparatively cheaper one – it’s always best to understand the specific costs of your area. This will help you create and execute your budget smartly.

How Much is the Average Internet Bill?

The cost of an internet bill for your typical user will be around $30-$60 a month depending on your usage.

When selecting an internet provider, consider how many devices will be using the internet and what they’ll be doing. If you just casually browse the web or social media, you can make do with a cheaper plan. Speeds of about 6-10 Mbps should be adequate for your usage.

For internet activities that require more data such as video streaming or online gaming, you’re going to need faster speeds. Look for a plan with speeds of at least 20+ Mbps. If you're a remote worker and want to get rid of any lag issues, you’ll want to bump that up to 50+ Mbps.

If your internet connection is spotty, look into Wi-Fi extenders. These can provide you with a more steady connection without you having to upgrade your plan.

How to Save Money on Your Internet Bill

Saving money on your internet bill is difficult, but possible. Here are a few obscure ways to save big on your internet bill!

  • Buy your own modem or router. Avoid paying the monthly rental fee for these devices by making a one-time purchase. Just be aware that you'll have to send back any equipment to avoid accruing fees for the equipment you aren't using.
  • Bundle your services. If you’re working with a provider that offers cellular, cable, or additional services, check out their bundling rates. You may be able to save big on your bill and get higher speeds and bandwidth just by opting into a bundled service.
  • Call your provider. Giving customer service a call to let them know that you’re considering switching services can result in matched or even lower rates than the competition.

How Much Is the Average Wi-Fi Bill?

Depending on your region, you’ll be able to make a selection based on your preferences and WiFi needs. There are a ton of internet providers in the US, so price and download speeds will likely play a major role in your decision in how much your Wi-Fi bill will cost.

Here are some of the cheapest internet service plans offered by the top providers in the US. Keep in mind that some providers offer slower speeds for certain regions. The ones below are the most widely available and offer at least 50 Mbps:

  • Verizon: $39.99 per month @ 200 Mbps
  • AT&T: $49.99 per month @ 50 Mbps
  • CenturyLink: $50.00 per month @ 100 Mbps
  • T-Mobile: $50.00 per month @ 100 Mbps
  • Xfinity: $64.99 per month @ 50 Mbps
  • Spectrum: $74.99 per month @ 200 Mbps

For internet plans, internet providers often run promotions with deep discounts and promotional offers that typically last anywhere from 12 – 24 months. Customers are typically expected to cover the cost of any promotional services and pay the standard monthly rate after this period.

There are a number of different features that can play a major impact on your Wifi bill, including automatic bill pay enrollment, setup costs, equipment rental, and more, so always read the fine print.

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.

Renter’s insurance

Finally, always get renter’s insurance. You never know what may happen, and it’s very affordable, at only about $150 a year. If your apartment is burglarized, you’ll be very thankful you have it.

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

How Much Are Utilities in an Average Apartment?

The above costs listed are the national average and, therefore, merely give you a ballpark estimate of what you can expect to pay as a single adult. On average, most adult renters pay between $200 and $300 per month for all utilities. But your utility bills will vary drastically depending on the size of your apartment and the number of roommates you have. A single person in a studio apartment will have lower monthly bills than a group of 4 roommates in a duplex. But depending on how frugal each roommate is, you may be able to reduce costs by splitting the expenses with others. Here is a look at the total costs of utilities by apartment size. 

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.

Condo Fees: The Cost of Being Part of a Close Community 

Average condo costs: $50 and $1,000 

Are you in the condominium (otherwise known as the condo) market? Then you need to think about condo fees (some call it the “monthly maintenance fees”).  

Once you’ve decided that you want the trappings of covered parking, a communal pool, and a gym, among other shared amenities, it becomes vital to consider what your condo fees will be.

So why do you even need to pay these fees? 

There are actually many reasons.

The common area needs to be maintained; snow shoveled, leaves raked, gardens manicured, and roofing maintained.

Some of the funds you pay can also be invested so that they can be used for more significant projects like repainting the buildings or replacing roofs and paving.

According to the website Condo Capital, condo fees can average between $50 and $1,000 in the United States. 

It’s essential to be clear about what condo fees cover because, in some cases, they can cover utilities like water, trash, and sewer.

You can check the laws regulating condo fees in the Condominium Act in the state where you live.   

Virginia Housing Costs

When trying to determine what is the cost of living in Virginia, housing costs will be by far your biggest expense. Compared to the national average, Virginia housing costs are more expensive. The median home cost in Virginia is $258,400. In comparison, the national median home cost is $231,200. 

Naturally, housing costs will vary depending on the city and neighborhood you’re interested in. For instance, Great Falls is one of the most expensive cities in Virginia with a median home value hitting six-figures at $1,212,347. However, Virginia’s capital Richmond has more affordable housing with a median home value of $247,564.

Throughout the state, the median home cost is $258,400. Home appreciation in the state is also up by 4.1%. 

You won’t fare much better if you decide to rent. Compared to the national average, your monthly rent payment will be more expensive in Virginia. For example, the average cost for a studio apartment in Virginia is $982, whereas the national average for a studio apartment is $821. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Virginia is $1,030. The national average for a one-bedroom is $930.

Tips for Saving Money on Your Internet Bill

A little hunting for a special offer can go a long way if you want to save money on your internet bill. First, check what your options are from various local providers so that you’re aware of the normal prices on the market. Then, look for any special offers, sign-up bonuses or discounts. You can also contact customer service and ask for a personalized deal. Usually, they’re willing to offer a discount if you’re willing to commit to their service.

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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Median Utility Costs by Type and Age

So, how much the does the average person spend on utilities a month? This is a valid question, but there’s no single answer. The average cost of utilities for one person depends on various factors, age being one of those. In the table below, let’s analyze the mean expenses on different types of house bills among Americans from various age groups.

As you can see above, the mean annual utilities cost among all consumers was $9,215 in 2019. Americans aged 45-54 pay a significantly higher mean amount of $11,211 a year. Those aged 35-44 come in next with yearly mean utility costs of $10,409. Unsurprisingly, those under 25 pay the lowest mean house bills of $5,325 a year.

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.

Internet A 21st Century Necessity

Average Internet Bill: $56.60/month

Behold the internet!

What was once a luxury has now become a necessity.

Unfortunately, there’s a good chance you won’t have many options when it comes to internet providers in your area.

Not to mention, average internet service in the US is slower and more expensive than many other countries.

You can search for internet deals on NationalBroadBand.com based on your zipcode to try and find the best deal.

As of late-2017, the average cost of internet in the United States was $56.60/month, but you should expect that to differ pretty dramatically depending on how many providers are in your area.

How Much Is the Water Bill in Texas?

Texas has much lower water costs than the US average. The water bill differs a lot depending on the size of the house and its residents. One person would not pay the same water bill as a family of four. The US water bill is $337.60 on average per year per household . In Texas, though, the yearly average is $288.43. Don’t let it fool you, though. The water bill will vary substantially depending on the city. If you were to hire local movers to move to the city of Lubbock, you would expect an annual water bill of around $474.60. Move to Wichita Falls, and you will be finding an average water bill of $516.43. Almost double the Texas average. Reviews of the city you’re moving to will give you an idea of the amount you’re likely to pay in utility costs. The water bill in smaller cities is more expensive than in bigger cities since in a smaller city, the cost of getting water there is distributed among a smaller group of people than in a bigger, more crowded city where the cost is distributed among its many citizens. Your apartment location will affect the amount you’ll have to spend on utilities. Nevertheless, no matter where you live, you wouldn’t mind saving some money on your water bills. So here are a few ways to reduce your water consumption and, therefore, your water bill.

Invest in Water Efficient Shower Heads

Showering accounts for 17% of the overall water bill. Showers are the third most significant source of water consumption after washing machines and toilets. A person showers for 8.2 minutes on average and uses 17.2 gallons (65.1 liters) in those 8 minutes. The water flow rate of showers is approximately 2.1 gallons per minute (GPM) or 7.9 liters per minute (LPM). A water-efficient showerhead can save around 7 gallons of water (26 liters) in a 7-minute shower. Which adds up to 2377 gallons (9000 liters) saved every year.

Want to know the monthly water prices based on the size of an apartment? Here’s a quick list for you:

  • The average water bill for a 1 bedroom apartment is $21.11
  • The average water bill for a 2 bedroom apartment is $36.41
  • The average water bill for a 3 bedroom apartment is $45.79
  • The average water bill for a 4 bedroom apartment is $57.47

It is estimated that an average American uses 82 gallons of water at home on a daily basis. This also leads us to the conclusion that an average American typically has up to $.94 of debt for water use on a daily basis.

Fortunately, there are ways to considerably slash the cost of your water bills. This will not only help you save big per month but will also contribute to saving the environment. Make sure you use the water only when necessary. Other hacks like investing in a dishwasher, taking shorter showers, getting an ENERGY STAR certified washing machine, and fixing all the issues with your water taps can help you save on your monthly water costs.

Find Rentals on Zillow

Related:

MyFirstApartment.com helps novice renters successfully navigate the first year of living on their own. The blog shares proven tips and tricks for everything from finding the perfect rental or roommate, to furnishing on a small budget or no budget, to dealing with landlords or roommate’s girlfriends.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

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