How Much Do Utilities Cost in an Average Apartment?

How Much Do Utilities Cost in an Average Apartment?

What are average utility costs?

A study from the U.S. Energy Administration report

A study from the U.S. Energy Administration reported that the average monthly energy bill was about $112. Depending on where you live (hot or cold climates) and how much energy you consume, this could be your biggest expense.

Renters may pay about 20 percent of rent on utilities. If you have roommates, this cost may go down to about 10 percent. (It pays to live with others!)

To give you an idea, here are some average numbers for how much apartment utilities cost each month:

  • Electricity: $70 (excluding air/heat/stove)
  • Air conditioning: $65 (averaged over the year)
  • Heat: $65 (averaged over the year)
  • Internet and cable: $100 (depends on the services you choose)
  • Water: $50
  • Trash and recycling: $20
  • Renters insurance: $13 (about $150 billed annually)
  • Parking: Highly dependent on area, could be $150 in urban areas
  • Cooking gas: $10
  • Total costs: ~$400 (more if high-priced parking is necessary)

When it comes to cooking, you might pay anywhere from $15 to $100 per month on your gas bill depending on how often you use your gas cooking range or oil heater. If your apartment uses an electric stove or heater, your gas bill will be significantly less, if not already bundled with the cost of your rent.

You might not be directly responsible for everything above, and they’re just estimates, which can be higher or lower than your actual utility costs.

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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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Minnesota

Average Monthly Utility Cost: $286 Despite frigid winters, Minnesotans don’t see astronomical utility prices. In fact, the average bill is lower than the national average. Minnesota has some of the lowest natural gas prices in the country and has generated 22% of its electricity from wind power as of 2020. It ranks ninth in the nation for total wind energy generation, which is a more cost-effective source of energy generation. 

How much are utilities in a 2 or 3-bedroom apartment?

For a two to three-bedroom, you’re looking at closer to $150-$200 per month for basic utilities and the same $100-$200 premium for internet and cable. But if you create a fair system for dividing bills each roommate can get away with only paying $100 per person, given that everyone’s consumption habits are similar.

Georgia

Average Monthly Utility Cost: $277 If you want to enjoy pleasant temperatures with lower costs, Georgia may be the place to go rather than Florida. With about 40% of homes heated with natural gas, though, recent price increases are likely to drive up this average. Utility company Georgia Power also began hiking rates after the release of the Doxo study to pay for the construction of a nuclear power plant.  Related: Ways to Upgrade Your Home That Will Save Money in 2022

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 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.

How Much is the Average Heating Bill?

The cost of heating for an apartment may be billed separately and will vary throughout the year. The biggest factors impacting cost are the size of the apartment, the height of the ceilings, and the type of energy used.

Overall the monthly cost for apartments is an average of $40-$150+

Tips to Save Money on your Gas Bill

Optimize Your Thermostat

If its possible, see if you can have a smart thermostat installed. Although you’ll incur an initial cost here buying a new thermostat, these intelligent thermostats use everything from the projected weather report, to your personal preferences on comfort and even when you’ll be away at work to optimize temperature settings throughout the day.

Can’t install a smart thermostat in your apartment? You still have options without upgrading your thermostat. According to Energy.gov estimates, lowering your temperature by 7-10 degrees for ONLY 8 hours a day can save residents 10% or more on your gas bill yearly.

Similarly, setting and leaving your thermostat at 68 degrees during the summer and winter can offer a perfect blend of cost savings on your gas bill and moderate comfort no matter the season.

Turn Down the Heat on the Water Heater

Did you know that the hot water heater accounts for up to 16% of energy costs in an apartment? If you have access, see if you can turn it down, this is a good way to save on your gas bill. Most hot water heaters are set too hot anyway.

You want to find a temperature that is hot enough to be comfortable but not scalding. As a general rule, 120-degrees Fahrenheit is a good starting temperature to test. And don’t worry about your dishwasher. It has its own internal heating element to heat up water when needed.

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.

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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