How much will my average electric bill be? Can I afford to pay both my rent and my utilities? Those are typical questions we get from our readers. While we have covered this topic many times already, we decided to find out what millennials actually paid for electricity, cable/internet, water and garbage collection last month (July).
AVERAGE UTILITY BILLS SURVEY SUMMARY
Average monthly rent reported in the survey was $1,341 and average utility costs were $240 a month, or equal to 18% of the rent. See the chart below for averages for different size apartments and different regions in the country.
The big take-away of the survey is that first time renters should assume that utilities will equal about 18% of their rent, with a range of 11-21%, depending on their location and the type of rental. For example, water and garbage collection are usually included in the rent in your live in an apartment building, but need to be included in your expense planning if you plan to rent a house or a townhouse.
AVERAGE UTILITY BILLS SURVEY DETAILS
The detailed survey results are below. Our 50 survey responses came from 26 different states, so in addition to national averages, we were also able to calculate how the utility costs vary by region.
Only one survey respondent was lucky enough to have all the utilities included in the rent, while everyone else also had to pay for some utilities, typically electric and cable/internet. Renters living on the Southern states also had to often pay for water and garbage collection.
You’ll notice that we did not ask about heating costs in the survey. Two reasons: first, it’s for July (!) and second, heat is usually included in the rent. Only if you rent a house or townhouse, you can expect to pay your heating costs separately. When that is the case, you need to find out from the landlord or the previous tenant how much the heating bills will run.
Also, we did not ask about parking or pet fees that may also get added to your rent bill because they are not really utilities. If we missed any other type of utilities please note in the comments.
Finally, thanks to all the survey participants who shared their actual rent and costs with us. The winner of the $50 prize was Alize from Greenville, SC.
Hey, I am currently 17 and I am looking to move into an apartment as soon as I turn 18 on January 19th, 2021 and I would be moving into a 4 bed 4 bath apartment with college roomates in Austin, Texas. And the rent is 500 a month plus utilities how much in utilities would I be looking to pay split between 4 people and also what would the moving process be like for me since I have no credit or any history ? (also don’t have any cosigners its just me)
I have a 680 sq ft 2 bed 1 bath apt. I normally have a $200 electric bill from my provider (PG&E) is that actually normal? Before I went on their flat rate plan it would sometimes jump to over $300 in the summer time. Keep In mind my ac is actually normally running due to the non existent insulation in my unit/building. We also only have single pane windows, and in summer my bedroom gets so hot my laptop will shutoff in order to not overheat.
cleaning suplies how much?
Hi, I am looking to move into Middletown, CT into a one bedroom (725sq) for $975. Water and trash removal are included but not the heat. How much should I expect to pay in heat and electricity?
Since we have no information about what kind of heating system and how well insulated the place is, start budgeting utilities at 20% of rent. If you can ask the current tenant or the landlord how much they have been paying. You could also contact your electric company for an estimate if the heating system is electric. Good luck!
my electric bill has been over 100 for an apartment that’s less than 700 sq ft. rent is 700 and 50 more covers the water and gas. most recently i had a bill for 219. how ?? am i paying so much without using my two 8’ wall electric heaters over “comfort zone” setting and not turning lights on often? am i literally paying for the whole building? i feel like i’ve lost a months rent in electric bills alone.
Depending where you live, and if your apartment has electric heating and is not well insulated, it is possible that your electric bill could double during the “polar vortex season” in the North. It is also possible that someone is stealing your electricity somehow. Ask your electric utility for energy audit. They can tell you if your usage is reasonable and how to lower it. Let us know what you find. Good luck!
The inlaw has 2 doors.my neighbor rent the 1 door has 1 bedroom for rent and the second door has 2 bedroom for rent and we lived this 2 bedroom it is correct that i paid $126 a month of water bill and $100 electric bill amonth sometimes i paid more.pls.reply if it is correct that i paid this high utilities and we are 4 people living in 2 bedroom?
While these numbers don’t look alarmingly high, you might want to have the electric company and water company verify that your meter does not also include your neighbor’s use. Ask your neighbor about their bills, if you are on speaking terms. And make sure your faucets and toilets are not leaking and wasting water and you turn off lights and a/c whenever you can. Good luck!
We live in law in small 2 bedroom here in san francisco.we are 4 people living.my 2 kids and my husband and me.i always paid $126 a month sometimes more for water bills.and my electric bil is $100 or more a month to the landlord.it is correct bill or not?pls.help me about my question
Hi ill be moving in a 563sq ft 1bedroom & 1bathroom apartment in virginia beach virginia
The rent will be $942 & i have to pay for electric,water,& trash do you know how much ill be paying for my utilities(water,electric,trash) ?
Did you ask your landlord for an estimate. Just as a rough idea, budget $60-$70 for electric, $30-$40 for water and $20 or so for trash. So somewhere in the $110-$130 range. Remember to also budget for internet/cable, $50-$100, so your total will be $200+. Let us know what your actual bills are after you move. Good luck!
748 sq ft apartment in Chicago suburb the we cover our own electric and they want us to pay 90 dollars on top of the rent for all other utilities. Thoughts?
Which other utilities? Internet? Water? Heat? Garbage collection? Cooking gas?
In a rental apartment building, heat, water, gas and garbage are typically included in the rent. Charging for these separately on top of the stated rent looks like an effort to make the rent seem lower than it actually is compared to other places in the area. Tenant usually pays electric and internet/cable separately. If those are included, then it may be a good deal.
Let us know what you find. Good luck!
My apartment in NYC is only about 400sq feet if that. We have 2 small bedrooms a short hall small kitchen and a bathroom and no living room. We have one ac unit we barely use. We rarely use the stove. Everything is included in rent aside from gas and electric. Rent is 1217.50 for me, 2485 total. What should our gas and electric cost per month total?
Start estimating about $100 a month, but if you have to crank up the A/C, then it could double. Cooking gas is probably $20 or less a month, unless you are big bakers. Good luck!
My and my boyfriend are expecting and we’re going to be moving into a two bedroom apartment in Michigan. The rent cost is 900 a month and the only utility not included is electric. How much extra would that be a month?
Your starting point for an estimate is probably in the $100 range, unless the heat is electric. Your best bet is to ask your future landlord and the local utility for an estimate. Will you have cable/internet? Don’t forget those costs, they should be factored in also. Good luck!
Why energy companies urge consumers to conserve energy during peak usage times…
It’s easy to understand why a conservationist would ask you to limit your energy use – to reduce environmental damage due to energy production, to reduce green house gasses or to reduce the depletion of natural resources. But why do companies like Sempra Energy tell you, the consumer and rate payer, to use less electricity thus paying less on your monthly utilities bill? Aren’t they retailers who depend on your monthly payments for their profit margins? Yes they are and they have insanely high profit margins in all but the poorest markets like the Midwest and east where industry has moved off shore and to China. Even there they are subsidized by Uncle Sam. To keep this rant short and interesting I will give it to you in a nut shell – Equipment Costs!!! To put electricity into your house requires a lot of expensive components to insure that the power that runs your delicate electronics in the average house is the correct voltage and amperage. And why is this necessary? Because the manufacturers of said electronics build the cheapest device they can get away with, which doesn’t include protective circuits to keep incorrect electricity from frying the circuits and components of your IPad or Smart Appliances, etc. Instead, they tell you to buy a voltage correcting device like an UPS, (uninterruptible power supply, or uninterruptible power source), plus a surge protector power strip, both of them are made by the their company and made available for you to buy at an additional cost. So, back to the energy companies, if you and your neighbors use a lot of energy during the hottest part of the day or at 4:00 PM or when everyone is getting home from jobs where the AC was set at 70%, so that the consumer will have a pleasant shopping experience. And then you come home to a house that’s 95% you all want to turn the AC to 70%. This puts a heavy load on the power companies equipment that is conditioning and delivering power to your house. The large surge or load on that equipment will sometimes blow it up, because it was built as cheaply as possible to handle everyday loads. Fixing this causes increased power delivery costs not covered by consumer bills.
In the long run they will raise the rates to cover the fact that consumers are using less electricity just like the water suppliers have done in the wake of water conservation in the Southwest.
You Just Can’t Win…
Me&my husband and my 2boys moving 2 bedroom apartment worthington oh for$ 909 a month and all utilities separate. How much would they be?
Start by budgeting 20% of your rent, or about $180. However, if you also have to pay for heat, living in OH, it could run much higher in winter. Ask your landlord for an estimate. Good luck!
My girlfriend and I are moving into a 1 bedroom apartment in Germantown, Maryland for $1210 a month and utilities seperate. How much would they be?
It’s impossible to estimate without more details, but probably somewhere between $100-$200, depending on season. Ask your landlord for an estimate. They will know.
MY boyfriend and i are moving into a 700sqft one bedroom for 775, which includes the gas,water,heat,and trash. I think we just have to pay our electricity. How much do you think it’ll cost per month? (Minnesota)
Probably somewhere in the $60-$75 range, twice that during hot summer months. Ask your landlord for a rough estimate. Good luck!
I’ll be moving into a 1br apartment in Bristol CT, heat and hot water will be included in the rent which will be $650 how much would you say my electric bill would be?
Budget for electric about $60 a month. If you are also getting internet, then use our formula for utilities, 20% or rent or $130. Good luck!
I will be moving into a 1500sq ft apartment in MO. Our rent already includes internet and cable, so we’d only have to par for electric, trash and water/sewer. Do you have an estimate on how much that would be? (Keep in mind 3 out of 4 of us are students)
Being students you probably have some equipment charging or otherwise using electricity at all times, so your bill will run $100-$150 a month, more in summer. Trash and water rates wary even more than electric, so it’s hard to estimate. You should each plan to budget at least $50-75 a month for your utilities, depending on season. Good luck!
Me and my fiance our moving out. The apartment we are looking at is 610sq ft for 660. We are trying to move to Concord, NC.How much will electrity and water be?
Start with our rule-of-thumb, or 20% of your rent = $132 and ask your future landlord for an estimate. Good luck!
i will be moving out soon with my husband and i was wondering how much in electricity will i average a month for just us two. he makes an average of at least 2,500-3000 a month and i make about 1600 a month. it will just be us two in an apartment of a one bedroom or 2 bedroom. all utilities included except gas and electricity.
Your electric will be in the $100 a month range in most areas, double that during the heavy air conditioning season. If gas is only for cooking and maybe clothes dryer, add another $25 a month. Good luck!
Hello, I am a student graduating high school this may and currently live in Fort Washington, MD. I am planning on moving to somewhere in North Seattle or somewhere at least 30 minutes or so away from Shoreline Community College. I need help calculating moving costs along with the monthly utilities. Could you please give me an estimate of how much I would be spending during the move and for the year if I moved?
Also I would be aiming to live in either a studio or 1 bedroom apartment.
You can calculate an estimate yourself by doing a little online research.
1.) Find out rent levels in North Seattle. You might even check if the school has a housing office or some advising for new students.
2.) Decide how you’ll move – by car, U-Haul, etc. Then call for estimates or google.
3.) We estimate utilities roughly at 20% of rent, but actual depends what is typically included in rent in the area.
Let us know what you find, and we’ll double check. Good luck!
My fiancé and I are moving into a 1 bedroom, 660 sq ft apartment. We will have to pay for all utilities. Any ideas how much it’ll be?
It’s not possible to estimate this very closely because you did not say where the apartment is located and what utilities you have to pay for. Electric? Trash? Water? Heat? Internet? It could be anywhere from $100 to $200+, if you live in a townhouse type situation in the South or West, with high water costs. Check with your landlord or the previous tenant, if you can, for a closer estimate. Good luck!
I am doing a project for my duel enrollment course and I need to calculate the amount payed for electric and other utilities per month for a 523 sq. ft. apartment in Tampa, fl. I have tried to look up the averages for electric and other utilities bills per month but nothing has helped. high speed internet, waste disposal, heating, and AC are included in the monthly payments for the apartment.
If internet, waste disposal, heat and A/C are included in rent, you only have to pay extra for electric and possibly water. Assume about $50 for electric, and about $30-$50 for water. Good luck!
I’m doing an assignment for economics, and I would need to know what the average apartment utilities would cost.
It depends on what size apartment, where in the country it’s located and what is included in rent.
Our rule of thumb is in most areas you should plan to spend an amount equal to about 20% of your rent on utilities. So if your rent is $1,000, plan for $200.
However, if you live in a large city with high rents, the amount is more like 10% of rent or even less for large expensive apartments. Also, utilities tend to be less in apartments in large rental buildings and more for townhouses and private homes.
Also, google utility costs on our site for more information.
Are these monthly costs?
I’m looking for a 2 bedroom apartment for me, im due December and im not sure how much i.would be paying for electric.. is 150 too high?
My parents are charging me rent, even tho I don’t eat there & i work all day and do school at night.. so how much would 1 standard size bedroom use in cost for utilities?
Also, they think i should pay 300 a month… I think 150 would be reasonable as all I do is sleep, and if I’m there just watch netflix.
Not knowing where you live it’s hard to tell if a roommate share would be less than $300. In most places, probably not. And the fact that you only sleep in your room has no impact with the rent you’d pay unless you’d be happy with an airbed you use in the corner of someone’s living room. Also, someone has to pay for that Netflix.
Shelby, parents are funny. Sometimes they have a hidden motive with things they do. If your parents don’t need your rent money for their household expenses, maybe they want you to learn what it is to have to pay rent monthly, before you go out to the cruel real world with a landlord who will not give you any slack. Or maybe they view the rent as forced savings and will help you when move out to your first apartment. Most likely, your parents are asking for the rent for your benefit to teach you what it is to live on your own.
I’m looking for a 1 bed, 1 bath apartment. Roughly 700-750 sqft. In Georgia. I would like an average mothly break down of utilities (electric, heat/hot water, cable/Internet bundle…) so i can save according to make this move
Check out our utility cost survey recap. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2016/03/budgeting-apartment-utility-costs/
and budgeting utility costs. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2012/08/how-much-should-you-plan-for-utilities/
Those two posts should give you enough information to start budgeting but your best sources for real information will be your future landlord or the tenant currently living in your future apartment. Good luck!
Hello, I live in 1/1 apt n Casselberry FL, we used to have all included in the rent but with the new management everything change, raise the rent, and now e received an online bill, adm fees which is ridiculous they charge fir using the online service. also the way they disclose the utilities is horrible, my question is why the details are so wrong and confusing ( see below), when i ask them they can’t explain it.
Water Base Fee (6/24/2016 – 7/25/2016) Base Fee Amt $10.72 Water (6/24/2016 – 7/25/2016) Occ: 1 Rate/Occ: 3.5500276 $3.55 Sewer Base Fee (6/24/2016 – 7/25/2016) Base Fee Amt $17.40 Sewer (6/24/2016 – 7/25/2016) Occ: 1 Rate/Occ: 15.1771823
Do you understand what i mean and every month change.
Thank you in advance.
We are not familiar with this way of billing, but it appears that you are billed a base fee + add-on based on occupancy of one person. So you pay for water $10.72+$3.55 and sewer $17.40+$15.18. These amounts will probably change every month.
The sewer bill looks very high, but perhaps that’s normal in Florida. Check with your neighbors to see what they pay. Or maybe one of our readers can explain if this is normal in Florida.
I’m moving into a 2 bedroom 1 1/2 bath apartment, 2 adults in Pompano, FL. This is my first apartment so i an trying to get an estimate of the Electric and possibly water bill. While water is currently included for the next couple of months i would like to get an idea of how much water would cost per month. Thank you in advance
Since water bill is calculated based on usage, it’s tough to estimate. Ask your landlord what the typical bill is. You probably should budget $150-200 for water and electric, depending on season. Good luck!
I’m moving in a 2+2 apartment 1 adult 2 small children in Lancaster, CA. I’m trying to figure out a average to budget for electric and gas? Help please and thank you
Hi Krystle V,
Did you check out our utility survey. https://www.myfirstapartment.com/2015/08/average-utility-bill-survey/
According to last summer’s survey 2BR/2BAs and apartments in Southwest paid:
By Apartment Size 2 BRs Southwest
Rent $1,425 $1,644
Electric $91 $84
Cable /Internet $78 $91
Water 2.) $55 $50
Garbage collection 2.) $28 $31
Total Utilities Expense $252 $256
As % of rent 18% 16%
Hope that’s helpful.
My boyfriend & I are moving into our first apartment it’s a 2 bedroom 1 bath , however is fairly small. How much a month would you say the electric & water will be? Also it is in Cape Girardeau , Mo which is southeast Missouri. thank you!
Your best bet is to ask the previous tenant, your landlord or your new neighbors. Our rule-of-thumb is that utilities run about 20% of your monthly rent, but without knowing anything about prices at your location, plan for $100-$150 range a month.
I’m considering moving into a 1 bedroom apartment. I’m trying to figure out the electricity bill average in the winter time would be in Blacksburg VA. Monthly. I live is a mobile home now with an old furnace not a heat pump. It’s way to high.
If the apartment does not have electric heating, the bill should not be more than $75 a month. If it has electric heating, then much depends on how well insulated the place is. You’d need to ask the landlord for an estimate or call the electric utility.
My friend and I may be moving into a 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom apartment in California. How much would just me have to pay on an average per month including all the utilites?
There is no way to answer your question without a lot more information. Real estate prices and rents vary widely by market. Also, how much you make determines what rent the landlord thinks is reasonable fore you to carry. In California, a 2br, 2ba could rent for $750 in some area and $6,000 in others.
Use our affordable rent calculator to figure out what the max you should pay for rent. Then estimate utilities at 20% of rent (10% if you are looking in a high rent urban market.)
Hi, is 200$ to much for water/sewage/electricity? I am about to move in my first apartment (1365 sq.ft) with two of my friends and that is the estimate they gave us for all three combined. Just wanted to know if that was to expensive for an apartment of that size?
$200 does not sound unreasonable for 3 people in that size apartment. Keep in mind that electric and water are metered and you pay by usage, so they will also vary by season and how long showers you take!
Hi, my friends and I are moving into a 4 bedroom apt in Brooklyn this September. The rent is $3000. I believe 1,000-1,200q ft. Heat/Gas and hot water is included. We won’t be getting cable as we have netflix and hulu etc. How much should we expect to be paying for utilities?
With 4 people you’ll have a lot of equipment using electricity so figure $100-150 in cooler months and double that in the hottest months if you have air conditioners running. You also need a pretty hefty internet package, so add another $100 for that. As a starting estimate, plan for $75-$100 per person a month, depending on season.
I am moving in to my very first apartments this june. It is a studio apartment. My monthly rent will be $495. No gas. its all electric. So I will have to pay for water and electric. So what should I expect my monthly payments be? I am a college student so I plan to work two jobs just to help get the bills paid and also stay in school.
If you cannot get a better estimate either from the previous tenant or the landlord, start by budgeting $100 a month for utilities. If the heating is also electric and you live in a cold climate, you may have to pay even more during the coldest months.
My roommate and I are looking into an 2 bed 2 bath apartment about 980-1100 sq. the total rent is 750 with water sewer and trash included. Gas is paid for and all we would have to pay is electric. About how much would my monthly utilities be? Or should I expect them to be? We would have extra expenses such as cable tv and Internet usage
You should budget $75-$100 during 8-9 months of the year and double that during summer. However, if you live in the South and have to run your A/C most of the year, you should plan for at least $200 during most of the year.
So me and a friend are getting our first apartment it’s a 2 bedroom 1 bath and its 852 sq. Ft. I was wondering how much I should expect for the utilize.
So much depends where you are located, which utilities are included in rent and which ones you have to pay for. Our rule-of-thumb is that utilities will be equal to about 20% of your rent, for a typical first apartment. If your rent is $1,000 then budget for $200. (It could end up being less if you live in temperate climate and don’t have to pay for water/sewage/trash.) If you are living in super high rent market (NYC, SF), then the estimate is more like 10% of rent.
Hope this helps.
Hello, we are a family of 3, our rent is $1350 in san diego ca. We paid $40 dollar of electricity . Now the landlords is charching us $135 dollars of water, sewer and trash. I want to know if is legal for them to do that. There are families of 6 who paid $125.00, in the same building. Thanks for the help.
What does your lease say? If it says that you have to pay for water, sewer and trash collection separately, then you have to pay it. But you could always try to negotiate for a lower amount, if others are paying less. Perhaps the water usage, the biggest expense, can be separately metered for your unit.
If the lease does not say anything about you having to pay for these expenses, then you can argue that they were included in your rent. In real estate, what is written in the lease or other contracts is usually the last word.
So I live in a 2 bedroom 1 floor apartment I pay $800 a month but my gas bill we’ll come out at $400 to $500 monthly I’m trying to figure out why and what I can do to stop this the radiator heaters are pretty or no, peco only be about $50 this is so sad PLEASE HELP
Where do you live? In Alaska? In a house with no insulation? Your gas bill sounds far too high for a 2BR apartment. Is it possible that someone else is tapping into your gas line? You need to ask your gas company to come ad check it out. They may be able to do an “energy audit” and tell you how you can lower your bill.
Please let us know what you find out.
If rent is 550/month and its me and my roomate splitting it. How much do you think utilities would be?
So much depends what size apartment and what is included in the rent. Let’s assume a 1BR and you need to pay separately only for electricity ($60-75) and internet ($50), without cable TV. With that assumption, plan for $110-125/mo.
If you can ask the current tenants what they are paying you’ll get the best estimate.
I don’t see how an average person would be paying over $1000 for a 1 room apartment. There are PLENTY of apartments in my area for well under $600, with “some paid utilities,” and I’ve lived in a house where the mortgage was $750 a month, for a duplex at that…
must be nice
I agree, my apartment is one of the more expensive apartments in the area and I pay 800 a month. This article must cater to Jersey and NYC. Luckily for those kids a lot of them are trust fund brats.
More likely, they are sharing a 2BR apartment with four roommates! You are very lucky to live in an area with great $800 apartments.
That is a very arrogant comment to make. I live in jersey and that is not the case. And I do not know many people who are as you call it ‘trust fund brats’. I have worked very hard to accomplish what I have accomplished. I am a full time college student and have maintained a 3.8 GPA while holding a full-time job. Because without my job I cannot pay for college or pay my bills. So I resent your comment. My question is why you think this is the case! The only thing I can think is you are uneducated on the people here in jersey!
Good Lord, calm down. My question…. why are you so offended by their ‘assumptions’?? Which actually make sense because many know that both in NY and/or California, the apartments ARE a lot higher than say Florida or other states. It’s not like they’re attacking you personally. & they’re NOT arrogant for saying what they said.
FYI…the average cost of rent in San Francisco is $3,500. If rent cost $800/ month we would not have so many people that are homeless or on the verge of losing their home.
It 100% depends on the area. Where I live (In Northern Virginia) if you can get a 1BR 1BA for only $1000 that’s a crazy find and you better take it quick! In order to get anything halfway decent (and this is coming from a 24 yr old, so halfway decent, isn’t that nice) you’re going to have to spend significantly more than that unless you are only renting a room (single rooms usually run 700-1200). So be grateful, haha.
What about gas bills?
Cooking gas is typically included in rent. If your apartment is heated by gas, you should find out from your future landlord or the previous tenant, if possible, how much you should expect to pay a month. We are planning to survey utility costs again in the middle of the winter, including heating costs around the country.
Did you notice that we have made an infographic of the July Utility Survey results.
Good luck to your first apartment from the MFA Team.