Households in the United States typically spend hundreds of dollars a month on utilities. On average, the total monthly cost usually comes in somewhere in the $362 to $576 range.
On average, households owe $115 per month for electricity and around $72 a month for natural gas services. Plus, they typically spend about $83 per month on water, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Precisely what a particular household will pay each month in utilities depends on a wide range of factors, including location, home size, household size, the number of utilities present, and more. If you’d like to take a deeper dive, here’s what you need to know about the cost of utilities in the United States.
The Average Cost of Electricity
While the average electric bill is $115 per month, the actual amount a household may spend varies significantly based on factors such as appliance usage and local temperatures. Additionally, utility companies don’t charge the same amount per kilowatt-hour (kWh). That means two identical households may have drastically different bills simply because they live in different areas.
Here is a quick breakdown of the average electric bill by state according to date from the Energy Information Administration (EIA):
|State||Average Electric Bill|
The Average Cost of Natural Gas
On average, natural gas services cost United States households a little more than $72 per month. However, like electricity, natural gas bills can vary for a number of reasons. How many household appliances or systems use it is a big factor, as well as where a person lives, the number of people in the household, and the home’s size.
As with per kWh charges, each natural gas utility may charge a different amount per cubic foot of natural gas used, which is usually measured in batches of one hundred (CCF). As a result, similar consumption rates can still lead to significant cost differences based on where a person lives.
Here is an overview of the average gas bill by state:
|State||Average Gas Bill|
|District of Columbia||$71.14|
The Average Cost of Water
On average, households in the United States spend a bit more than $1,000 per year on water, which breaks down to about $83 per month. However, water costs are determined by usage. As a result, there can be some significant differences from one household to the next.
Typically, each American uses around 82 gallons of water daily. Consider that there is an average of 2.53 people per household, and larger families may spend far more than $83 per month on their water services.
Additionally, the type of property you have may be a factor. For example, while apartment dwellers don’t typically have to worry about keeping a lawn green, some homeowners do. As a result, homeowner households may spend more than an apartment household even if the number of residents is the same.
The Average Cost of Sewer Service
The cost of sewer (wastewater) service can vary dramatically by location. While the average price may be as low as $14 per month in some cities, it can reach upward of $135 in others. However, among major metropolitan areas, the average comes in slightly above $66 per month, giving you a general idea of what to expect cost-wise.
Like water, sewer service charges are usually based on volume. As a result, a household with more members usually sees higher bills.
The Average Cost of Garbage Pickup
When it comes to the average cost for garbage pickup, most households pay an amount in the $20 to $80 per month range. Pricing is usually based on the size and number of cans, as well as whether a household chooses add-on services like curbside recycling or yard waste pickup.
The Average Cost of High-Speed Internet
While high-speed internet isn’t always viewed as a utility, it’s a necessary expense for many households. Usually, the cost varies depending on service speed, delivery type, provider, and whether the household is renting their equipment. However, when it comes to the average price, the monthly bills commonly fall in the $58 to $91 per month range.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, while the exact totals can vary, utilities typically cost households hundreds of dollars each month. As a result, they have the ability to make or break budgets.
However, it’s important to realize that utility bills can vary for a number of reasons. Along with location, household and home size play a role in many cases. If you’re trying to estimate your costs, keep that in mind. That way, you can make sure you don’t underestimate what you may need to pay.