How Much Are Utilities in an Apartment? 
Budgeting for your next apartment? Your monthly utility bill is an expense many people aren't fully prepared for, with as many as 20% of Americans struggling to pay their energy bill in full at least once.
Beyond your electricity, utilities traditionally include cooking gas, water, garbage collection, and recycling. Today, utilities also often refers to internet service (WiFi), cable/streaming, and cell phone service. Wondering how to budget for all those costs? We've got you covered.
How Much Are Utilities?
How Much Do Utilities Cost Per Month in an Apartment?
The average monthly cost of utilities in the US is $133.04 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. This estimate includes the basic utilities - electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage.
Here’s how much you can expect to pay monthly for each utility for a one-bedroom apartment:
- Gas/Fuel: $19.71 per month
- Electricity: $89.76 per month
- Water: $22.12 per month
- Mobile: $144 per month
Add-ons such as internet, cable, phone, and trash will increase your cost of utilities in an apartment to $189 monthly.
- Internet/Cable: $69.75 per month (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)
- Phone: $127.37 per month
- Trash: varies by city
That said, the cost of utilities varies by several different factors, including location, usage, utility providers, and home size.
How Much Are Apartment Utilities (in Different Apartment Sizes?)
Utility costs differ depending on the bedroom type. Unsurprisingly, utilities are often cheaper in spaces with smaller square footage like a studio or 1-bedroom.
- The average utility bill for a studio apartment is $127.13
- The average utility bill for a 1-Bedroom apartment is $133.04
- The average utility bill for a 2-Bedroom apartment is $201.93
- The average utility bill for a 3-Bedroom apartment is $265.86
- The average utility bill for a 4-Bedroom apartment is $334.31
Average Utility Bills by City
Moving to a new city and not sure how much your new utility bill will be? Determine the average utility costs in your next home to properly map out your monthly budget.
|New York, NY
|Los Angeles, CA
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How Much Is the Average Cost for Electricity Per Month?
The average electric bill for a 1 bedroom apartment with no A/C or heater usage will likely be around $84 each month. In most cases, the electric bill for an apartment will likely be the largest portion of your total utilities.
You should expect your electricity to spike during summer, especially in the South or warm rental markets. You should also inquire whether or not your heat uses electricity or a radiator, which can impact your average heating bill.
How Much Is the Average Gas Bill Per Month?
Hot water, heating, and your stove could all impact your typical gas bill per month. Your average gas bill will likely be around $19.72 monthly in a one-bedroom apartment, depending on your appliances, where you live, and usage. Natural gas appliances tend to be cheaper than their electric counterparts, something to consider while apartment hunting.
Your gas bill and electric bill may be lumped together. However, going on your utility provider’s website and looking at a bill summary will give you an overview of your gas and electricity usage.
How Much Is the Average Apartment Water Bill?
The average monthly water bill is measured per 1,000 gallons and costs around $22.12 for a one-bedroom apartment. The average water bill for a 2 bedroom apartment costs $36.64. The average cost of water per 1,000 gallons sits at $12.98.
The average American uses 82 gallons of water daily at home. This data suggests that the average American family racks up at least $1,000 a year on water. However, you can use 20% less by installing water-efficient fixtures and appliances to quickly reduce your apartment water bill.
How Much Does Heating and Cooling Your Apartment Cost?
The cost of heating and cooling comes from your gas and electric bills, which total $109.47 per month or $1,330.78 a year for the average one-bedroom apartment. Nearly half of the money spent on an average electricity/gas bill covers heating and air conditioning costs. However, costs vary considerably by location.
Depending on which city you live in, as well as how efficient your apartment is, your electricity and gas bill could deviate from the average substantially. For example, if you live in New York City and have a window AC unit, you can just cool your bedroom and skip your living room unless you plan to use it that day.
In Chicago, you’ll probably need to use more heat in the winter, but you may be able to reduce your average cost of utilities per month with some creativity:
- Open up the curtains on a sunny day
- Wear warmer clothes around your apartment
- Adding insulating tape and materials around your windows
- Add a door draft stopper to your doors
- Adjust your thermostat by a few degrees
Even small adjustments to your lifestyle, like warmer clothing, can help you stay on top of your apartment bills during winter.
How Much Is the Average Internet Bill?
The cost of an average monthly internet bill for your typical user will be around $69.74 a month (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL), depending on your usage. However, you may be able to downgrade your plan to something cheaper if you just plan to browse the web or update your social media.
Internet activities requiring more data, such as video streaming or online gaming, need at least 20+ Mbps plans. Remote workers who want to avoid lag time must bump that to 50+ Mbps. WiFi extenders can also help bolster your connection without upgrading your plan.
Other Utility Bills to Consider
Electricity, gas, water, and the internet are essential utilities. However, there are a few other bills you'll want to consider.
Average cable bills are around $50 a month, and upgrading can put you in the $70-$80 range for all extras. The top-tier packages could put you over $100 a month.
If you can’t live without cable, you have several options with varying price tags. Lower-tier packages might suit your needs just fine and can be as cheap as $20.
If you ditched cable TV, or are thinking about it, these services offer a ton of variety and often have full seasons of shows you can watch on cable. Better yet, all these streaming services cost under $20 a month, and some give discounts when bundling.
Here's a look at the monthly cost of some popular streaming service options:
- Netflix: $6.99 - $19.99
- Disney+: $8 - $11
- Hulu: $7.99 - $14.99
- Apple TV+: $6.99
- HBO Max: $10 - $16
- Amazon Prime Video: $14.99
- Paramount Plus: $5 - $10
- Peacock: $5 - $10
- Discovery Plus: $4.99 - $6.99
Many cable providers offer discounts when you bundle different services, including internet and mobile. If you’re having a great experience with your provider, try switching your services to a single provider that could help maximize your savings.
According to recent data, the average American spends $144 a month or $1,728 a year on their cell phone bill, which is around the price of most smartphones. 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 any add-ons you may have.
Garbage and Recycling
For most renters, your trash collection is usually bundled into your rent, not something you pay separately. If you are in charge of the fee, trash rates are typically determined by local-level governments or private waste collection companies. They will greatly vary depending on where you live.
For example, in Santa Monica, California, residents pay a set garbage collection fee based on their resident type and cart size. A multifamily unit with a 65-gallon cart pays a monthly fee of $83.55. Those in Athens County, Georgia, must pay $55.70 monthly for a large 64-gallon cart.
Depending on where you live, you may enjoy free parking as part of your monthly rent. Some communities assign parking spots to each tenant or offer a communal lot. However, parking is scarce in downtown apartment complexes or cities like New York and comes at a premium price tag.
Maintenance is usually the landlord's responsibility, depending on the issue. Check your lease agreement, but the landlord should take care of maintaining a broken refrigerator or broken lock. However, you’re usually responsible for damage caused by your pets or guests, such as stains on the carpet.
Apartment Utilities: How-to Savings Guide
Utilities quickly eat into your monthly budget, but there are ways to save each month to reduce your bills.
How to Save Money on Your Electricity Bill
If you’re tired of spending an arm and a leg on your electricity bills, here are some simple ways to adjust your lifestyle and daily habits to keep your spending in check.
- Use Natural Light: Make use of natural light during the day instead of turning on lights. Open blinds and curtains to let in natural light.
- Switch to LED Bulbs: LED bulbs use significantly less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can save you money over time.
- Adjust Your Thermostat: During the summer, set your thermostat to 78°F and during winter 68°F, or adjust when you’re away (hotter in summer and colder in winter) to save on utilities.
- Use Fans: Use fans to circulate air and help cool or warm a room. This can help you feel more comfortable and reduce your reliance on air conditioning or heating.
- Seal Air Leaks: Seal air leaks around doors and windows with weatherstripping or caulking to prevent air from escaping and reduce the load on your HVAC system.
- Unplug Electronics When Not in Use: Many electronics continue to draw power even when they are not turned on. Unplugging them when not in use can save you money on your electricity bill.
Simply paying attention to your electricity consumption can reduce your bill each month. Combine those efforts with keeping your gas consumption down to save even more.
Check out these great saving tips from the Today Show!
How to Save Money on Your Gas Bill
When it comes to gas use, heating and cooling are going to be the primary culprits of a high gas bill, but there are some quick tips to help you lower the costs.
- Avoid Reducing Heat to the Minimum Setting: It takes more energy and gas to heat your home warmer from 50℉ to 65℉ than it would take to heat it from 60℉ to 65℉.
- Reduce Drafts: Poorly-insulated windows and doors can be drafty which reduces the efficiency of your heating. Take time to identify and reduce drafts in your home, especially if you live in an older apartment unit!
- Lower Thermostats in the Winter: Dropping your thermostat just a few degrees could lower your bills and still keep you comfortable.
- Reduce Oven use in the Summer: If possible, stick to stovetop recipes in the summer months, but during winter months, heating a gas-powered oven can help keep your apartment warm.
Once you get a handle on your heating and cooling, you can also tackle your water consumption to see a reduction in your bills.
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.
- Fix Leaks Promptly: Even a small leak can lead to a significant increase in your water bill over time. Be sure to report any leaks to your landlord or property management company right away.
- Use Water-saving Fixtures: Installing low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators can significantly reduce your water usage, helping you save money on your monthly bill.
- Take Shorter Showers: Shortening your showers by just a few minutes can save a significant amount of water over time.
- Don't Leave Water Running Unnecessarily: Be mindful of turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, shaving, or doing dishes to reduce water usage and save money on your monthly bill.
- Only Run a Full Dishwasher: Running these appliances with full loads can help reduce the number of cycles and save water and energy.
- Consider Using a Water-saving Toilet: Ask your landlord or property management company to replace an old toilet that may consume too much water and install a water-saving toilet.
Water is a must-have, but these days it’s difficult to get by without Internet access, which can add a premium to your monthly bills.
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!
- Shop Around for Deals: Research and compare internet service providers (ISPs) in your area to find the most affordable plan and don’t be afraid to negotiate to find a better deal.
- Consider Bundling: Some ISPs offer discounts when you bundle two or more services across internet, TV, and phone.
- Avoid Long-term Contracts: Don’t assume long-term contracts are a good deal, a month-to-month or short-term contracts offer more flexibility to switch plans as needed.
- Rent or Buy Your Own Modem and Router: Most ISPs charge a monthly rental fee for their modem and router, but you can save money by purchasing your own equipment instead.
- Monitor Your Usage: Make sure you're not going over your data limit and incurring extra fees. Use tools like data usage trackers to monitor your usage and adjust your plan if necessary.
- Negotiate with Your Landlord: If your landlord pays for internet as part of your rent, see if you can negotiate a lower rate or switch to a more affordable ISP.
- Use Streaming Services: Consider cutting cable and using streaming services, which can be more affordable than traditional cable TV.
- Limit Unnecessary Features: Some ISPs come with premium features, such as high speed or unlimited data, so make sure they’re necessary before signing-up.
Final Thoughts on Utility Costs
Budgeting for all the extras like electricity isn’t always straightforward, but now you have an idea of the average cost of utilities. Remember to consider surges in hot or cold climates and set aside extra money for utilities in case of an emergency, like a blizzard rolls through and you need to crank up the heat.
The good news is there are always ways to save on utilities by monitoring your daily habits, bundling services, and doing your homework on the latest deals. Or you can look for apartments where most, if not all, of your utilities are included in your rent.
Ready to find the perfect apartment? Take our quiz to find your next apartment!
Other FAQs about Utilities
How much are utilities per month for one person?
The average cost of utilities for a one-bedroom apartment in the U.S. is $133.04. However, if you share utilities with roommates, that cost could be lower. For example, the average cost of utilities for a 3-Bedroom apartment is $265.86, but split three ways, that total is only $88.62 per person. These estimates include gas, electric, water, and fuel.
What are the different types of utilities?
The different types of utilities include the basics, such as electricity, gas, water, and sewage. Other types of utilities may include things such as the internet, cable, and phone.
How much is the average electricity bill?
The average electricity bill according to the latest census data $150.93 per month. For a one bedroom apartment, the cost of the average electricity bill goes down to $89.76 per month across the United States.
How much is the average gas bill?
The average gas bill across all categories is currently $51.12 according to the latest census data. The most expensive state for gas is Michigan, with an average of $86.89 a month.
How much is the average water bill?
The average water bill for a single household is $45.52 per month. Hawaii has the highest water prices at $75.96 on average per month.
How much is the average Wi-Fi bill?
The average Wi-Fi bill ranges from $40-$75 per month, depending on factors, including where you live, download speed, and added features (such as streaming services).
Are utilities are included in your rent?
Utilities are not typically included in your rent unless explicitly stated in your lease agreement. However, if you have found an apartment that includes utilities, typically this will cover the essentials: electric, gas, water, sewage, and trash. We wrote a guide if you're interested in learning more about apartments with utilities included.
Why is my energy bill so high?
Your energy bill might have gone up due to an increase in rates, usage, or sometimes due to error. First, locate your current and previous utility bills, and check both the rates and usage to see if either have gone up. If your usage has increased, try to identify why. These days, electric companies can show you a breakdown of your energy usage by appliance type (refrigerator, dishwasher, etc.). You can often find this information in an online account. Use this information to determine whether you could have an appliance on the fritz.
Often, we change our routine or habits in some way that can lead to incremental increases without realizing it. If you can't find detailed information about your energy usage from your utility account, try thinking through your average weekday and weekend and reflect carefully to decide if anything has changed. If you are sure your usage didn't increase, contact the utility company to determine next steps.
What is cheaper to heat your home?
Natural gas is usually the cheapest home heating option. The average monthly gas cost for a 1-bedroom apartment is $19.71, though it will likely be higher in winter months. The second most affordable option is electricity.
Is it cheaper to leave your heating on all day?
It is not cheaper to leave your heating on all day. It is more cost effective to adjust your heating to a comfortable setting only when people are in your house. Good insulation is key to heat efficiency at any time of day.