Moving to a new state or locating? You need to plan your expenses even before you move.
When you are planning a budget for your moving and housing expenses, there is more to think about than just your monthly rent or mortgage payment.
You will need to consider utility costs also, which include your electric bill. The average American family spends a minimum of $2,200 per year on home utility bills, such as gas, water, and electricity, according to the United States Department of Energy.
That is almost $185 per month to be budgeted for utilities, though based on your usage or state, it could even be much.
Alternatively, there are some ways to save on utilities and reduce your costs, especially when it concerns your electric bill. We’ll discuss more on those later in this article. So, what should you expect to spend on electricity?
Here, we’ve given detail on all you need to know about the media electric bill, which includes the median cost per region and state. You will also find a few helpful tips we shared for improving energy efficiency in your household so that you can lower both your monthly electric bill as well as your environmental footprint. That’s a win to us, so let’s dive in.
What are Utilities?
Utilities mean housing expenses that include water, garbage removal, electricity, gas, and recycling. Today, the definition of utilities has been extended to accommodate internet service (Wi-Fi), cell phone service, and cable/streaming services. Whether you are a renter or owner, you will possibly be required to pay for utilities.
What is the Average Cost of Utilities?
In the United States, the media cost of basic utilities which include gas, water, and electricity is $240 per month. That amounts to $2,880 per annum.
Below is how you can prepare a monthly cost for each basic utility:
- Gas: $30-$50
- Electricity: $103-$191
- Water: $28 – $60
With that, the cost of utilities differs by location and company. So, you may see costly or lower rates. For instance, you will pay higher water rates in California than you will in and around the Finger Lakes.
Also, living in a state that has a mild climate, such as Tennessee implies that you will spend lesser on heating costs than you would in a state like Minnesota that has harsh winters.
What is the Average Electric Bill?
The electricity bill will possibly be one of your expensive monthly utility costs. The typical American, on average, uses 41% of their energy on heating and cooling of their space and 35% on electronics, lighting, and appliances.
You will be paying more or less on your space electricity bill based on the number of your household member, your state of residence, the number of appliances and electronics you have in your home running on electricity, and the size of your space. Two primary factors that determine the costs you spend on your electricity bill include:
1. The quantity of electricity that you use: This is likely a no-brainer. The more electricity you consume in your home, the more the median electric bill will be. Aside from personal consumption habits, other factors impact this variable, such as the size of your house (bigger house, bigger electricity need) and the outdoor temperature (bigger differences between indoor and outdoor climate mean more electricity).
2. The cost of electricity in your location: The cost of the average bill for electricity is based on state, as well as zip code and region. That is why your bill might not have to be the same after you move, even if you maintain the same monthly usage. Costs can vary based on provider, as well. If you have the chance to shop around for your electricity company, it is a great idea to do since it might land you a better deal contacting one electric provider to another.
Energy Usage of Appliances
Your household appliances and systems will consume the highest energy in your home and constitute the most cost on your electric bill. Here are usage and cost estimates for your highest energy users based on a $0.10 per kilowatt per hour rate:
Central heating and cooling: Around 46% of the energy usage in your home is consumed by your HVAC system. A 35000-watt HVAC unit will cost around $85 to $195 per month based on the efficiency of your system.
Water Heaters: Your water heater consumes 14% of your household energy usage. If you have a 4500-watt water heater, your cost will be around $40.50 per month.
Appliances: Major appliances like your dryer, washer, electric stove, electric oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher take 13% of your electricity cost. Together, these appliances cost you around $38 every month on average.
Average Electric Bill by State and Region
Together with providing a country average, the EIA also gives information on the breakdown of average electricity bills by state and region.
Below is how different locations compare.
Region/State – Average Monthly Electric Bill
|District of Columbia||$90||$72||$22||$54||$40||$30||$308|
Average Electric Bill by State and Region
Considering the data above, you can easily see that the Pacific Contiguous region is the United States region with the lowest average bill for electricity at $100.93, and Utah is the state that has the lowest bill in general at $77.25.
Meanwhile, you may spend more if you live in the most priced region – Pacific Noncontiguous at $151.22 per month, or the most expensive state, which is Hawaii at $168.13 per month.
Tips to Reduce Your Electric Bill
Not everything is under your control. Unless the electricity market has been deregulated in your state, for instance, you possibly won’t have more choice of electricity provider. And if you relocate into a home that is costly to heat or cool due to its size, you can’t just cut out few rooms to reduce your bill.
However, there are easy things to do to reduce your electricity bill if it is higher than your capacity. Try the following tips to find out how much you can save.
Seal and insulate: If you are a homeowner, try upgrades to insulated windows, and make sure you seal draft using weather stripping or spray foam. If you are a renter, you can request these upgrades from your landlord, but you can also make use of simple tricks like using plastic wrap to cover your window during winter and covering up blackout curtains during the summer.
Divert to LED light bulbs: Unlike incandescent bulbs and even energy-saving CFL bulbs, LEDs consume less energy. Each bulb will just cost you a few dollars more, but they are designed to last for years, so you can take it as a wise investment.
Go for a smart thermostat: Since these thermostats are connected to the internet, you can control them remotely with your smartphone. This makes programming your heating and cooling schedules easier and ensures you are not overpaying to treat the atmosphere in an empty home
Go for appliances that are ENERGY STAR-rated: This is one other area where renters usually have to work with what they are given, but if you are a homeowner, you will eventually need to replace most of your appliances. When you do, go for the ENERGY STAR label to ensure you are getting an energy-efficient model.
If you can choose an electricity provider of your choice, choose wisely: An increasing number of states have deregulated their electricity industry, which implies that electricity companies compete to get your business. If you reside in one of these states, you may be open to several variable rate plans from varieties of companies, which further enable you to select the perfect terms for you. Check Direct Energy for electricity plans for competitive fixed rates from different plans to fit your lifestyle and home.
How to Save Money on My Gas Bill
When it is about gas use, heating and cooling will be the major scapegoats of a high gas bill. Fortunately, you can easily reduce your gas use, by tackling your heating and cooling habits in your household.
Below are some helpful tips on heating and cooling to lower your gas bill.
Turn off your heat when you are away: Unless there is a pet at home, if not, then you should off your heat. If you own a thermostat, you can then program it to switch on right before you get home. Else, just turn it on when you arrive.
Avoid turning your head down: More energy and gas are consumed to heat your home warmer right from 500F to 650F than it would consume to heat it from 600F to 650F.
Cut downdrafts: Poorly insulated doors and windows in cooler months can be drafty and can lower the efficiency of your heating. Warm air doesn’t only escape through these openings, also allows cool air flows in. Leave enough time to figure out and lower drafts in your home. This is so much important in older buildings or apartment units.
Seriously bundle up: Go for heavier blankets, fuzzy house slippers, comfy robe, and thick lounging sweaters. Lowering your heating bill is possible by putting on warmer clothes around the house.
Reduce the use of the oven in summer: Focus on using a stovetop during summer, if possible. Heating a gas-powered oven can consume a lot of gas. Not to talk of how the about of an oven in warmer months can heat your space.
How to Save Money on My Heating Bill
Almost half of the money you spend on your electricity bill is constituted by heating and cooling costs. This amounts to an average of more than $900 per annum for the average American home. If you want to cut the loss, you are fortunate.
Below are a few tips that will help you save more on your heating bills.
- Buy smart thermostat: With a smart thermostat, you can forget about unnecessary heating and cooling costs as it gives you more control over the settings and provides the power of automation. There are electricity providers that give incentives to customers who install compliant thermostats, so it’s a win.
- Heat your home effectively: There are sayings that ‘heat the person and not the room’. Unless you reside in a location that sees freezing temperatures, you may be able to cut your heating costs by just bunding up a little more in the cooler months. If walking around in shots in your home in winter is fine by you, you’ve possibly increased the heat excessively. Get a blanket, a mug of warm drink, and some sweats.
- Don’t depend on the only A/C to cool your home: Air conditioners are famous for their energy-cons energy consumption. Reduce A/C use by trying other eco- and budget-friendly alternatives. Leave your windows open at night to allow cooler air. Close them during the day to keep out warm air. If possible, leave one room cool and spend quality time there, rather than just cooling the entire household.
How to Save Money on My Water Bill
Water is so much precious that most people can take it for granted because of its convenience. Using water carelessly can affect your water bill and also have consequential effects on the entire environment, leading to drops of groundwater tables and reducing water accessibility to wildlife. To fight for the environment (and your purse), it is important to be more mindful and conscious of your water usage.
Below is how you can lower your water usage.
- Get dishwasher: About 27 gallons per a load of water can be used on washing dishes by hand. When you use a dishwasher, only 3 gallons of water per load is use.
- Only run your washing machine when you have a full load: Almost every one of guilty of washing a load of laundry that doesn’t get to even half the load capacity of the washer. However, these additional washes imply additional loads. The use of an ENERGY STAR labeled washing machine can lead to 25% less consumption of energy and 33% less water usage than a typical washer.
- Is your toilet running? No, that is not the beginning of a prank call. It is a true water waster. Running toilets are those that make use of water non-stop to fill the toilet bowl. You need to repair or replace these toilets. The can lead to a loss of about 26 gallons of water daily.
- Take short showers: A single bath can consume about 50 gallons of water, while a 10-minute shower can consume as low as 25 gallons of water. Treat baths as an uncommon treat, and adapt to short showers regularly.
Small adjustments in your home and lifestyle can make a great impact on your average utility cost. Together with practicing the above-mentioned changes, we recommend you get as much information as you can about your unique electricity usage. Much of which is stated on your bill already. This includes making a comparison of your weekly and monthly usage to determine when you are adding the most to your bill. You can from there make a mindful decision to change your habits in the pricier duration, making use of fewer energy and reducing your monthly cost.
Pricing Van Lines doesn’t only move your belongings; we also share tips to help save money on your home and living. Contact us today for your cross-country move!