What’s that one thing that is consistently waiting to greet you each month? Yes, it’s your utility bills that make up an integral part of your living expense. Whether it’s for electricity, and water or for cable and internet, paying for our monthly utilities is an unavoidable expense for most of us.
One thing to note about these utility costs is that they differ by each state. So, if you’re planning to move to a different state, knowing how much your utilities will cost, can help you get a better hold on your finances. And to make your research easier, our article here compiles all the average cost of utilities by state. Have a look at how your utility costs are calculated and how a few tips can help you pocket a few savings on those expenses.
Breakdown Of Your Monthly Utility Cost
For a young adult who has just started living independently, understanding how your account balance gets debited each month with these utility bills can be a little tricky. So, before we get to your total utility cost, let us first give you a glimpse into what makes up these costs and the factors that affect them.
One of the most expensive monthly utilities is your electricity bill. With all the fans, ACs, light bulbs, refrigerator and television, it’s not difficult to see why the amount is usually high. How much will your electricity bill be, would depend on your total usage. Kilowatt Hours (KWH) is the standard metric for calculating your electricity usage. On an average you could be charged $0.15 for each KWH. So, if you want to budget your electricity bill cost, keeping a tab on the KWHs you use could be helpful.
Also Read: How Much Does The Electric Bill Cost?
Unlike your electricity bill, your water bill may not be a black or white picture of your usage. Depending on the state you’re residing in, you could either be charged a fixed flat rate, irrespective of your usage, or you may have a metered service which generates a bill as per your total water consumption. While these are some of the common methods, the water supplier at your location may also have a different structure in place. And what could make this even trickier to understand is the fact that your water bill may be calculated in Centum Cubic Feet (CCF), while your usage could be in gallons of water.
Don’t get yourself too confused here. What we are only trying to tell you is that if you start noting down the CCF number on your bill, you may just be able to get an approximation of your usage. And perhaps that may even make you conscious the next time you start dreaming while taking your shower!
3. Natural Gas
Another utility that could take a dig at your pockets could be your gas bill. Your water heaters and gas ranges can very well take your gas costs high up when running all day. Like your water bill, your gas bill calculation can also be structured differently as per your supplier. It can be measured in CCF (100 Cubic Feet), MCF (1000 Cubic Feet) or BTU that is British Thermal Units. Out of all utilities, your natural gas bill may be the most varied each month as gas prices keep changing globally from time to time.
4. Sewage and Trash
In simple terms, your overall water consumption would be a key determinant of both your water and sewage bills. Similarly, the amount of garbage or trash bags that you need to dispose of make up the calculation of your trash bill. While you may not have a lot of control over your sewage bill, you can definitely cut down the costs on your trash bill. Just be more mindful of the waste you’re generating and you could save your expenses as well as the environment.
With a major part of the world dependent on technology, the internet is a growing necessity in most households. But the price that you pay for your internet could very well vary with your service provider and the plans that they offer. Calculated in Megabit Per Second (Mbps), the amount of internet as well as the speed at which you use it, would determine the expenses of your internet bill.
Now out of all your utility expenses, this is surely an area which you can save in or even entirely avoid, if Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have become your chill time friends. But if you’re still inclined toward watching your favorite channels, then you’ll probably be paying for your cable bill as per the number of channels you need. The service provider in your area may have different plans or offer bundled services for both cable and internet, which could help you save your costs.
How Do You Calculate Utility Costs?
Calculating the utility cost for your house may not be such a straightforward process. That’s because there are several factors that could influence your utility bills. Some of these factors could be:
Your Location: In which part of the country are you exactly located in will be an important factor in determining your utility cost. As observed, the cost of utilities varies not just with every state but could also vary with your city or region. How easily the resources are available in your neighborhood could end up directly affecting your utility costs.
The Time And Climate Of The Year: If you’re living in a city or state that experiences extreme climates, your utility bills are bound to squirt high up. For instance, if you’re living on the arid lands of Arizona where summer temperatures are soaring high, your air conditioner running continuously at low temperatures will directly result in high electricity bills.
The Size Of Your Home: Another important determinant of your utility cost is the size of your home and the number of members living together. Naturally, the bigger your house or more the number of rooms you have, higher would be your usage and consequently high will be your utility bills.
Taking these factors into account and your approximate usage, you can try and budget your utility costs. If you’re looking for some price perspective, here’s how the US average utility bills look like:
- Average Electricity Bill: $111
- Average Water Bill: $71
- Average Natural Gas Bill: $72
- Average Sewer Bill: $38
- Average Internet Bill: $60
- Average Cable Bill: $85
While these are the average costs of the US, let us now have a closer look at the cost of utilities in every state.
Average Cost Of Utilities By State Statistics
|Sr. No||State||Electricity Cost||Water Cost||Natural Gas Cost||Sewer Cost||Internet Cost||Cable Cost||Average Total Cost|
|9.||District of Columbia||$90.82||$37.45||$72.00||$54.00||$60.00||$85.00||$398.00|
Tips To Save On Utility Costs
The Total Monthly Cost column in our table above could be an overwhelming figure for some of us. While this is how your average utility cost could look like, you could even reduce the figure with a few conscious steps and efforts. Let’s give you a few helpful tips.
- For saving a little on your water bill, all you need to do are small things like taking quick showers, or not letting your water go waste while brushing your teeth. Additionally, you can check your water pipes for leakages and get them repaired at the earliest. You can take these small steps to control your water usage, but at the same time, make sure to keep yourself hydrated at all times and don’t cut down on your drinking water!
- Using energy efficient bulbs and appliances can go a long way in saving up costs for your electricity bill. With that, switching off lights or unplugging your electronics when not in use are also small steps that could make a difference.
- Similarly, for saving on your gas bill, ensure timely maintenance of your appliances and filters. To minimize the use of your heaters, you can also look at alternative ways to insulate your doors and windows.
- While you may not have a lot of scope for saving on cable and internet bills, you can surely look out for bundled services or other offers that may be provided by your service provider at discounted rates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Utilities Cost The Most?
Your basic primary utilities of electricity and natural gas are the ones that cost the most. With the US average for electricity bills across all states being between $85 – $110 and natural gas bills between $70 – $80, you can see how your monthly utility costs surge up so high. If you’re also using your secondary utilities like the internet and cable, you can definitely expect your total costs to increase significantly each month.
What State Has The Cheapest Average Utility Cost?
Amongst all the states in the US, you would find New Mexico to have the cheapest average utility cost. You can expect your monthly electricity bill in New Mexico to be around $77, and your water bill would be around $28 on average. Not just these primary utilities, but natural gas and sewer costs are also lower in New Mexico, taking your total monthly utility bill to around $332 on average.
What State Has The Highest Utility Bills?
With an average total monthly utility bill of around $525, Hawaii takes the spot of the highest utility bills in the country. Average electricity costs of $165 and average natural gas cost of $122 are the main contributors for these high utility bills in Hawaii. Some other states like Connecticut, Alaska and Missouri also have high utility bills in the US.
With the average utility costs being an important factor in determining the cost of living in a particular state, it can very well influence your choice of moving to a new place. But even otherwise, having an idea of your utility costs against the national average will help you become aware of your carbon footprint. After all, we all know the depleting condition of our resources and how using them consciously has become a need of the hour.
Now that you know how your average utility bills can look like in every state, you can make an informed choice about which would be a good place for you to save up on these costs. And, with a few tips that we’ve shared, you can even try using these resources mindfully.
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