Estimating How Much Apartment Utilities Will Cost

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The Bottom Line

There are many ways you can reduce your utility costs even if you don’t want to move to a different state. Consider all the ways you can reduce your future utility bills. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also help save the environment.

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.

What Is the Average Cost of Apartment Utilities?

So, to see how utilities add up, consider a hypoth

So, to see how utilities add up, consider a hypothetical tenant named Tom. Tom lives in Kansas and cranks up the air conditioning during the hot months, but runs high-efficiency heating appliances during the winter. Tom lives with three roommates, never cooks and likes to take extremely long showers. He has broadband and does not subscribe to any cable TV provider. If you’re like Tom and his roommates, you can expect to pay around $411 per month in total utilities for the apartment.

However, in addition to considering the average cost of apartment utilities, we also recommend checking with the landlord or the previous tenants to get a better idea of how much utilities cost for a specific apartment.

Check out the table below to find the average utility bills in your state:

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.

Ways to Lower Your Apartment Utility Bills

All this talk about money have you feeling nervous? We get it. Energy Bills can add up fast, and unless you’ve hit the lotto, you’re likely on a tight budget like the rest of us.

Below are a few quick and easy ways to save on your apartment utility bills. After all, who doesn’t like saving a few bucks and making their hard-earned green go further?

A Closer Look at Apartment Utility Bills

Factors that Can Impact How Much You’ll Pay:

  • The size of your apartment (more square feet means more space to heat or cool)
  • The number of rooms in the apartment
  • The number of occupants
  • The number of appliances that run on electricity
  • The amount of time occupants spend at home vs out and about
  • The level of insulation and type of materials used in the building
  • The number of windows and/or doors (over 20% of energy loss occurs at leaky windows and doors)

Renter’s Insurance

But doesn’t the property management company or landlord already have insurance on the property? They do, but here’s why that doesn’t help you. If disaster strikes, your landlord’s property policy won’t protect you or your belongings in your apartment.

Renter’s insurance provides protection for all of your assets in the apartment building. It offers insurance in the event of theft or vandalism, or damage from water, fire, smoke and more. Make sure to do your homework and get renters insurance quotes from many different companies.

Although some landlords or apartment companies require that you obtain renter’s insurance, here are a few good reasons to get it even if they don’t:

  • Additional living expenses coverage – providing you with funds to stay at a hotel in case of emergency
  • Medical costs for any injured guests – accidents can happen anywhere at any time
  • Damage caused by small children – such as breaking a neighbor’s expensive statue
  • Covers attorney fees – if you are sued due to someone getting injured in your apartment
  • Usually cover dog bite accidents
  • Covers things ‘in possession’ – meaning any items you’ve borrowed or rented
  • Coverage away from home – policies usually cover items even when those items are not at home (i.e. luggage in a hotel room)

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.

Electricity The Cost of Powering Your Home

Average Electricity Bill: $65.33 – $88.10

Almost every appliance in your home is going to be using electricity at some point in time, which is why it’s important to know exactly how you’re being charged for your power consumption.

Your electricity consumption is going to be measured in kilowatt hours (kwh), which is essentially a measure of how much power a device uses over time.

Currently, the average energy cost in the US is $0.133/kwh, which is higher than the previous year but prices are projected to fall within the coming months.

Since everyone uses different appliances at different rates, it can be pretty hard to estimate average energy usage, but here are a few constants…

Calculating Power Usage

Determining exactly how much electricity you’re using can be tricky, but there are a few constants you can rely on to give you a baseline.

Here’s the average cost of using some necessary household devices based on data from Duke Energy:

Appliance Energy Usage Cost
Ceiling Fan 0.075 kwh/hr $0.01/hr
Energy Star Refrigerator 43.0 kwh/month $5.72/month
Dishwasher 1.0 – 2.17 kwh/load $0.13 – $0.29/load
Laundry (Cold Wash, Cold Rinse) 0.3 kwh/load $0.04
Water Heater 390 – 500 kwh/month $51.87 – $66.50/month
TV (40″ – 49″ LCD) 0.15 kwh/hr $0.02/hr
Computer (Desktop) 0.06 – 0.25 kwh/hr $0.01 – $0.03 kwh/hr
Computer Monitor (17″ LCD) 0.04 kwh/hr $0.01 kwh/hr

Still, there’s one major factor to your electric bill that requires special consideration…

Ways to cut energy costs

There are a number of steps you can take to reduce energy usage and your utility bills:

  • Turn off and unplug – While this change might seem minor, standby power accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of residential energy usage, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Turning off appliances regularly could save you up to $100 per year.
  • Install ceiling fans – Ceiling fans promote circulation, so you might be able to get away with a higher thermostat setting, which lowers costs.
  • Upgrade to more efficient appliances – Products with the Energy Star label meet government efficiency standards, and sometimes more so. Energy Star refrigerators, for example, are at least 15 percent more efficient than the minimum efficiency criteria. In short, these types of appliances use less energy and can help you save money.
  • Switch to LEDs – Residential LED lighting uses at least 75 percent less energy, according to the DOE, and lasts longer compared to incandescent lighting. The result: an average annual savings of about $225. Pair the LEDs with timers and dimmers to really maximize these savings.
  • Install solar panels – Solar panels produce energy from the sun, a free power source. The cost to install solar panels isn’t cheap, however, but the expense tends to pay off in the long run. You can estimate your potential savings using this tool.
  • Use smart meters – Smart meters are devices attached to appliances that track their energy usage, sending readings directly to the utility provider. If the smart meter shows a spike in usage, you can take steps like using less power or water to reduce consumption.
  • Request an energy audit – A home energy auditor can identify where your home is losing energy. If you make the energy upgrades recommended by the auditor, you could save between 5 percent to 30 percent on your bills, according to the DOE.

How Much Is The Average Natural Gas Cost In The United States?

Wondering how much you’ll spend on natural gas costs when you move into a new home? Figuring this out can be tricky. That’s because there are so many variables that can impact your natural gas bill.

For example, your gas bill will be higher if your home’s furnace, water heater, oven, stove and dryer are powered by gas. If your home’s appliances are instead powered mostly by electricity, your monthly gas bill will drop.

It also matters where you live. Your area’s climate plays a major role in the size of your monthly gas bills. Heating a home accounts for the greatest consumption of natural gas. If you live in a cold climate where the winter months see frigid temperatures, you’ll probably spend more on natural gas than someone in a milder climate.

Then there’s the size of your home. As you can guess, it takes far more gas to heat a larger home. Consequently, you’ll pay more each month in natural gas if you own a big home.

You can impact how much gas your home consumes each month by boosting the energy efficiency of your home. Adding more insulation to your home’s walls, for instance, will keep the hot air in your residence for a longer amount of time. Multi-pane windows will do the same. Investing in furnaces and water heaters that are more efficient will also help reduce your monthly gas bills.

So, how much can you expect to pay each month in natural gas to heat your home and power your gas-fueled appliances? The American Gas Association most recently said that households in the United States spent an average of $661 a year in natural gas to heat and fuel their homes. That comes out to a bit more than $55 a month.

How Much Does Natural Gas Cost?

CenterPoint Energy says natural gas prices tend to be two to three times lower than electric prices in an area because gas is 90% more efficient, and it takes a lot less energy to extract natural gas from its source than it does to generate electricity. Your bill includes delivery costs and an interim rate adjustment. Season and location are the two main factors for your natural gas bill. Unlike electricity that’s generated nearby, natural gas is shipped in from where it’s extracted and stored. So, the further you live from a distribution point, the more expensive your gas bill will be.

The average cost of natural gas for residential use is $10.45 per thousand cubic feet, or around $63 per month. You can keep these costs to a minimum by keeping your heating system maintained, using a smart thermostat, turning down your water heater and sealing all leaks around windows and doors.

Other Utilities

Other utilities can include trash collection, cell service, and cable. Generally, these services are separate from your regular utility bills, so you need to check what other utilities you have to pay for on a monthly basis.

For phone and cable, look for bundled services if you need them. However, if you have a fast Internet connection, you might not even need to use these services.

Trash collection rates are determined by your local government or by private trash collection companies. Ask your landlord how trash collection is handled in your apartment.

Ways to keep your average utility costs low

These days, technology has made it a lot easier an

These days, technology has made it a lot easier and less expensive to purchase gadgets that help you understand how much energy you’re consuming.

You can try searching in your area for energy-efficient apartments, which are equipped with things like ENERGY STAR appliances and improved insulation. This can help keep the heat in during the winter and the hot air out during the summers.

There are also federal ENERGY STAR programs that certify multifamily apartments and condos that are at least 15 percent more energy efficient.

According to ENERGY STAR, you can make these simple swaps and save some money.

  1. Replace your five most frequently used light fixtures to energy-efficient ones. Savings: Around $65 a year.
  2. Turn off lights when leaving a room. Savings: Around $15 a year.
  3. Get a programmable thermostat and set it to a more efficient temperature when you’re sleeping or not home. Savings: Up to $150 a year.

Typical utility expenses

Utilities are services that keep your home comfortable, functional and safe. These include:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Heating and cooling
  • Water
  • Sewer use
  • Trash and recycling
  • Internet, phone and cable

Sewer- The Cost of Sanitation

Average Sewer Bill – $14.04 – $135.57/month

Dealing with the stench emanating from the sewer systems may not be everyone’s idea of a preferred job, but someone has to do it, and they have to be paid.

According to the non-profit organization Circle of Blue, there are two main reasons why the sewer bill is likely to be higher than your water bill. 

The first is that the treatment of sewer gobbles more energy than the treatment of water. 

Secondly, building sewer treatment infrastructure is more expensive now than it was in the past as local authorities have to meet more stringent environmental regulations.    

According to the Water and Waste Digest, the average sewer bill can be as low $14.04 in Memphis and go as high as $135.57 in Seattle.  

Even though different cities calculate their sewer bills differently, in most cases, the bill is based on the average water use of a household because sewer water is not metered like a water system.

To get an idea of how your sewer bill is arrived at, you may want to check the method used by your local authority. 

Water

Average cost: $28 (single) – $116 (family)

In the US, water usage and cost are measured per 1,000 gallons. On average, 1,000 gallons cost around $11.48. It is estimated that a single American household uses around 328 gallons of water per day, which amounts to around $3.76 daily.

If you have a water bill that is regularly higher than the average, it usually means that you are not using the water in your home efficiently.

Money-Saving Ideas

  • Use a dishwasher because it uses less water than washing dishes by hand. Seriously. A dishwasher only uses three gallons of water per use, but washing dishes by hand can use up to 27 gallons of water per use!
  • Fill up your dishwasher to the maximum recommended load before running a cycle.
  • Take showers instead of baths. A shower only consumes around 25 gallons of water on average, but a bath can easily double that amount.
  • Check your pipes and faucets regularly for leaks.

Frequently asked questions

What are utilities? 

Utilities are basic services provided to residents, including government-sponsored services such as water and services from private companies such as cable and internet.

Are utilities cheaper in an apartment? 

If you’re comparing two different properties, know that utilities are almost always cheaper in an apartment than a house. Apartments tend to be smaller than single-family homes, and apartment complexes often qualify for different rates than individual homes. Apartments are also more likely to include one or more utilities in the rent than rental houses.

How can I save money on utilities? 

As a general rule of thumb, the more you use, the more you’ll pay. Cut your consumption to save money. Turn off your lights to cut down your electric bill, or choose a basic cable plan. Smaller homes also tend to use less electricity, natural gas, and water than larger ones.

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