The average gas bill in the United States is $72.10 per month. However, that doesn’t mean every household pays that amount.
Location, home size, and time of year might all play a role in natural gas usage, leading to bill variances not just between homes but also from one month to the next. Additionally, two identical houses with different numbers of occupants could see notable differences in what they owe.
Average Gas Bill by State
One of the biggest factors in a household’s gas bill is where they live. Natural gas utility companies typically charge by the cubic foot, typically charging in batches of one hundred (CCF). There isn’t a set amount that utilities can charge per CCF. As a result, each state and utility company may have different rates for natural gas, causing two households with the same level of usage to have dramatically different bills.
Here is an overview of the average gas bill by state:
|State||Average Gas Bill|
|District of Columbia||$71.14|
It’s important to note that the cost per CCF isn’t all that can lead to variances in natural gas bills. The number of systems or appliances that typically rely on natural gas may vary between states. For example, natural gas stoves, water heaters, clothes dryers, and heating systems are more common in some regions than others, resulting in increased consumption that in turn causes higher average bills.
Additionally, weather conditions can play a role. Colder areas where natural gas-supported heat systems are common will have higher usage than warm states that don’t rely on gas for heat. As a result, the bills in states with harsher winters may be higher if natural gas is the primary energy source for staying warm.
Average Gas Bill by Home and Household
Another factor that can impact a home’s gas bill is its physical size. While the difference is less pronounced in houses that don’t rely on natural gas for heat, bigger homes can still come with larger gas bills for other reasons.
For example, bigger houses typically have larger hot water heaters. If the water heater uses gas, the bigger the tank, the more energy it takes to keep the water suitably hot.
Similarly, larger homes may have bigger households. That can impact the use of gas stoves and ovens, as well as clothes dryers and water from hot water heaters.
Here is a look at the average gas bill based on an apartment’s size and the number of residents:
|Apartment Type||Number of Residents||Average Gas Bill|
Gas Bill Changes During the Year
As mentioned above, natural gas usage can vary during different times of the year. If natural gas is used as a heat source, the household’s bill will usually rise during the winter. Mainly, this is because they’ll use more gas to stay warm.
However, some areas with fluctuating utility rates may see their natural gas bills rise during the winter even if their usage remains modest. While it isn’t universally the case, some utility companies charge more when demand increases. As a result, natural gas users in colder states might see surge-related bill increases.
As temperatures fall during the spring, gas bills tend to drop. Surge-style pricing may go away, and usage typically declines.
There can be some exceptions, though. For instance, some households may see summer bill increases related to a natural gas barbecue grill. If they end up grilling more often than they’d typically use their oven or stovetop, their monthly gas bill might edge up.
Gas Bills and Appliances and Home Systems
Just as you see with electric appliances and home systems, the efficiency of any natural gas appliances or systems does impact a household’s gas bill. For example, houses that use Energy Star-rated gas furnaces will have lower bills than identical homes and households that use a less efficient model.
Since the appliances and systems themselves can play a significant role in the equation, focusing on energy efficiency when replacing old or broken down ones is usually a smart move. While the exact amount of savings can vary depending on usage and local rates, the monthly savings can be significant.
Additionally, by transitioning from electric to gas appliances, a household may also save a bundle. Typically, electric appliances are more costly to operate than their natural gas brethren. As a result, a household could potentially save up to 30 percent on their utility costs by making the switch.
The Bottom Line
In the end, the average gas bill in the United States isn’t incredibly high. However, natural gas can get quite expensive in some states for a number of reasons. Some charge higher rates overall, while others may see increased usage due to the weather. Plus, home and household size can have an impact. As a result, it’s essential to keep all of that in mind when you’re estimating what you may pay for your natural gas service.