Content of the material
- Start with $200 per Month
- Internet Cable
- What Affects the Costs of Utilities?
- Energy Efficiency
- Size of your Rental
- The Average Water Bill in Chicago
- How Much are Utilities in an Apartment with Four or More Bedrooms?
- What are The Typical Average Utility Costs?
- What Is the Average Internet Bill?
- Utility costs landlords may cover
- How Much Would You Pay for Cable and Internet?
- Heating and Air Conditioning Different Variables Affect Cost
- Energy Saving Tips
- Money-Saving Ideas
- How much is the average water bill for an apartment?
- Ways you can save on your water bill:
- Utility Costs by Apartment Size
- Tips for Saving on Your Water Bill
- Natural Gas
- The bottom line
- Average Utility Cost in Chicago
- How Much is the Average Cable and Internet Bills?
- How Can I Lower My Apartment Water Bill?
- 1. Shut off the Faucet when Not in Use
- 2. Runs Washing Machines in Shorter Cycles
- 3. Use Dishwasher Instead of Hand Washing Dishes
- 4. Buy Low Flow Shower Head
- 5. Install Sink Aerators
- 6. Save Cooking Water
- 7. Repairing Leaks
- 8. Replace Toilet with a Dual Flush Toilet
- 9. Buy Energy Star Compliance Appliances
- 10. Recycle Water
- 11. Encourage Water Conservation
- 12. Harvest Rain Water
- 13. Use Soapy Water to Wash Your Car
- How much are utilities in an apartment? Other apartment costs to consider before renting
- Renters insurance
Start with $200 per Month
Whether you’re renting or buying 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.
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.
Now that we have covered all of the necessities, let’s turn our attention to Internet and cable. While not required utilities, they are usually the most talked about. Fortunately, you should have no shortage of options when picking your cable or Internet provider. There are many great service providers in the area that offer packages for any budget and usage demands you may have.
The most affordable option is to sign up for Internet and pair it with your favorite streaming service. The two largest high-speed Internet providers in the Seattle Metro area are CenturyLink and Xfinity. Both offer fiber optic service with a maximum download speed of 1000 Mbps, and their plans average about $35 per month.
If you are set on having cable you can expect to pay about $50-70 per month if you bundle your Internet and cable services together.
What Affects the Costs of Utilities?
The location of your apartment will greatly affect your utility bill, especially your electricity and gas consumption. If you’re living in a city with a temperate climate, you won’t need to spend as much compared to living in a city with extreme weather conditions.
The location also refers to where your apartment is located within a building. Top floor apartments generally have higher heating and cooling bills because they are more exposed to the elements.
Check the energy efficiency of the apartment before moving in. An apartment with lots of windows and a high ceiling such as a loft will let in more sunlight and air, so you won’t need to heat the apartment as much. However, during colder months, this can also mean a higher heating bill.
Size of your Rental
Obviously, a larger apartment will be more expensive when it comes to power, heating, and cooling. Even the unit’s layout can play a part; it can be more expensive to heat and cool an apartment with an open floor plan than one with delineated rooms. You only need to heat and cool the areas where you’re staying.
The Average Water Bill in Chicago
The average water bill of your household may be much different than the city-wide average water bill in Chicago. However, we can give you an estimate to make calculating your rate easier.
While estimates vary, an average person uses 100 gallons of water every day for indoor uses. That means showering, using the toilet, cooking, and washing the dishes.
With the 2021 Chicago water rates in mind, this would mean that a resident uses about $0.41 worth of water every day. As a result, the monthly water bill would be $12.50.
Since the sewer rate is 100% of the water rate, your water bill would be around $25 every month at this usage.
And the more people you live with, the higher your average water bill will be. Still, with more roommates to help you pay down the costs, you’ll see a lower cost per person despite higher water usage.
Keep in mind, this is merely an average estimate based on national averages and the Chicago City water rate.
How Much are Utilities in an Apartment with Four or More Bedrooms?
With four or more bedrooms you’re looking at closer to $200- $300 per month for basic utilities, depending on the number of roommates. Cable won’t change much unless you all have different tastes. But you’ll likely want to invest in Wi-Fi with a higher bandwidth if you’re going to have several people and devices all using the same connection. That will run you an extra $50 to $100 per month. But if you’re smart and make sure everyone is frugal with the utilities you can easily get away with paying less than $150 per person if all of the rooms are occupied.
What are The Typical Average Utility Costs?
We’ll get down and dirty with the details in the next part of this guide. But for now, let’s take a look at the average utility bills for apartment renters across the United States.
According to a 2016 report by the United States Energy Administration, the average monthly energy bill an apartment renter could expect is $112. However, this last report was compiled in 2016 (yikes). Energy costs have increased substantially since then, especially in certain parts of the country.
Depending on where you live (region, state, city) and on the type of energy consumed (gas, electric, etc.), renters could expect to pay an average of $150-$200+ per month on utilities not included in the rent.
Below is a Brief Breakdown of an Apartments Average Costs Based on Utility Type:*This is a rough average estimate and to be used for illustration purposes only
- Average Electricity Bill $40-$70 (excludes that used for air/heat and stove)
- Average Air conditioning Bill $35-$60 (averaged over a 12-month period)
- Average Heating Bill $50-$65 (averaged over a 12-month period)
- Average Cable and internet Bill $75-$180
- Average Trash and recycling Bill $20-$30
- Average Water Bill $40-$60
- Average Renters insurance Bill $15-$25 per month
What Is the Average Internet Bill?
Nowadays, an internet connection is a must-have for most households. And, with the rise in popularity of remote work, it’s more essential than ever. However, average internet prices can vary from as little as $20 in Idaho to as much as $70 in Alaska. Of course, depending on the provider and plan you choose, rates may be even higher.
Similarly, if you want cable TV, you can contract it separately or bundle it with your internet or other services. However, streaming services may be a less expensive way to go. Or, if you have a high-speed internet connection, you could even skip cable television and just stick to the online options, instead.
Utility costs landlords may cover
When shopping around for an apartment, be sure to ask the apartment manager for details about utility costs before you sign the lease. Find out what the landlord is responsible for and what you’re responsible for. Be sure to get this written down in the lease if you decide to rent the apartment.
In the apartment listing, you may see a short blurb about what landlords cover.
Some utility costs covered by your landlord may include:
- Water: Landlords usually cover the cost of water each month. The national average cost of water per unit is around $40 per month.
- Garbage: The average cost of residential trash collection is between $12 to $20 per month, according to the National Solid Wastes Management Association
- Electric stove: In older units, landlords may cover the cost of an electric stove
Landlords usually won’t cover the cost of electricity, so be prepared to pay for this.
How Much Would You Pay for Cable and Internet?
If you move to Texas, you should expect to pay a cable bill of around $85 per month . However, some people nowadays say that cable is old-fashioned, so they stop paying for it entirely and instead opt for internet streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and many others. Most of these streaming services cost you around $10 per service each month. It’s also a pretty good argument if you think about it. A ten-dollar Netflix subscription offers you a vast collection of movies and TV shows to choose from. So you watch whatever you want, whenever you want, and pay substantially less. A problem with cable is that some people pay for full cable subscriptions and pay for channels they don’t even watch. If you use cable, we suggest you spend a few minutes thinking about what you pay for, and if it’s useful for you or not. If not, only pay for the ones you find entertaining and watch regularly. As for the internet, the average monthly cost of internet in Dallas is $60 per month . Although a problem some people have is paying for the internet that they don’t use. If you only use the internet to check emails, you shouldn’t pay for the internet like a person who uses it for streaming daily. Check your data usage and pay for what you need, not more. If you need to reduce internet costs, you can opt for less quota or slower speeds.
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.
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
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.
- Thermostats: 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.
- Ducts: Make sure your ducts are well-maintained, regularly checking for and sealing leaks to ensure efficient use of your heating and cooling equipment.
- Fans: According to SplendidFans, 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.
- Windows: 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.
- Filters: 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?
Average cost: $28 (single) – $116 (family)
In the US, water usage and cost are measured per 1,000 gallons. On average, 1,000 gallons cost around $11.48. It is estimated that a single American household uses around 328 gallons of water per day, which amounts to around $3.76 daily.
If you have a water bill that is regularly higher than the average, it usually means that you are not using the water in your home efficiently.
- Use a dishwasher because it uses less water than washing dishes by hand. Seriously. A dishwasher only uses three gallons of water per use, but washing dishes by hand can use up to 27 gallons of water per use!
- Fill up your dishwasher to the maximum recommended load before running a cycle.
- Take showers instead of baths. A shower only consumes around 25 gallons of water on average, but a bath can easily double that amount.
- Check your pipes and faucets regularly for leaks.
How much is the average water bill for an apartment?
Unlike electricity and gas, water isn’t typically a cost that renters are responsible for paying. Often landlords include it in the monthly rental amount. If you are accountable for the cost of water, expect to pay an average of $70 per month, increasing with additional occupants..
Ways you can save on your water bill:
Regardless of whether you’re responsible for your water bill or not, there are still ways to limit water use and reduce your carbon footprint at home:
- Showers: Take shorter showers and consider a low-flow showerhead.
- Dishes: Use the dishwasher. The average dishwasher uses 3-5 gallons of water vs. the 25+ you’ll use handwashing. Be sure to fill the dishwasher up fully to avoid wasting water or electricity.
- Clothing: Avoid washing small loads of clothing. Full loads of laundry mean fewer cycles and less water.
Utility Costs by Apartment Size
Living in a larger apartment means that you'll be paying more in utilities, but exactly how much more? Here's what you can expect.
Tips for Saving on Your Water Bill
Water consumption can be easily reduced. First and foremost, check for leaks in your bathroom or kitchen and fix them. Leaky faucets aren’t just noisy and annoying. They’re also a waste of water. To address this, replace your showerhead with one that is efficient and, while you’re at it, try to take shorter showers, as well.
Meanwhile, the washer and dishwasher will often have an efficient or eco cycle, which can reduce the amount of water being used. In this way, lower-maintenance clothes and lightly used dishes can be washed at colder temperatures and shorter cycles.
While electricity for the Seattle area is provided by the city-owned Seattle City Light, natural gas used for heating your apartment will be supplied by the privately owned Puget Sound Energy. This means, natural gas prices are prone to slightly more fluctuation than electric costs, especially in the harshest winter months. However, they are still relatively reasonable for most of the year. During December and January, the average gas bill for a Seattle apartment will be roughly $100, but it is worth every penny since the temperature often remains in the teens during that time of year. On the other hand, the summer months will result in a natural gas bill well under the average of $60 per month, particularly if you have a one-bedroom apartment.
The bottom line
When looking at potential homes, it’s important to ask, “how much are utilities?” to plan your budget. The answer will depend on multiple factors. For a start, look at national averages to get a baseline idea of how much utilities cost in the U.S.
Average Utility Cost in Chicago
Your circumstances, usage, and provider aren’t the only factors that influence your utility bill. What you use exactly can also make a big difference.
For example, you can heat an apartment in many different ways. You can use electricity, propane, heating oil, or natural gas in a radiator. All of which come at a different cost. Similarly, whether you have central air conditioning or a window unit can make a big difference.
The average cost of basic utilities for a 915 square foot apartment in Chicago is . This covers electricity, water, heating, cooling, and garbage costs.
Internet and cable are also commonly referred to as utilities. The average cost of the internet in Chicago is .
How Much is the Average Cable and Internet Bills?
Cable and Internet is one of the most often overlooked bills you’ll encounter when renting an apartment. VERY few apartment complexes include cable or internet in your rent.
This may be a relevant time to re-evaluate your specific needs. How much time you’ll be spending at the apartment, whether or not you’re a homebody who enjoys streaming more digital media, or whether there are some things you could cut back on. Typically depending on your usage an average Cable and Internet bill can cost from $75-$180 a month.
In some cases, cutting the cable bill altogether might be the right more. With the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon prime, you might have everything you need elsewhere (and for cheaper).
Similarly, is your cell phone capable of being a hotspot for free? If so, do you even need the internet in your apartment?
How Can I Lower My Apartment Water Bill?
The USGS estimates that the average American uses up to 100 gallons of water indoors every day. You can do a lot to lower the daily water consumption.
Lowering the water consumption will benefit you both individually and as a part of society.
Efforts to conserve water will lead to reduced energy bills. Moreover, water conservation efforts at the individual level will prevent water shortages in the community.
Here are some tips that can help you reduce conserve water and lower your water bills.
1. Shut off the Faucet when Not in Use
Most people consume more water than required when washing dishes, shaving, and washing hands. Letting the water run while washing or shaving can waste a quarter or more gallons of water.
You should turn on the faucet only when using the water. Shutting off the faucet when not using the water will help conserve a lot of water and lower the utility bill.
2. Runs Washing Machines in Shorter Cycles
A lot of water is consumed when washing clothes. You can lower water usage by washing clothes in shorter cycles. Additional rinse cycles will result in more water usage.
Avoid using a permanent press cycle that uses cold and warm water for an extra rinse. Using a single cycle will help save a significant amount of water.
3. Use Dishwasher Instead of Hand Washing Dishes
Washing dishes in a dishwasher will conserve more water than hand washing dishes. You should consider using a dishwasher to save money.
Make sure that you run the dishwasher with a full load. Also, you should run the dishwasher on the shortest cycle.
If possible, use an energy-efficient dishwasher. The latest model dishwashers consume less electricity when washing the dishes.
4. Buy Low Flow Shower Head
A shower is the third biggest source of water consumption in most homes.
A great way to conserve water is to install low-flow showerheads. Most showerheads installed in old apartments made before 1992 have a high flow rate of 5.5 gallons a minute.
New federal regulations require that the flow rate of showerheads should be less than 2.5 gallons per minute.
Replacing the old showerhead with a low-flow showerhead will help greatly reduce water consumption.
5. Install Sink Aerators
Sink aerators can also help in reducing water consumption. These are installed in most new apartments. If you live in an old apartment, you can fit aerators at the end of the faucets.
Using sink aerators will reduce water consumption by about one and a half gallons per minute.
This comes to around 350 gallons of water per month. It is an easy and inexpensive way to conserve water.
6. Save Cooking Water
You can start making small changes in the way food is prepared to conserve water. Steaming instead of boiling vegetables can help conserve a lot of water.
You can steam vegetables in a basket placed over the pot when cooking rice.
When cooking pasta, you should use the smallest pot that can contain all the pasta. This will ensure that you don’t use too much water when cooking pasta.
Moreover, you can conserve water by draining the water used for making pasta and use it to bulk u soups.
7. Repairing Leaks
A leak in the pipe can result in the wastage of a lot of water.
Every drop of water per second results in wastage of about 44 gallons of water. Fixing the leak can help save hundreds of dollars in water bills per year.
Most leaks occur in either the kitchen sink or toilet shower.
You should contact a plumber if you notice any leak in the kitchen or bathroom. The cost of repairing the leak will typically be much less than savings in water costs due to fixing the leak.
8. Replace Toilet with a Dual Flush Toilet
A dual flush toilet can greatly help in reducing the water bills.
This toilet is a variation of the traditional toilet that has two handles or buttons that flush water at different levels. One flush is used for liquid waste while the other one for solid waste.
As compared to a single flush toilet, a dual flush toilet can be more expensive. But the extra cost is worth it as you will help save water and reduce the apartment water bill.
9. Buy Energy Star Compliance Appliances
You should buy Energy Star compliance appliances that use water.
The cost of upgrading dishwashers, heaters, and other equipment that use water may be high, but Energy Star-rated equipment will allow you to save up to 10 percent water.
Installing energy-efficient appliances will result in huge savings for you. The higher cost will be recovered within two to three years due to savings in energy bills.
10. Recycle Water
Recycling water is another way to lower water consumption and water bills in an apartment.
You can collect gray water – or water from bathtubs, sinks, and washing machines – in a collection device.
You can use gray water for watering plants, flushing toilets, and even washing the car. This will greatly help in reducing the water bills of an apartment.
11. Encourage Water Conservation
You should encourage water conservation among your family and friends.
Notify your landlord if you see any room for improvement. For instance, you can convince the landlord to water the apartment lawn during the morning or at dusk when evaporation will be at a minimum.
You should also immediately notify about any water leaks, a defective timer of the automated watering system, and other sources of water wastage.
You should also encourage the Apartment Owner Association to promote water conservation among the tenants.
12. Harvest Rain Water
Harvesting rainwater is a great way to conserve water. If you live in a garden apartment with a backyard, you can place buckets to collect rainwater.
The rainwater can then be used for cleaning the dishes, watering plants, or washing your car. This will also help in reducing water consumption and lowering energy bills.
13. Use Soapy Water to Wash Your Car
A lot of water is used in washing the car. You don’t have to stop washing the car to save water. Instead, you can use a more efficient way to clean the car and conserve water.
The best way to wash the car is to use soapy water. Use a clean cloth to wipe out the excess water. This will result in using less water to clean the car.
Using soapy water to clean the car and wiping with a dry cloth will help save about one-third of clean water.
How much are utilities in an apartment? Other apartment costs to consider before renting
There are a few other potential fees to consider before renting an apartment. These fees are much harder to negotiate and aren’t typically bundled with other services.
Adding an alarm or apartment security system is your responsibility. You’ll also want to check with your landlord before installing security that connects to the main electrical system.
Finding an apartment that allows pets can be a challenge. Many landlords view them as liabilities and a hazard. If you find a new home for both you and your furry companion, expect to pay a pet deposit and an additional fee on top of your regular rent.
Most landlords require you to have renters insurance. This provides coverage for your personal property against fire, theft, and vandalism, and saves the building from legal hassle. Some policies will also cover your expenses if your apartment becomes uninhabitable. Annual premium costs are very affordable and usually paid annually. You can also bundle renters insurance with auto or life insurance for better rates.
Save money by being knowledgeable and keeping track of expenses. Bundle services when possible, buy what you need, and use less.