How Much Do Utilities Cost For An Average Apartment?

How Much Do Utilities Cost For An Average Apartment?

Which are the most affordable states to live in?

three most affordable states to live in are Mississippi, Kansas, and Oklahomaearn an annual salary of about 50,000 U.S. dollars

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.

Video

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Virginia?

The cost of living in Virginia is slightly higher

The cost of living in Virginia is slightly higher than the national average. But, how much do you need to cover all your basic necessities, enjoy a night out once in a while, and have money left to put in your savings? 

Using the 50/30/20 budgeting rule, where 50% of your annual income goes to necessities like housing and food, 30% goes to discretionary costs such as travel and entertainment, and 20% goes to savings, you would need an annual income of $64,947.

Virginia’s median household income is $74,222, making the state a relatively affordable place to live. Granted, if you only make the minimum wage, you may find yourself struggling to earn enough to meet the comfortable living income.

For example, in Richmond, you would need to make at least $15.95 an hour for a living wage. However, the minimum wage in Richmond is $7.25, making it difficult to set aside any earnings for savings.

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…

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 is the Average Water Bill?

The average monthly water bill is around $28 for a single adult and $116 per month for a family household.

Water use and cost is measured per 1,000 gallons. The average cost of water per 1,000 gallons sits at $11.48.

Additionally, the average American is estimated to use 82 gallons of water a day at home. Combined, this data suggests that the average single American racks up a $.94 water use debt daily.

How to Save Money on Your Water Bill

Careless water usage can not only affect your water bill, but it can have detrimental effects on the environment.

Here's how you can reduce your water usage.

  • Invest in a dishwasher. Handwashing dishes can use up to 27 gallons of water, whereas using a dishwasher uses just 3 gallons of water per load.
  • Consider getting an ENERGY STAR certified washing machine: Using an ENERGY STAR certified washing machine can result in 25% less energy use and 33% less water usage than a regular washer.
  • Fix a running toliet Running toilets are those that continuously use water to fill the toilet bowl. These toilets need repairing or replacement, since can cause a loss of up to 26 gallons of water per day.
  • Take shorter showers. A single bath can use up to 50 gallons of water, whereas a 10-minute shower can use as little as 25 gallons of water.

How Much Does Heating and Cooling Your Apartment Cost?

Nearly half of the money spent on an average electricity/gas bill covers heating and air conditioning costs. This averages to over $900 a year for the average American household.

Here's a few tips that’ll help you save big on your heating bill.

  • Invest in a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat reduces unnecessary heating and cooling costs by giving you more control over the settings. Some electricity providers offer incentives for customers who install compliant smart thermostats, so it’s a bonus win.
  • Heat your home more effectively. Unless you live in a place that experiences freezing temperatures, you may get away with reducing your heating costs by simply bunding up a bit more in the cooler months.
  • Don’t rely on A/C alone to cool your home. Limit A/C use by employing other, more eco- and budget-friendly options. Keep your windows open at night to let in cooler air. Then close them during the day to keep warm air out. If possible, keep one room cool and spend more time in there, rather than trying to cool your entire apartment.

Utility costs landlords may cover

When shopping around for an apartment, be sure to

When shopping around for an apartment, be sure to ask the apartment manager for details about utility costs before you sign the lease. Find out what the landlord is responsible for and what you’re responsible for. Be sure to get this written down in the lease if you decide to rent the apartment.

In the apartment listing, you may see a short blurb about what landlords cover.

Some utility costs covered by your landlord may include:

  • Water: Landlords usually cover the cost of water each month. The national average cost of water per unit is around $40 per month.
  • Garbage: The average cost of residential trash collection is between $12 to $20 per month, according to the National Solid Wastes Management Association
  • Electric stove: In older units, landlords may cover the cost of an electric stove

Landlords usually won’t cover the cost of electricity, so be prepared to pay for this.

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.

How to save money on utilities

Consider the following ways to save on energy costs:

  • Appliances: About 13% of a home’s energy costs come from appliances. When buying new models, look for the Energy Star label. Energy Star appliances meet or exceed the federal minimum standards for energy efficiency. For example, a new Energy Star-labeled refrigerator uses at least 15% less energy than one without the label and 40% less than models sold in 2001. Energy Star appliances show their annual energy consumption on their packaging, which lets you compare appliance energy costs.
  • Windows: Leaky or old windows can account for 10%-25% of heating costs due to warm air escaping. Consider replacing windows with double-pane windows or installing storm windows in winter.
  • Lighting: Lighting accounts for about 12% of a home’s energy budget, so changing to energy-efficient bulbs and remembering to turn lights off when they’re not in use can save money. Switching to smart bulbs is another option that can save on energy costs. If you leave home and forget to turn lights off, simply use your smartphone to shut down the smart bulbs remotely so they don’t run for the duration of your absence.

Knowing average household utility costs can help you reduce your use of energy and save money. Of course, there are other factors that go into home ownership and maintenance. Learn about the cost of homeowners insurance and how you can reduce your premium with Nationwide discounts on home insurance.

Utility Costs by Apartment Size

Living in a larger apartment means that you'll be paying more in utilities, but exactly how much more? Here's what you can expect.

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?

Tags

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.