How much are utilities in an apartment?

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In the United States, the average utility costs in an apartment are $250 per month. This amount includes gas, electricity, and water. Costs will vary based on the size and location of your apartment.
Rent prices are often the main factor considered when renters are looking to move into a new apartment. But, budgeting for utilities is just as important—if not included in your monthly calculations, it could put you over your budget. 
Luckily, Jerry, the car and renters insurance broker and super app, is all about helping you budget. We’ve put together a guide to the cost of apartment utilities, so you can have the amenities you need and save money. 

How much are utilities in an apartment

The average cost of monthly utilities is $250 per month across the United States, but there are a lot of factors that influence that number—like location and apartment size. In some cases, a landlord will include some utilities as part of the rent, so always ask what might already be included.

What do utilities include?

At a minimum, your utility bills will probably include gas, water, and electricity. You also may be responsible for trash and sewer services. In addition to those basic expenses, you likely will have to pay for modern amenities like internet, cable, phone, and streaming services. 

Contributing factors to the cost of utilities 

Several major factors determine how much you will pay for your utilities each month. So in addition to looking at the national average, make sure you consider the following: 
  • Apartment size: Even if you are the only occupant, more square footage means a higher cost for heating, cooling, and electricity. For example, the national average for utilities for a studio apartment is $121 per month while the average cost of utilities in a two-bedroom is closer to $198 per month. Utilities in a four-bedroom apartment will cost around $328 per month.
  • Location: The city and state you live in have a big impact on utility costs. For example, Connecticut utilities average $521 per month, while New Mexico residents pay an average of $267 monthly.
  • Number of occupants: The more people that live together, the higher your utility bills will be. More people means more water, more electricity—more everything! If these folks are roommates who pitch in, then you may save on utilities by sharing the expense. But if you are moving with children or other dependants, your bills will be higher than average

Utility cost by region

Where you live has a huge impact on your overall cost of living, and that includes utilities. 
The states with the highest average utility costs are Connecticut ($521 per month) and Alaska ($518 per month). These states also tend to have higher rent and higher overall cost of living.
If you are looking for states with the lowest utility costs, check out New Mexico ($267 per month) and Nevada ($281 per month). 
Here is a look at the five least expensive and five most expensive states when it comes to utility costs.
LocationUtility CostAverage rent (1 bedroom)
Least Expensive
New Mexico$267$844
Nevada$281$1107
Nebraska$290$833
Wisconsin$297$856
Minnesota$313$977
Most Expensive
Hawaii$442$1617
Oregon$442$1110
West Virginia$452$725
Alaska$518$1244
Connecticut$521$1180
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Tips to save money on utilities

Utilities are often an expense that you can’t live without. (At least, not for very long.) While you can’t always control which utilities you have to pay, there are things you can do to save some money and keep those bills manageable. Here are some things to try:

Gas

In most cases, the biggest portion of your gas bill goes toward heating and cooling your apartment. Here are some ways to save money: 
  • Reduce drafts. Spaces around doors and windows allow heat to escape, so seal up any problem areas to make sure you aren’t throwing money out the window!
  • Keep your thermostat in a range—don’t turn it up or down. Heating and cooling within a few degrees (say heating from 60 to 65 degrees) takes a lot less energy than heating from 50 to 65. 
  • Reduce oven use in the summer. Using the oven heats up your apartment quickly, causing the AC to stay on more. In hot months, try to stick to the stovetop when you need to cook. 

Electricity

There are some easy ways to save money on electricity bills: 
  • Limit the use of air conditioners and space heaters. These devices use a ton of electricity. In apartments where these are in use, they often make up one-third of the overall electric bill. 
  • Tweak your water heater. Most water heaters are set to keep hot water at 140 degrees. If you reduce that to 120, you can save some serious cash. 
  • Consider switching to more efficient LED bulbs, and make sure to turn out the lights when you aren’t using them

Cable/wifi/streaming

With all of the services out there, the costs of cable, wifi, and streaming can quickly add up. Here are some ways to save: 
  • Bundle services when possible. Cable, internet, and streaming services often offer package deals, so take the time to see if there are savings on the things you use. 
  • Keep up with introductory rates and free trials. These are a great way to reduce cost at first but don’t get caught off guard when trial periods end. 
  • Pay for what you need. The unlimited package isn’t the best deal if you don’t use all the features. It is nice to have the choice, but you can always add services later instead of paying now for things you don’t use. 

Water

Finally, there are some easy—and unexpected—ways to save money on water bills: 
  • Use the dishwasher. Handwashing a load of dishes can use up to 27 gallons of water, whereas a dishwasher uses about 3 gallons. If your apartment doesn’t have a dishwasher, try using tubs to wash and rinse instead of running water while you wash.
  • Take shorter showers. If you can limit your shower to ten minutes, you are using about 25 gallons of water. A bath in a standard tub uses about 50 gallons. 
  • Have your landlord fix running toilets or dripping faucets immediately. Fixtures in need of repair can lose 25 gallons of water per day. 

Finding affordable renter’s insurance

While we are talking about ways to save money, don’t forget your renters insurance. It makes great sense to count this into your budget from the start—most landlords require renters insurance as part of your lease agreement. 
Jerry is your go-to for all things insurance. Just like your utilities, there are great ways to save on your insurance needs, including bundling your car and renter’s insurance and finding other discounts and incentives that apply to you. 
The great news is that Jerry can do all of that work for you! Just download the app, answer a few questions, and Jerry will find quotes from top providers in under a minute. Jerry even takes care of the paperwork and helps cancel your old policy when you switch. 
Jerry let me customize my preferred auto and renters insurance so that I saved $100. I never even considered looking into Travelers but now they’re my policyholders! This app rocks.” —Jamie A. 
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FAQs

In some cases, water or other utilities can be included in your rent. It depends on your landlord’s policy, and on how services are billed where you live. In some cases, water can be evenly split between all the tenants in a building and added to rent. In many cases, water is a separate bill that each resident pays based on their own usage.
Utilities are the services required to make your home livable. They include the things you need—lights, water, heat, etc—that are not included in your rent or mortgage payment.

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