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How Much Are Utilities in an Apartment?

March 3, 2022

Budgeting for your next apartment? Your monthly utility bill is an expense that many people forget about.

What are utilities? Utilities traditionally includes electricity, gas, water, garbage collection, and recycling. Today, the definition of utilities has been expanded to include internet service (WiFi), cable/streaming services, and cell phone service.

Whether you rent or own your home, you’ll likely be required to pay for utilities.

Not sure how much utilities cost in an apartment? We've got you covered.

How Much Do Utilities Cost Per Month in an Apartment?

In the US, the average cost of utilities is $250 a month. This estimate includes the basic utilities - electricity, gas, water, and fuel.

Here’s how much you can expect to pay monthly for each utility:

  • Gas/Fuel: $9-$152 per month
  • Electricity: $98-$192 per month
  • Water: $16 - $81 per month

Additional utilities such a internet, cable, phone, and trash will cost you an average of $189 monthly.

  • Internet: $30-$60 per month
  • Cable: ~$50 per month
  • Phone: ~$94 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 Utilities in Different Apartment Sizes?

Utility costs differ depending on the bedroom type. Not surprisingly, utilities are going to be cheaper in a space that has smaller square footage like a studio or 1-bedroom than a larger space.

  • The average utility bill for a studio apartment is $121
  • The average utility bill for a 1-Bedroom apartment is $126
  • The average utility bill for a 2-Bedroom apartment is $198
  • The average utility bill for a 3-Bedroom apartment is $259
  • The average utility bill for a 4-Bedroom apartment is $328
Bed SizeElectricity CostGas CostWater CostFuel CostTotal Cost
Studio$84.04$16.34$19.27$1.08$120.73
1 Bedroom$84.46$18.85$21.11$1.44$125.86
2 Bedroom$119.38$37.36$36.41$4.3$197.46
3 Bedroom$153.93$52.21$45.79$7.26$259.19
4+ Bedroom$191.59$70.41$57.47$8.76$328.22

Are Utilities Included in My Rent?

There are options to rent apartments with utilities included. Typically, these apartments will cover the essentials: electric, gas, water, sewage, and trash. It’s not common to find an apartment with utilities included that goes beyond these basics. Keeping this in mind, you’ll still need to create a line item for other utilities like internet, cable, and phone in your budget.

How Much is the Average Electricity Bill?

Your electricity bill will likely be the largest portion of your total utility bill. For a typical one-bedroom apartment with no A/C or heater usage, your electricity bill will likely be around $84.

Two major contributing factors of cost include:

1. The Size of Your Apartment: The bigger the home the more space you’ll have to heat or cool if those appliances are electric. Consider both your floor space and the height of your ceiling.

2. The Number of Roommates: Prepare for your electricity bill to be significantly higher if you live with roommates.

How to Save Money on Your Electricity Bill

The best way to save money on your electricity bill is to target habits and appliances that drive costs up.

Here are some of the biggest electricity drainers and how to reduce their use.

  • A/C &/or Space Heater: These two appliances combine for over 32% of residential electricity usage. Though you don’t have to toss these appliances to the curb, simply reduce your use of them for big savings.
  • Water Heater: Water heating makes up 14% of residential electricity usage. Most water heaters are set to 140℉, but only need to be set at 120℉.
  • Lighting: Lighting makes up over 10% of electricity usage in the average American household. Invest in energy-efficient LED light bulbs and remember to turn down the lights.
  • Electricity Provider: Have you done a cost analysis of electricity costs by provider? If not, get on it — you could be overspending. Switching providers takes less than 5 minutes, which can save you up to 40% a month.

How Much is the Average Gas Bill?

Hot water, heating, and your stove could all impact your gas bill. Your average gas bill will likely be around $9 to $152 per month, but it'll depend 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 will typically be lumped together. 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 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. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to reduce gas use.

Here are three heating and cooling tips to help you lower your gas bill.

  • Don't turn your heat all the way down. 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. In cooler months, 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 homes or an apartment unit!
  • Reduce oven use in the summer. If possible, stick to stovetop recipes in the summer months. Heating a gas-powered oven can use up a lot of gas and oven use in warmer months can cause your apartment to heat up.

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.

How Much is the Average Internet Bill?

The cost of an internet bill for your typical user will be around $30-$60 a month depending on your usage.

When selecting an internet provider, consider how many devices will be using the internet and what they’ll be doing. If you just casually browse the web or social media, you can make do with a cheaper plan. Speeds of about 6-10 Mbps should be adequate for your usage.

For internet activities that require more data such as video streaming or online gaming, you’re going to need faster speeds. Look for a plan with speeds of at least 20+ Mbps. If you're a remote worker and want to get rid of any lag issues, you’ll want to bump that up to 50+ Mbps.

If your internet connection is spotty, look into Wi-Fi extenders. These can provide you with a more steady connection without you having to upgrade your plan.

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!

  • Buy your own modem or router. Avoid paying the monthly rental fee for these devices by making a one-time purchase. Just be aware that you'll have to send back any equipment to avoid accruing fees for the equipment you aren't using.
  • Bundle your services. If you’re working with a provider that offers cellular, cable, or additional services, check out their bundling rates. You may be able to save big on your bill and get higher speeds and bandwidth just by opting into a bundled service.
  • Call your provider. Giving customer service a call to let them know that you’re considering switching services can result in matched or even lower rates than the competition.

How Much Is the Average Wi-Fi Bill?

Depending on your region, you’ll be able to make a selection based on your preferences and WiFi needs. There are a ton of internet providers in the US, so price and download speeds will likely play a major role in your decision in how much your Wi-Fi bill will cost.

Here are some of the cheapest internet service plans offered by the top providers in the US. Keep in mind that some providers offer slower speeds for certain regions. The ones below are the most widely available and offer at least 50 Mbps:

  • Verizon: $39.99 per month @ 200 Mbps
  • AT&T: $49.99 per month @ 50 Mbps
  • CenturyLink: $50.00 per month @ 100 Mbps
  • T-Mobile: $50.00 per month @ 100 Mbps
  • Xfinity: $64.99 per month @ 50 Mbps
  • Spectrum: $74.99 per month @ 200 Mbps

For internet plans, internet providers often run promotions with deep discounts and promotional offers that typically last anywhere from 12 - 24 months. Customers are typically expected to cover the cost of any promotional services and pay the standard monthly rate after this period.

There are a number of different features that can play a major impact on your Wifi bill, including automatic bill pay enrollment, setup costs, equipment rental, and more, so always read the fine print.

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.

Average Utility Bills by City

Making a move to a new city, and not sure how much your new utility bill will be? Find out how much the average utility costs will be in your next home to properly map out your monthly budget.

CitiesAverage Electricity BillAverage Gas BillAverage Water BillAverage Fuel BillTotal Average Utility Bill
New York, NY$144.72$83.44$39.70$15.80$283.65
Los Angeles, CA$139.16$47.38$58.68$0.45$245.67
Chicago, IL$110.49$79.70$47.92$0.58$238.69
Dallas, TX$169.77$31.15$59.63$0.50$261.05
Houston, TX$165.16$28.30$46.20$0.49$240.15
Philadelphia, PA$144.67$71.84$48.82$13.46$278.80
Atlanta, GA$149.91$58.15$40.86$0.86$249.78
Washington, DC$144.79$54.36$47.41$4.50$251.06
Miami, FL$160.05$5.72$52.87$0.33$218.97
Boston, MA$144.90$79.25$49.16$29.57$302.88

Frequently Asked Questions

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 of a one-bedroom apartment costs $85 per month, depending on varying circumstances such as the number of people living in the apartment, the size of the apartment, and the number of energy-efficient appliances.

How much is the average gas bill?

The average gas bill of a one-bedroom apartment costs $19 per month, depending on several factors, including usage, where you live, and your appliances.

How much is the average water bill?

The average water bill for a single adult is $21 per month. It varies on depending on usage, where you live, and ENERGY STAR appliances in the apartment.

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. If you have found an apartment that includes utilities, typically this will cover the essentials: electric, gas, water, sewage, and trash.

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AUTHOR
Justin is a Content Manager and contributing author at Apartment List, helping people navigate the world of renting. Justin previously spent his time earning his BBA in Marketing from Boise State University. Read More
DAVINA WARD
Davina Ward is a contributing author at Apartment List and freelance writer specializing in real estate and digital marketing. She received her B. Read More
SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE
Rob is a senior research associate at Apartment List, where he examines trends in the housing and rental markets. Previously he worked in public health policy, and before that, graduated from UCLA with a degree in Globalization. Read More
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