Utility Bills 101: Average Costs, And How To Save On Monthly Bills

Gas And Electric Differences

When it comes to your utility bill, there are generally going to be some average thresholds you should expect, and these will shift during the year.

Of course, if you’re in a luxury unit, this all may be moot; your budget can handle it. But if you’re looking to conserve resources, you’ll want to pay attention to local weather patterns and other exigencies.

For example, if you’re in a climate that gets snow annually, you’re going to have some big costs coming from running heat.

If you’re in a place like Texas, where the summers are hotter than the sun itself, you’ll need A/C.

A/C and heating can be very expensive. Depending on whether or not your utilities come through gas or electric power, you’ll have differing costs.

Gas is usually going to be less costly than electricity. Expect electric utilities to be about a third more expensive. So if you paid $.66 cents to run a dryer, the electric equivalent would be about $1.00.

Average Costs To Expect

Now, these prices will fluctuate based on region.

Expect things to go up or down depending on how generally costly your municipality is. For a good average “spread”, if you’re a single person, expect costs for utilities like gas or electric to be between $25 and $50 a month, sometimes peaking under $100 when things get extremely hot or cold.

If you’re living with a family, expect to average around $100 a month, with lows at the $50 mark, and highs at the $200 mark.

Apportion a $2,400 a year utility budget, and you should be good. But don’t neglect to account for all the features of your utility bill.

You may have to pay for trash service on a monthly basis, and if you’re in a residence, you might have an HOA.

While technically HOA fees aren’t “utility” bills, they are recurrent and considerable, and you may want to factor them into your budget to help you either conserve resources to the max or anticipate where costs will be so you can avoid being surprised by a hefty bill.

Go to this website for on-the-nose savings strategies and local Texas rates can be a key component in helping you achieve the best savings on a regular basis. There are organic ways to avoid expenses.

Savings Strategies

For example, ventilation strategy.

Open all the windows and doors of your house at night, keep the windows open till just before dawn, then close them and the shades when the sun comes.

This keeps the cool of the night in and should keep your residence from getting more than ten degrees hotter or cooler while the sun’s out.

Additionally, consider secondary cooling solutions which don’t necessarily rely on internal utilities.

For example, you can run a $40 water-cooled air conditioning system from a $100 solar panel. There are also fine little $40 solar units which can be set up wherever you prefer.

Put the solar unit outside, run cables inside, run the cooling unit all day, and open windows at night. For $80 to $140, you can totally cool down small spaces with no utility costs at all.

In terms of heat, there are similar options available, but it’s generally going to be harder—unless you’ve got a residence with an actual fireplace.

In Texas, this won’t likely be an issue; but as you get into the northern regions, it may be integral that your residence has some sort of heating apparatus like a fireplace; especially if you need to save money on Utilities.

Ask local residents of rental units where you live what their average bills are, do a little homework online, and look into secondary heating options.

If you do have an HVAC system, getting it serviced can get you better heat or cool for less monthly cost—sometimes system degradation results in higher cost of utilities.

Consider the problem from every angle, and you’ll find diverse solutions.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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