The average electric bill for a one-bedroom apartment in the United States costs $60 per month with one resident and $66 with two residents. For a two bedroom apartment, the average electric bill is $76 per month. The average electric bill in the United States is $115 per month across all residence sizes.
Of course, the average isn’t the whole story. Read on for more information on the factors that can make a difference on your electricity costs.
How Location Can Affect Your Electric Bill
Often, the biggest factor that impacts your bill is location. Electricity consumption and utility rates vary by city and state. As a result, some people end up spending significantly less than the average, while others pay far more.
When it comes to rates, electricity utilities charge a certain number of cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The differences in those rates can be stark, varying more than 20 cents per kWh in some cases.
As a result, average utility costs are impacted by location. Here’s a look at the average monthly electric bill in each region:
- New England – $126.65
- Middle Atlantic – $107.89
- East North Central – $102.40
- West North Central – $110.09
- South Atlantic – $130.04
- East South Central – $134.81
- West South Central – $128.17
- Mountain – $98.94
- Pacific Contiguous – $100.52
- Pacific Noncontiguous – $151.94
While those averages don’t account for the property’s size, they do show how electric bill costs vary from one area to the next.
How Weather Can Affect Your Electric Bill
Weather conditions in your area may also have a major impact on your energy bills. If you live in a region with sweltering summers, freezing winters, or both, you may end up using more electricity than someone who lives in a temperate climate.
The difference in utility usage during specific seasons can be dramatic. In one part of Alaska, the average usage rate goes up by 200 kWh in the winter (when compared to summer usage). As a result, winter electricity bills can be much larger than what customers pay during the summer.
Additionally, market rates for electricity may change when demand rises. This causes the per kWh cost to increase, resulting in higher bills even if a household’s usage level stays consistent.
How Appliance Use Can Affect Your Electric Bill
How much you use your appliances has a major impact on your energy bills. Running appliances like ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers can draw a lot of electricity, pushing your bill up significantly.
Air conditioning units are notorious for driving energy bills up due to the high amount of power they need to operate. A typical central AC unit can use 3.5 kW per hour. A single 12,000 BTU window unit can use 1.2 kW per hour. If you need multiple window units, the energy usage adds up quickly.
Your appliances themselves also play a role. You can save up to 30% on your energy bills by choosing appliances with the Energy Star label for energy efficiency, certified by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.
How Other Utilities Can Affect Your Electric Bill
Whether you have certain other utilities in your apartment can have a substantial impact on your utility bills. Usually, the most significant utility in this regard is natural gas.
Natural gas is used as an alternative to electricity in a number of situations. For example, you may have a gas stove or a gas water heater instead of electric ones. If you do, then your electricity bill will be lower than a person who doesn’t have natural gas appliances.
Similarly, if any of your heating comes from fuel or oil-based sources, your electricity bill may not spike as much during the winter. You’re using an alternate resource for your heating needs, limiting the seasonal impact on your electricity usage.
However, any savings you experience on your electricity bill may be offset by rising costs for your other utilities. Whether that results in a higher or lower total cost may depend on the utility rates for those services.
Generally speaking, using all gas appliances lowers your total utility bill costs by up to 30%. However, you’d need to check rates in your area to see if you’d experience a savings.
How the Number of Residents Can Affect Your Electric Bill
A final major factor that impacts your utility bills is how many people are using the property and for how long. For example, the average utility price for a one-bedroom varies by $6 per month depending on whether there are one or two occupants.
However, how much time any residents spend at home also matters. For example, professionals who used to report to an office but began working remotely during the pandemic may have seen their energy bills rise by $40 to $50 per month.
Part of the increase was related to simply being home more, as the person interacts with more home systems, uses more lights, and may alter the temperature during the day to stay more comfortable. But part of it was related to introducing new electronics to the property, such as a separate work computer.
Computers draw more power when actively in use, but they also use electricity when in standby mode. By bringing an extra one into a home, using it heavily during a typical eight-hour workday, and leaving it on standby the rest of the time, that single device can have a surprising impact on energy consumption.
Ultimately, all of the factors above play a role, altering how much you pay each month. Use the information about the average electricity bill for one- and two-bedroom apartments as a baseline. However, also explore how where you live, the number of occupants, appliance usage, seasonality, and other points may impact your costs. That way, you’re fully prepared.