The quick breakdown above gives you an idea of what each of the utilities will cost. However, the range can sometimes be huge. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
Start with $200 per Month
Whether you’re renting or buying Utility Services in Manchester a home the cost of utilities is very important to consider.
Experts recommend you set aside $200 each month to cover the bare necessities.
But there are a ton of variables that could make your total monthly utility cost way higher or lower.
Electric alone costs people $1,475 each year on average according to estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Yeah, that’s a lot of money.
If you’re thinking about moving and want to estimate your utility costs, it’s important you consider the many factors that dictate your final costs.
Luckily, we’re going to break it all down in this post.
Ask For Prior Utility Bills
The average cost of $200 a month is only just an average. One of the simplest ways of getting an idea of what the utility bills of a specific house or apartment will be is to ask for prior utility bills.
In most cases, landlords and real estate agents can get these for you.
Requesting a copy of previous bills will also tell you which utilities were paid by the landlord. Sometimes landlords include utilities as part of the rent but you can only know this if you ask.
Even though prior electric, water and gas bills will probably vary based on usage, you’ll know with near 100 percent certainty what the trash/recycling and condo fees will cost.
Electricity – The Cost of Powering Your Home
Average Electricity Bill: $65.33 – $88.10
Almost every appliance in your home is going to be using electricity at some point in time, which is why it’s important to know exactly how you’re being charged for your power consumption.
Average Electricity Bill
Your electricity consumption is going to be measured in kilowatt hours (kwh), which is essentially a measure of how much power a device uses over time.
Currently, the average energy cost in the US is $0.133/kwh, which is higher than the previous year but prices are projected to fall within the coming months.
Since everyone uses different appliances at different rates, it can be pretty hard to estimate average energy usage, but here are a few constants…
Calculating Power Usage
Determining exactly how much electricity you’re using can be tricky, but there are a few constants you can rely on to give you a baseline.
Here’s the average cost of using some necessary household devices based on data from Duke Energy:
Appliance Energy Usage Cost
Ceiling Fan 0.075 kwh/hr $0.01/hr
Energy Star Refrigerator 43.0 kwh/month $5.72/month
Dishwasher 1.0 – 2.17 kwh/load $0.13 – $0.29/load
(Cold Wash, Cold Rinse) 0.3 kwh/load $0.04
Water Heater 390 – 500 kwh/month $51.87 – $66.50/month
TV (40″ – 49″ LCD) 0.15 kwh/hr $0.02/hr
Computer (Desktop) 0.06 – 0.25 kwh/hr $0.01 – $0.03 kwh/hr
Computer Monitor (17″ LCD) 0.04 kwh/hr $0.01 kwh/hr
Still, there’s one major factor to your electric bill that requires special consideration…
Heating and Air Conditioning – Different Variables Affect Cost
Average Heating Bill: $21.56 – $26.13 (3 – 4 months/year)
Average Air Conditioning Bill: $21.56 – $26.13 (3 – 4 months/year)
Heating and cooling usually make up 35%-40% of your energy bill.
Average Heating Bill
A few things to consider when trying to estimate energy costs…
How large is the residence? The more square footage you have the more costly it will be to keep maintain a certain temperature.
What’s the climate like? Very hot or cold climates will mean higher energy bills.
How old are the appliances? If your HVAC system is 10-15 years old it’s likely going to be less efficient than a newer unit.
How well insulated is the home? Are windows double-pane and well sealed? Is the house older? Then it likely isn’t as well insulated as a newer home.
Once you’ve figured all this out, here are some energy saving tips.
Energy Saving Tips
Energy Saving Tips
While many of the factors above are going to be largely out of your control, there’s plenty you can do to save energy when it comes to heating and air conditioning.
When it comes to setting the temperature in your home, keep things set as warm as you can stand in the summer and as cold as you’re comfortable with in the winter in order to keep your heat and A/C running as little as necessary.
Make sure your ducts are well-maintained, regularly checking for and sealing leaks to ensure efficient use of your heating and cooling equipment.
Ceiling and floor fans use way less energy than air conditioning, as long as you can remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
You can also keep your home cool by closing shutters during the day opening windows at night in the summer. Opening blinds to let the sunshine in can keep things a bit warmer in the winter too.
You’ll want to change your furnace filter every 2 – 3 months to keep your machines running efficiently and improve the quality of air in your home.
But what if your place hasn’t gone all-electric?
Natural Gas – It Powers Hot Things!
Average Gas Bill: $80/month (varies from month-to-month)
While electric devices are typically more common, many homes and apartments have gas-powered furnaces, water heaters, and stoves.
There are many benefits of natural gas, but the main draw is it’s low cost compared to that of electricity.
Average Gas Bill
While gas-powered devices tend to cost more upon installation and require more regular maintenance, many consider the affordability of natural gas to be a big enough draw to justify the initial hassle.
If your place does end up using natural gas, you’ll probably want to learn how to read your gas bill so that you better understand exactly what you’re paying for.
Once you’ve determined whether your usage is being measured by volume (CCF or MCF) or in heat units (Therm or BTU), you can see exactly how much gas you’re using and what you pay for it.
Taking into account that the average natural gas consumption per household is 567 CFL/year and that the average price of natural gas is around $1.70/CFL, you can expect to pay close to $964.47 annually on natural gas.
Water – The Utility You Can’t Afford to Avoid
Average Water Bill: $17.04 – $68.14 per month
Unless you’re living in a house with a well or an apartment complex that factors water usage into your rent, you’ll probably be paying a monthly water bill.
It’s no secret that city water is usually expensive and the price of water is rising, but it’s not like you can really avoid things like washing dishes and bathing. (Well, you could stop bathing but we really don’t recommend it).
The average daily water usage of one person person is between 80 and 100 gallons.
On average, a family of four using around 100 gallons per person per day would expect to spend $68.14 per month on their water bill. However, if you’re living alone and using the same amount of water, your bill will come closer to $17.04/month.
If that amount seems a bit high, that’s because it is. The price of water is rising in many larger US cities and it doesn’t look like it’ll be slowing down anytime soon.