If you are planning your budget for a new apartment a crucial component is your utility bill. You factor in your rent, but what about those pesky electricity and internet bills that pop up once a month? To get a good idea of how much spending cash you’ll have after paying your bills, you should get an idea of what your utilities will cost you. It will largely depend on your usage, but the average utility bill for renters is $100-$150 a month.
What utilities am I responsible for?
Hopefully you asked this question when touring your new home and before signing the lease. In some apartments, your landlord will cover all of your utilities. In most cases, you will be responsible for a portion of your utilities. It is common for a landlord to cover the cost of water, garbage and sewage. If you will be covering the cost of these utilities, expect to pay around $40 for water and $20 for garbage and sewage.
Beyond these utilities, you’ll likely be responsible for paying for electricity, gas, heating, internet and cable.
Plan on your electricity being the largest portion of your utility bills. It’s also probably the most necessary. When considering how much your electricity bill will cost, consider the size of your apartment and the number of tenants living there. One person living in a studio will use a lot less energy than a family of four living in a two bedroom apartment. For a typical apartment household, say one or two people living in a 1 or 2 bedroom, you can expect your electricity utility bill to be around $30-$50 a month if you aren’t running A/C. To save on this bill, invest in energy-efficient products, like energy star labeled appliances or LED light bulbs. For more tips, check out this guide on how to save on you utility bills.
If you live in a hot city like Phoenix or Las Vegas, hopefully you have air conditioning set up in your apartment. Depending on the climate of where you live, running A/C might be necessary. If you live in a cooler neck of the woods, you’re in luck, because A/C is expensive. Running your A/C throughout the month tends to add on an additional $60-$70 to your electricity bill.
Living in a cold city like Rochester that’s going to require a ton of heating during the winter? That’s where your gas bill starts to add up. Heaters powered by gas running throughout the month can cost up to $50 if they are efficient appliances. Heaters powered by electricity will cost a bit more. Other gas appliances, like a gas range stovetop, are cheap. These typically will only be like $10, and that’s if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Internet and Cable
Internet is pretty much a necessity at this point… but cable not so much. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are taking the place of traditional cable in many homes. The internet bill will vary depending on the speed you need. If you hardly use the internet at all, you can get away with the lowest plan. If you are a power user, you might need a top tier plan. For the average consumer who uses middle tier plans, expect to pay around $30-$60 a month for internet.
If you want cable to watch your favorite award shows and sporting events live, most companies will have a bundle deal for cable and internet. Bundling cable with your internet will cost an estimated additional $20-$40, depending on your provider.
Average Utility Bill
The average utility bill for a renter will cost approximately $100-$150. The utility bill for your new home will depend on lots of things, but most importantly where you live and how many people you live with. With no heating or A/C usage, be prepared to spend around $70 – $120 a month for your utilities. If you live in climates that require heavy A/C and heater usage, plan for your average utility bill to reach around $200 monthly.