How Much Do Utilities Cost For A Studio Apartment?

You are here

Seattle Housing Authority establishes utility estimates for the cost of utilities not included in the rent. They are based on the typical cost of utilities and services paid by energy-conservative households that occupy housing of the same size and utility responsibility in the same locality.   Estimates are not based on an individual family’s actual energy consumption and do not include non-essential utility costs, such as telephone or cable.   Other housing authorities may call this a utility allowance.   In general, households pay at least 30 percent—but no more than 40 percent—of monthly adjusted income for rent and utilities. Households may pay more than 40 percent of income after the first year. Monthly adjusted income is a household’s gross income, after certain deductions and allowances are taken into account.   This chart represents estimated costs for any utilities or services for which a tenant is responsible, meaning the tenant pays the bill or the landlord charges the tenant extra for the utility bill. To determine utility estimate, select the group that most closely represents utility responsibilities according to the lease, and then select the bedroom size that is the lower of the voucher size or the size of the leased unit.     Studio $115 $35 $20 $0 1 $130 $45 $25 $0 2 $200 $60 $30 $0 3 $300 $85 $45 $0 4 $410 $140 $65 $0 5 and above $520 $195 $95 $0 Effective April 1, 2022.   * Yesler, Rainier Vista, Lake City Court, High Point and NewHolly use a different utility schedule



Taxes in Virginia aren’t so outrageous compared to the rest of the nation. The sales tax rate for Virginia is 5.6% compared to the national average of 7.3%. Property taxes in Virginia also fall below the national average. Virginia’s average property tax rate is 0.80% compared to the U.S. average of 1.07%. 

Keep in mind, your property tax rate will vary depending on which Virginia county you reside in. Property taxes throughout the state range anywhere from 0.42% to 1.37%. And even though Virginia’s tax rate is lower, because the state’s home values are higher, you can expect to pay property taxes more on par with the nation’s average. 

The Virginia income tax rate is progressive. This means depending on your annual income, you may have a Virginia income tax rate as low as 2%. For anyone earning a taxable income above $17,000, your Virginia income tax rate will be 5.75%.

Water Sewer

In addition to electricity and natural gas, you will be billed for water and sewer usage at your apartment. Each of these utilities will be billed monthly, along with your other utilities. Since exact sewer usage cannot be accurately tracked, the sewer rate will be based on your water usage. Averages are just over $65 per month throughout the year. Unless you have a sudden spike in water usage, your sewer charges should not have much variation from month to month.

While your sewer bill stays relatively consistent, Seattle charges a peak rate for water usage during the summer months to discourage overuse. This means that your water bill will be slightly higher from May to September, even if your usage remains the same. The average water bill for your apartment should be just under $60 based on the number of residents and their water usage.

At Essex communities in the Seattle area, both water and sewer fees are paid directly to the community, making it easy for residents to manage their recurring monthly utility payments.


Ask Current Tenants

If you are unsure about utility costs, you can ask current residents how much they spend on utilities before moving in. Just be sure to phrase the question politely since it can be a bit of a personal question.

Always Check the Energy Efficiency Ratio

Before buying any appliance, check the energy efficiency ratio (EER). This ratio tells you how well the appliance uses electricity to function. A higher EER means that an appliance has been rated as energy efficient.

Use Natural Heating and Cooling

Whenever possible, use your apartment’s natural heating and cooling. Open the windows during the summer to let in cool air so that you don’t need to spend as much on cooling. During the winter, use furniture to block windows to prevent drafts. It all depends on how creative you can get!

How to Choose the Right Utility Provider in Chicago

While certain utilities are managed by the city, others are privately owned utility companies. Most landlords or apartment buildings already have a utility company they have a contract with. However, some landlords leave the decision up to the renter. 

If you have the choice, choosing the right utility provider is key if you want to keep your monthly bills low. 

Every Apartment’s Utility Needs Are Different

Your apartment needs differ from others, so make the choice that’s right for you. If you prefer very warm or very cool temperatures, prioritize utility billing when shopping for a new apartment. You’ll use more utilities. As a result, you should seek out apartments with a flat fee or capped utility billing. This helps keep your bills consistent and avoid any unexpectedly high costs.

Make an Informed Decision

Feel free to ask your potential landlord for utility costs estimates up front before signing the lease agreement. Having this knowledge ahead of time allows you to truly compare what your monthly budget looks like in all of your apartment options.

If they can’t give you an estimate, contact the utility companies directly and ask what their estimate is for the particular unit. Afterward, you can shop around the different providers to find the best deal on utilities in Chicago.

How Much are Utilities in an Apartment with Four or More Bedrooms?

With four or more bedrooms you’re looking at closer to $200- $300 per month for basic utilities, depending on the number of roommates. Cable won’t change much unless you all have different tastes. But you’ll likely want to invest in Wi-Fi with a higher bandwidth if you’re going to have several people and devices all using the same connection. That will run you an extra $50 to $100 per month. But if you’re smart and make sure everyone is frugal with the utilities you can easily get away with paying less than $150 per person if all of the rooms are occupied.

How Is Water Usage Measured in Chicago

If your property has a water meter, you’re billed based on how much water you use. And you can find out how much that is exactly by reading your water meter or looking at your water bill.

In every billing period, the City of Chicago will charge you the current water rate based on your usage. Additionally, you should check your bills against your usage to make sure it’s accurate.

If your property isn’t metered, you’ll pay an average estimate based on your property, your appliances, and how many people live with you.


If you are in a multi-unit building with radiators, there will almost certainly be no extra charge for heat. The landlord will pay the building’s heating bill in total and build that cost into the rent. However, if you and some friends team up and rent a house, you’ll be on the hook for keeping an oil burner going for heat and hot water, which could cost more than $300 a month. If you have gas or forced-air heating expect to pay at least $100 a month in the deep winter, though the cost can vary. One good way to find out what to expect is simply to ask the landlord or a previous tenant.

Tips for Saving on Your Water Bill

Water consumption can be easily reduced. First and foremost, check for leaks in your bathroom or kitchen and fix them. Leaky faucets aren’t just noisy and annoying. They’re also a waste of water. To address this, replace your showerhead with one that is efficient and, while you’re at it, try to take shorter showers, as well.

Meanwhile, the washer and dishwasher will often have an efficient or eco cycle, which can reduce the amount of water being used. In this way, lower-maintenance clothes and lightly used dishes can be washed at colder temperatures and shorter cycles.

Getting Around

As of March 2021, gas prices in Virginia hit $3.07 a gallon. Compared to the national average of $2.58 per gallon, you’ll be paying a bit more to get around Virginia. Your daily commute will be a bit longer than the rest of the nation. The average Virginian commutes 28.2 minutes one-way, which is longer than the national average of 26.4 minutes.

While 77% of Virginians commute via car, you can also take public transit. For $60, you’ll receive an unlimited-ride 30-day pass from the Greater Richmond Transit Company. You can also connect to the D.C. Metro using the Metrobus. A 7-day regional bus pass will cost you $17.50.

How much is the average water bill for an apartment?

Unlike electricity and gas, water isn’t typically a cost that renters are responsible for paying. Often landlords include it in the monthly rental amount. If you are accountable for the cost of water, expect to pay an average of $70 per month, increasing with additional occupants..

Ways you can save on your water bill:

Regardless of whether you’re responsible for your water bill or not, there are still ways to limit water use and reduce your carbon footprint at home:

  • Showers: Take shorter showers and consider a low-flow showerhead.
  • Dishes: Use the dishwasher. The average dishwasher uses 3-5 gallons of water vs. the 25+ you’ll use handwashing. Be sure to fill the dishwasher up fully to avoid wasting water or electricity.
  • Clothing: Avoid washing small loads of clothing. Full loads of laundry mean fewer cycles and less water.

What are The Typical Average Utility Costs?

We’ll get down and dirty with the details in the next part of this guide. But for now, let’s take a look at the average utility bills for apartment renters across the United States.

According to a 2016 report by the United States Energy Administration, the average monthly energy bill an apartment renter could expect is $112. However, this last report was compiled in 2016 (yikes). Energy costs have increased substantially since then, especially in certain parts of the country.

Depending on where you live (region, state, city) and on the type of energy consumed (gas, electric, etc.), renters could expect to pay an average of $150-$200+ per month on utilities not included in the rent.

Below is a Brief Breakdown of an Apartments Average Costs Based on Utility Type:*This is a rough average estimate and to be used for illustration purposes only

  • Average Electricity Bill $40-$70 (excludes that used for air/heat and stove)
  • Average Air conditioning Bill $35-$60 (averaged over a 12-month period)
  • Average Heating Bill $50-$65 (averaged over a 12-month period)
  • Average Cable and internet Bill $75-$180
  • Average Trash and recycling Bill $20-$30
  • Average Water Bill $40-$60
  • Average Renters insurance Bill $15-$25 per month


Average cost: $28 (single) – $116 (family)

In the US, water usage and cost are measured per 1,000 gallons. On average, 1,000 gallons cost around $11.48. It is estimated that a single American household uses around 328 gallons of water per day, which amounts to around $3.76 daily.

If you have a water bill that is regularly higher than the average, it usually means that you are not using the water in your home efficiently.

Money-Saving Ideas

  • Use a dishwasher because it uses less water than washing dishes by hand. Seriously. A dishwasher only uses three gallons of water per use, but washing dishes by hand can use up to 27 gallons of water per use!
  • Fill up your dishwasher to the maximum recommended load before running a cycle.
  • Take showers instead of baths. A shower only consumes around 25 gallons of water on average, but a bath can easily double that amount.
  • Check your pipes and faucets regularly for leaks.

Renter’s insurance

Finally, always get renter’s insurance. You never know what may happen, and it’s very affordable, at only about $150 a year. If your apartment is burglarized, you’ll be very thankful you have it.

What Is the Average Gas Bill?

When it comes to gas costs, southern states see so

When it comes to gas costs, southern states see some of the lowest prices, followed by the West Coast — due to both low monthly consumption and moderate prices. The lowest averages are found in Florida with a $38 average gas bill; Arizona with $46; and Louisiana with $47. In Idaho, Nevada, California and New Mexico, the average gas bill is less than $60. And, while most people use gas for heating their homes and cooking, average amounts may differ because the provider or local administrator could include additional fixed charges or taxes on the bill.

For instance, the average gas bill for a one-bedroom apartment will be around $46 per month during the cold season if your gas-fueled appliances are highly efficient. But, remember that weather is also an important variable and low temperatures during winter will significantly increase the heating bill. Consequently, the average gas bill for a three-bedroom apartment with a high-efficiency furnace and/or water heater can reach slightly more than $61. But, if you have low- to average-efficiency appliances, expect to pay more than $70 for a three-bedroom rental.

How Much Are Utilities in an Average Apartment?

The above costs listed are the national average and, therefore, merely give you a ballpark estimate of what you can expect to pay as a single adult. On average, most adult renters pay between $200 and $300 per month for all utilities. But your utility bills will vary drastically depending on the size of your apartment and the number of roommates you have.

A single person in a studio apartment will have lower monthly bills than a group of 4 roommates in a duplex. But depending on how frugal each roommate is, you may be able to reduce costs by splitting the expenses with others. Here is a look at the total costs of utilities by apartment size. 

How much are utilities in an apartment? Other apartment costs to consider before renting

There are a few other potential fees to consider before renting an apartment. These fees are much harder to negotiate and aren’t typically bundled with other services.


Adding an alarm or apartment security system is your responsibility. You’ll also want to check with your landlord before installing security that connects to the main electrical system.


Finding an apartment that allows pets can be a challenge. Many landlords view them as liabilities and a hazard. If you find a new home for both you and your furry companion, expect to pay a pet deposit and an additional fee on top of your regular rent.

Renters insurance

Most landlords require you to have renters insurance. This provides coverage for your personal property against fire, theft, and vandalism, and saves the building from legal hassle. Some policies will also cover your expenses if your apartment becomes uninhabitable. Annual premium costs are very affordable and usually paid annually. You can also bundle renters  insurance with auto or life insurance for better rates.

Save money by being knowledgeable and keeping track of expenses. Bundle services when possible, buy what you need, and use less.


Leave a Comment