No matter where you live, you are most likely going to have to pay utilities while residing there. If you live in an apartment in the United States, it’s possible that the utilities will be included in the price of your monthly rent. Even if this is the case, they can still be costly. The average cost of utilities varies by zip code, but it still makes an impact on your budget.

 

What are utilities?

Essentially, utilities are alll those extra that you have to pay for to make living in your home comfortable.

A person's hand is reaching down and opening the metal faucet of a sink in a bathroom. The water is running down from the spout.

They ensure that your building is kept clean and that you have what you need to run your appliances or to take hot showers every day. Typically your utilities will fall into the following categories:

  • Water
  • Cooling/heating
  • Gas/electricity
  • Recycling/trash
  • Cable/internet

 

Impacts on utility costs

How much you’ll pay for utilities each month is impacted by a variety of factors. For instance, where you live, how much you use the resources, the size of the space and whether or not your home is energy efficient. If you live in a temperate climate, your heating and cooling bill will probably be lower than it would in other places because you won’t have to constantly heat and cool your home to be comfortable. Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities. How you set the thermostat in your home will also have an impact. If you consistently keep it at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, naturally it will wind up costing more than if you set it at 68°. Conversely, if you set it at 68°F in the summer, it will cost you more than if you let the space get slightly warmer.

The energy efficiency of your home plays a huge role in how much you pay for utilities. If warm or cool air is leaking through windows or unsealed doors, then you will be paying for that wasted air. Having proper insulation and the right type of windows can go a long way.

If you live in a larger space, it is going to cost much more to heat and cool than a smaller space would. It will also depend on the layout of the place. Homes with an open concept floor plan cost far more to heat and cool than spaces that are compartmentalized.

 

The average cost of utilities by zip code

Generally, the rule of thumb is when living in an apartment, you should budget $200 per month for utilities. This is just an average and again, this price depends on multiple factors. If possible try to find a place where the utilities are included in the rent, so you don’t even have to think about them.

 a series of electric meters

When looking for the perfect apartment, consider renting with Blueground. Their fully-furnished and equipped apartments around the world are completely set up and move-in ready. So, all you have to do is show up with a suitcase and start living. Immediately, you’ll feel like a local. Using their Guest App you can request cleaning services, handle maintenance issues or even get transit directions from home. 

When it comes to paying for utilities, Blueground factors the amount into the monthly rent. Payment adjustments based on your utility consumption are factored in at the end of each billing cycle. It’s truly the most hassle-free way to relocate.   

When considering moving to a major city for a long-term position or even a temporary one, the price of utilities can have a major impact on your budget. Below are the average utility prices for some major U.S. cities.

Chicago

The average cost of utilities in Chicago, including internet, will be about $191 per month. Here, they have a “Cloud Tax”. Meaning, you’ll have to pay for online streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix. It’s usually a 9% surtax on the cost of services.

Washington, D.C.

When living in the nation’s capital, you can expect to pay around $172 for utilities. This amount is based on an apartment that is 915 square feet and includes the internet, electricity, heating, water, and garbage.

Boston

The average price of utilities in Boston, based on an apartment that is 915 square feet, is approximately $150. This is the basic package that includes electricity, water and garbage, and heating. Adding internet will increase the bill by a small amount.

Los Angeles

L.A. may be notoriously expensive, but utilities here are comparably affordable.

A furnished apartment in Los Angeles by Blueground. There is a grey couch against the wall in front of a wooden coffee table. The couch and the table are sitting on top of a grey and blue rug. There is an image in a wooden frame above the couch. In the kitchen there are three brown leather bar stools against the white kitchen counter.

Basing the price on a one-bedroom apartment, you could expect to pay around $150 per month. This includes both the basic package and the internet.

San Francisco

The average utility costs in San Francisco, including internet, average about $220 per month. This is based on two people sharing an apartment that is 915 square feet.

New York City

Living in New York City can be incredibly expensive. The average cost of utilities is approximately $210 per month, for both the basic package and the internet

 

Reducing utility costs

If you’re looking to reduce the amount you pay each month, there are some specific things you can do.

Make sure appliances are energy efficient

Appliances use up a lot of energy. 

woman saving her money into a piggy bank and counting on a calculator

Making sure they are up to date and meet energy efficiency standards can help reduce the cost of your electric bills. 

Replace leaky windows

Double-paned windows that are sealed properly are the best way to ensure that your home or apartment is being heated and cooled properly. Ask whether the place you live has these in place. If not, consider asking if they can be installed.

Use energy-efficient light bulbs

Lighting is probably one of the most often used parts of a home, so having energy-efficient bulbs can help dramatically lower costs. 

When renting an apartment, you may not be able to implement all of these changes but bringing them to the landlord’s attention could wind up saving you both money.

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