Content of the material
- How Much Is The Average Water Bill In The United States?
- Ask For Prior Utility Bills
- How Much is the Average Gas Bill?
- Ways to cut energy costs
- Car Gas Is Also a Utility
- Tips for Saving on Your Water Bill
- The bottom line
- Food Costs
- Utility Costs
- The Most And Least Expensive States For Utilities
- How Much Does Natural Gas Cost?
- Internet A 21st Century Necessity
- What are The Typical Average Utility Costs?
- Tips for Saving Money on Your Electricity Bill
- Typical utility expenses
- Other Useful Resources
How Much Is The Average Water Bill In The United States?
How much can you expect to pay for your home’s water? That depends on where you live, the size of your home and the ways in which you use water.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average U.S. household uses about 88 gallons of water per day for every person. This means a family of four would use about 10,560 gallons of water in a typical 30-day stretch.
The nonprofit global water research organization Circle of Blue says it could cost you more than $50 a month to pay for water depending on where you live.
Even if you take steps to conserve the amount of water you’re using, you still might spend more than you’d like depending on where you live. In some cities, water just costs more.
For example, according to Circle of Blue, the average water bill for a Baltimore family of four using 400 gallons total per day was $59.39 a month in 2018. In Chicago, the average cost for the same family came in at $46.56 a month. In Seattle, it was much higher at $104.53.
Ask For Prior Utility Bills
The average cost of $200 a month is only just an average. One of the simplest ways of getting an idea of what the utility bills of a specific house or apartment will be is to ask for prior utility bills.
In most cases, landlords and real estate agents can get these for you.
Requesting a copy of previous bills will also tell you which utilities were paid by the landlord. Sometimes landlords include utilities as part of the rent but you can only know this if you ask.
Even though prior electric, water and gas bills will probably vary based on usage, you’ll know with near 100 percent certainty what the trash/recycling and condo fees will cost.
How Much is the Average Gas Bill?
Finding an average for your gas bill in your apartment can be tricky. In some areas of the country, gas is cheaper than electric (such as in some east coast states). In other areas, such as the Midwest, electric can be far cheaper than gas energy.
Always ask which of the apartments appliances run on gas vs electric and what type of gas is used so you can look up local costs in the area to evaluate how much you might be spending monthly.
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.
Average Monthly Utility Cost: $540 Hawaii’s tropical paradise doesn’t come without costs. With utilities, residents pay a staggering $224 a month more than the national average. It is the most expensive state in the country for utilities. Imported oil needed to power Hawaii’s generators is the primary driver behind the enormous expense. Related: The Best and Worst States for Middle-Class Taxpayers
Car Gas Is Also a Utility
There are definitely people out there who would argue against gasoline being a utility. But according to the Small Business Administration, gas is also a utility. It’s not easy to give you an estimate of how much you’d be paying for gas, though, since it mainly depends on the fuel economy of your car and how much you drive. Packing your car to move to Texas will save you some money, but only if the gas price is acceptable. For example, a sports car with a V8 engine would use substantially more fuel than a typical mid-range sedan that the average person drives. You should also expect to pay more for fuel than a sedan or a hatchback if you drive a pickup truck. Hybrid cars are the most economical. One of the most popular cars is the Toyota Prius. If you drive one of those, you are probably one of the people who don’t have to worry about gas very much. We can, however, tell you that Texas has the 4th cheapest gas prices . $2.942 for a regular gallon and $3.258 for a mid-grade gallon.
Tips for Saving on Your Water Bill
Water consumption can be easily reduced. First and foremost, check for leaks in your bathroom or kitchen and fix them. Leaky faucets aren’t just noisy and annoying. They’re also a waste of water. To address this, replace your showerhead with one that is efficient and, while you’re at it, try to take shorter showers, as well.
Meanwhile, the washer and dishwasher will often have an efficient or eco cycle, which can reduce the amount of water being used. In this way, lower-maintenance clothes and lightly used dishes can be washed at colder temperatures and shorter cycles.
Average Monthly Utility Cost: $249 On average, Indiana has the third-lowest utility bills in the country, keeping pace with an overall lower cost of living in much of the Midwest. Approximately 53% of Indiana’s electricity generation comes from coal-fired power plants. As of the last few years, renewable energy is in fact much cheaper than coal, so prices may catch up to Indiana in the future. Related: Tips to Avoid Utility Bill Scams
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.
Your grocery bill likely won’t be too crazy when it comes to figuring out what is the cost of living in Virginia. On the cost of living index, Virginia scored below the national average when it comes to food costs. In Richmond, expect to pay around $300 a month in groceries.
Granted, food costs will vary depending on where you live in Virginia. For instance, in the city of Ashburn food and grocery costs are 4.2% more expensive than in Woodbridge, Virginia.
You’ll also want to budget for nights out on the town, eating at the great restaurants the state has to offer. For a meal at an inexpensive restaurant, your bill will be around $15. A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will cost you around $60.
While Virginia housing may be more expensive, you may be able to save on your utility costs. Virginia utility costs fall below the national average.
Electricity will be your most costly utility with a monthly expense of $124.54. Natural gas comes to around $74.32 per month and your water bill adds up to around $70 per month. For the internet, expect to pay $60. For cable, Virginia residents pay around $85 monthly.
Overall, your total utility costs will come to $414.25 per month. Of course, this total doesn’t include any streaming services or your phone bill. You’ll want to budget accordingly.
Homeowners should set aside around $400 monthly for utility bills. If you’re in an apartment, budget for $100 to $150 in monthly utility bills.
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.
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.
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.
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
Tips for Saving Money on Your Electricity Bill
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.
Typical utility expenses
Utilities are services that keep your home comfortable, functional and safe. These include:
- Heating and cooling
- Sewer use
- Trash and recycling
- Internet, phone and cable