Average cost of utilities for a house per month: A breakdown

The cost of utilities can vary widely based on things like where you live, the size of your home, the number of people in your household and how many utilities you use. If you include bills for electricity, gas, water, sewer, phone and internet, the average monthly cost of utilities can be hundreds of dollars.

Keep in mind that some people pay more or less. But utilities are an essential part of household bills, so it’s important to budget accordingly. 

Key takeaways

  • Electricity, water, gas, sewer, phone and internet are common utilities families pay for each month.
  • The costs of utilities can change based on things like the size of a home, the number of people in the house, specific utilities and the efficiency of those utilities.
  • You can make big and small changes to avoid paying more than necessary for utilities.

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What are utilities?

Utilities can make your home functional. For instance, you need water and electricity to do things like take a shower and turn on the lights. But what you pay in utilities might come down to what you need or want.

Types of utilities

The types of utilities you may use and pay for include:

  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Internet
  • Gas
  • Sewer
  • Trash and recycling
  • Phone
  • Cable and streaming services

What impacts the cost of utilities?

Utility costs aren’t the same for everyone. Costs can vary and be based on multiple factors, including:

  • Location: Where you live could affect what you’ll pay in utilities. For instance, if you live in the South, you might run your air conditioning more than those in northern states where it’s cooler throughout the year.
  • Home size: The size of your home can also impact the total cost. The larger the home, the more you’ll likely spend on heating, cooling and electricity.
  • Resources: How often you use your utilities could affect what you pay for them. For example, you may need access to fast and reliable internet and phone service at your house, especially if you work from home. But your internet access might vary—or be nonexistent—depending on your needs.
An illustration shows location, home size and resources as factors that affect the cost of utilities.

Average utilities costs

What you pay for utilities depends on where you live, what utilities you use and other factors. But it might still be helpful to compare your payments to averages.

Average electric bill

In 2021, the average monthly electric bill in the U.S. was $121.01, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But the monthly costs ranged from $80.87 in Utah to $177.78 in Hawaii, so where you live can be a major factor.  

Average water bill

In 2022, the average water bill across the U.S. was $45.44, according to Statista. Location was a factor for this too. West Virginia had the highest averages, with residents paying $105 per month, compared to the lowest for North Carolina residents, who paid $20 per month on average. 

Average internet bill

According to Statista, the average internet bill across the U.S. in 2022 was $59.99 per month. But that can depend on what you need and the options available in your area. And you might pay for internet, phone and cable in a bundle package. If you pay for your phone separately, it could cost $114 per month, according to Move.org.

Average cable bill

What you pay for cable can also depend on your preferences and what’s available where you live. But it might cost about $217.42 a month, according to Allconnect. If you’re interested in spending less each month, it may help to cut the cord.

Average natural gas bill

Unlike cable, natural gas—and other heating sources—can be a necessary utility, but your usage and other factors can determine how much you pay. The average monthly gas bill across the U.S. in 2021 was $63.42, according to the American Gas Association.

Average garbage and recycling bill

Garbage and recycling costs could depend on whether you have pickup services and the size of the cans, but according to Move.org, you could pay between $25 and $100 each month. And sometimes this can be included in the sewer bill, which might cost about $66.20 a month.

How to save on utilities

While not all of your utility costs are up to you, there are some ways you could save.

1. Unplug and turn off appliances

Turning off and unplugging your appliances regularly can cut down on energy costs. While this isn’t possible for all of your appliances—like your refrigerator, for example—you could unplug and turn off items that aren’t in constant use, like your air fryer or coffee machine.

2. Get ceiling fans

Using ceiling or box fans to increase air circulation may mean you’ll rely less on setting your air conditioning to a lower temperature. 

3. Replace your air filters

Replacing your air filters every three months can lower your overall energy usage. If you think you’ll forget, set a calendar reminder to ping you when it’s time.

4. Keep up with maintenance

Just like you need preventive care when you head to the doctor, regular care for your utilities may help lower costs in the long run. Schedule annual maintenance for things like your HVAC system.

5. Seal and fix water leaks

Check around your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, outside hose and hot water tank for any water leaks. Sealing any leaks could bring your water usage and bill down. 

6. Replace old fixtures

Old pipes and light fixtures could be costing you more in utility bills. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends looking for WaterSense and Energy Star-labeled products. Newer products are typically more energy efficient, which means you can save more in the long run. Using LED lighting and setting up timers to manage efficiency may also help lower your costs.

7. Avoid constant usage

Try to run appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine less often and only when they’re completely full. Consider washing your clothes in cold water because hot water will use more energy. 

8. Compare costs

In some cases—like your water bill—you can’t shop around. But for things like your cable, phone and internet providers, you might be able to compare costs and possibly lower your monthly bill. Many providers have introductory rates for new customers that can significantly lower your current payments. You could also call your provider and ask for discounts and deals for existing customers before you make the jump to a new provider.

9. Install solar panels

Adding solar panels to your home isn’t free, but if your home is eligible, you could significantly lower your home energy costs. And you could be eligible for a tax credit. Solar panels use the sun to produce energy, and if your home gets enough exposure, there’s a chance you could cut your electricity bill.

10. Seal and insulate windows and doors

Without proper seals and insulation around places like windows and doors, air could be escaping, causing your HVAC system to run more. 

11. Get rid of unnecessary services

There’s no reason you should keep paying for something you don’t use or need. For instance, if you have a landline phone but only use your cellphone, you can cancel your landline. If you have half a dozen streaming services to your name, consider which ones get the most use. Then cancel service for the ones that don’t get much attention.

Cost of utilities in a nutshell

While you can eliminate some utilities, you can’t get rid of all of them. Utilities make your home functional. Most utility costs fluctuate based on usage, while others are a flat rate. 

You can lower your cost of some utilities by only paying for what you need. Preventive maintenance also helps lower your chances of paying more than necessary. But it’s a good idea to make sure your budget is set up to handle any unforeseen occurrences by having an emergency fund. And you can always be on the lookout for ways to save money at home.

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