How Much Do Utilities Cost For An Average Apartment?

The PropertyClub Team
Nov 3rd 2020
In general, renters should expect to budget about $200-$300 monthly for apartment utilities. But this estimate can vary based on the city you live in, and the agreement you have with your landlord. This guide will give you an outline of average utility bills so you can create your budget accordingly.

Everyone considers their rent payments into their monthly budgets, as well as some essential bills. But smaller monthly utility payments can add up quickly and eat into your budget for non-essential items. If you are a first-time renter, you may be wondering how much do utilities cost in an apartment?

This guide will go over the most common utilities renters across America pay monthly and the average costs associated with each bill. 

What are the Most Common Utilities Renters Must Pay?

Heating, electricity, gas, and water are the four major utilities that must be considered as apartments are not considered habitable without access to these necessities. Typically renters pay their own electric bill, while landlords may include the costs of some or all of these utilities in the rent.

For example, many landlords in major cities will pay for things like heat, garbage pick-up, and other utilities because it’s easier to supply the whole building and charge a higher rent than break it up. Check your lease agreement if you are unsure if any utilities are included. Keep in mind that just because your landlord is paying the bill doesn’t mean it’s free. Apartments that include utilities are typically more expensive, and it may well be that the utility bill’s cost is less than the difference in rent. But you’re paying for the convenience of not having to go to the hassle of paying the bill monthly.

In addition to these vital utilities you also have to consider things like internet, cable, and streaming services. If you’re strapped for cash, you can do without these services. But for most modern renters, they are essential and should be considered when planning your budget.

Estimates of Individual Costs of Utilities

Heating

You will not get a separate utility bill for heating, but you will have to somehow pay for it. It will either be covered by your landlord and tacked on to the rent, or it will be included in your electric or gas bill. 

Heating bills vary depending on the climate of the city you live in, and northern cities will have to pay more for heating than southern cities. You should also consider air conditioning. The cost of running an AC will be included in your electric bill, so it isn’t a separate bill you need to worry about. But if you live in a hot climate and need to keep your apartment cool in the summertime, be prepared for your electric bill to go up.

What is the average cost of heating an apartment?

The average cost to heat an apartment is approximately typically around $80-100 per month during the winter months if you have gas heat or forced air. However, if you have oil heating, the cost to heat your apartment will be quite a bit more, likely between $200-$250 per month. 

What is the average cost of cooling an apartment?

It typically costs around $100-125 per month to cool an apartment during the summertime. If you live in an area with a scorching climate or have a huge apartment, the price can increase. 

Electricity

Electricity is an important bill, and it can get out of hand if you’re not careful. It’s easy to be careless and leave the lights on all night or let the AC run while you’re asleep. But unnecessary use of electricity will jack up your bill and eat into your budget for other expenses. The best thing to do is be cognizant of your electric usage and to turn off electronics and other energy gobblers when they are not needed. Electricity bills will vary depending on your needs and the number of roommates you have, but it’s typically between $100 and $150 per month.

What is the average electricity bill for an apartment?

The average electric bill for an apartment in the US is approximately $125 per month. 

Gas

Gas is another important bill you should take into consideration. You may not think about using gas much in your apartment, but many of your appliances may run on gas. To get an accurate estimate of your gas bill, you’ll need to find out where it’s being used. Do you have a gas oven and stove, or are they electric? Is your apartment heated by gas or electricity? These are essential things to know to correctly calculate your gas bill. Your energy provider will often cover both gas and electricity, and you’ll be sent one bill that breaks down the costs of each utility. Pay close attention to this breakdown if you’re looking for ways to reduce monthly costs.

What is the average gas bill for an apartment?

The average monthly gas bill is approximately $100 for apartments that have gas heating. 

Water

Water is another essential utility that can’t be overlooked. If you’re someone who enjoys long luxurious showers or you have a lot of plants, you may end up paying more. But in general, water bills are manageable are often covered by the landlord.

What is the Average Water Bill for an Apartment?

The average monthly water bill for an apartment in the US is $40. 

Internet

Although the internet was once thought of as a luxury, today it’s become necessary for most renters. Internet plans vary depending on how much speed and bandwidth you’re looking for. If you’re a single person who just needs to be able to watch Netflix and surf the web, you can get by for $50 to $75 per month. Whereas if you’re a gamer or tech aficionado and you need a lot of bandwidth to run programs, you may be looking at a bill closer to $150.

What is the Average Internet Bill for an Apartment?

The average internet bill for an apartment is approximately $62 in the US. 

Cable or Streaming

Entertainment is another luxury that has become something of a necessity. You can forgo this bill if you would rather save the money and read a book. But most renters want access to some form of entertainment options, even if that’s just a Netflix subscription. Cable is great if you’re someone who still likes having a whole slate of channels at your disposal. But if you’re looking to save money, mixing and matching different streaming services is another way to go.  

What is the Average Cable Bill for an Apartment?

The average cable TV bill for an apartment is $100. 

What are the Costs of Popular Streaming Services?

  • Netflix: $8.99 - $15.99 / month
  • HBO Max: $15 / month
  • YouTube TV: $64.99 - $109.30 / month
  • Disney Plus: $6.99 / month

How Much Are Utilities in an Average Apartment?

The above costs listed are the national average and, therefore, merely give you a ballpark estimate of what you can expect to pay as a single adult. On average, most adult renters pay between $200 and $300 per month for all utilities. But your utility bills will vary drastically depending on the size of your apartment and the number of roommates you have. A single person in a studio apartment will have lower monthly bills than a group of 4 roommates in a duplex. But depending on how frugal each roommate is, you may be able to reduce costs by splitting the expenses with others. Here is a look at the total costs of utilities by apartment size. 

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.

How Much are Utilities in a studio or 1-bedroom apartment?

Basic utilities for a 1 bedroom or studio will be somewhere between $75 and $125. If you include cable and internet, that will be an extra $100-$200 per month. Living alone does mean you will cut down on some utilities because you won’t have as many people using appliances, taking showers, and doing other things that run up the bills. But unless you live with a significant other, you’ll be footing the entire bill by yourself, which can get costly.

How much are utilities in a 2 or 3-bedroom apartment?

For a two to three-bedroom, you’re looking at closer to $150-$200 per month for basic utilities and the same $100-$200 premium for internet and cable. But if you create a fair system for dividing bills each roommate can get away with only paying $100 per person, given that everyone’s consumption habits are similar.

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.

Tips for Saving on Utilities

  • Turn on electronics only when they are needed and turn them off when they are not
  • Turn off the AC in the summer and turn down the thermostat in winter when no one is home
  • Have an agreement with your roommates to be conservative with utilities or be willing to pay extra