Utility Bills in the US

Utility Bills in US: How Much Does It Cost for Electricity, Water, Gas, Internet, Cable & Home Phones in 2021?

How Much Is the Average Monthly Cost of a Utility Bill in the US?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The average monthly cost of a utility bill in the US is $351.

What’s the first thing that pops up in your mind when planning to move within or to the US? 

The cost of living!

And what affects the cost of living? The utilities. 

Utilities are the basic services your home needs to keep it comfortable and to function properly. The list includes water, sewer, electric, gas, internet, cable, and home phone. 

The cost of utilities varies a lot depending on your lifestyle, regulations, seasons, location, and weather conditions. What you pay for natural gas in one state might be very different from another. 

How large your home is, your use of resources, and how committed you are to take the steps necessary to reduce your energy consumption also impact the cost of utilities.

The US is a country of 50 states. 50 states mean 50 different average monthly utility bills.

So, without any further ado, here’s how much does it cost for electricity, water, gas, internet, cable & home phones in 2021 in the US?

Type of Utility Bill in US

Average cost

The Average Cost of Electricity

$125

The Average Cost of Water (Sewer not included)

$52

The Average Cost of Gas

$63

The Average Cost of Internet

$64

The Average Cost of Cable

$85

The Average Cost of Home Phones

$25

Total Average Cost of Utilities

(per month, gas not included)

$351

With Gas: $414

The Average Cost of Bills in The US

The Average Electricity Rates

How Much Is the Average Monthly Cost of an Electricity Bill in the US?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The average monthly cost of an electricity bill in the US is $125.

How Does Electricity Work?

The way electricity works in the US is that the Federal government, through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, regulates interstate power sales and services. State governments, through their public utility commissions or equivalent, regulate retail electric service.

Some states like Texas have a deregulated energy market. This means Retail Electric Providers buy energy on the wholesale market (generators). They then sell it to consumers (you).

Coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, or renewable resources such as water, wind, or solar energy is used to generate electricity in the US.

The states have different sorts of pricing structures. Here are a few:

    • Fixed-rate: You have to pay a fixed rate for the duration of the contract (usually 1, 3, or 5 years). Politics, refinery accidents, trade wars, or any other external factor does not affect the fixed rate in any way. 
    • Variable-rate: If you go for a variable plan, you agree to pay whatever the utility determines to be a fair price based upon current market conditions. The rate will change every month depending on outside influences. 
    • Average Billing: Your monthly bill will be based on a rolling 12-month average usage.
  • Time-of-Use (TOU): Depends on when you use electricity, Off-peak, and On-peak. In Southern states, summer rates can be higher than winter rates due to higher energy demand.
  • Tiered: You can use a certain amount of energy each month at a lower price. Once you exceed the threshold, the price goes up accordingly. 


Note: Every electric utility offers a different pricing structure. There might be more than one option available, so make sure you go through them carefully.

What Are the Factors Affecting the Cost of Electricity?

Here are a few factors that affect the cost of electricity in the US:

  • Location (rural or urban) 
  • Municipality
  • Distribution service area
  • Electricity supply charge
  • GST
  • Transmission tariff
  • Distribution tariff
  • Electricity demand
  • Natural gas, coal, and oil prices
  • Transmission losses
  • Industrial demand
  • Power plant costs
  • Weather conditions
  • Time of year
  • Regulations (Regulated or Deregulated)
  • Variable or fixed rates
  • Utility
  • CO2 taxes

 

Electricity prices vary by locality due to the availability of power plants and fuels, local fuel costs, and pricing regulation and structures.

What Are the Average Monthly Electricity Rates?

Electricity Rates for Each Census Division

Census Division

Residential Rates (cents/kWh)

New England

20.87

Middle Atlantic

16.90

East North Central

14.14

West North Central

13.32

South Atlantic

12.43

East South Central

12.01

West South Central

11.85

Mountain

12.32

Pacific Contiguous

19.58

Pacific Noncontiguous

29.68

US Total

13.99

 

  • Hawaii has the highest average electricity rate of 33.15 cents per kilowatt-hour.
  • Washington has the lowest average electricity rate of 10.27 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Average Monthly Electricity Rates Based on Usage in the USA

Electricity (kWh)

Average Monthly Cost

@13.99 cents/kWh

600 kWh

$83

750 kWh

$105

1000 kWh

$140

893 KWh

(US Average)

$125

*The average monthly cost does not include any taxes or monthly services charges as they vary from state to state.

(*Eia.gov)

The Average Rates for Water Bills

How Much Is the Average Monthly Cost of a Water Bill in the US?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The average monthly cost of a water bill in the US is $104 (50% Water, 50% Sewer).

How Does Water Work?

The way water works in the US is that every city has its own water utility that delivers safe domestic water to your home and takes care of the wastewater too. In return for these services, you pay an amount proportional to the usage in a month. 

The rates in Washington DC are different from New York or any other city. The reason is that the cost to deliver, treat, and dispose of water will differ depending on the geographical location. 

A meter is installed outside your home that measures the usage. You pay a fixed amount monthly depending on 

You are billed for the following things:

  • Tap Water
  • Sewerage

 

Some states/cities also offer a flat fee structure. All customers are charged the same fee, regardless of the amount of water used. But it is not an efficient way to generate revenue to maintain the whole water infrastructure.

The uniform rate structure has a fixed per-unit price for all metered units of water consumed in a billing period. It is further broken down into the following components:

  • Fixed fee component:  Costs of billing, meter maintenance, and future meter replacement.
  • Variable amount: Includes the cost of drawing water from the water source, cost of operating and maintaining the aqueduct, pumping stations, reservoirs, drinking water treatment plant, and distribution system.

 

Some states/cities have seasonal pricing that covers a specific time period. They are established to encourage conservation during peak use periods.

For example, Oklahoma City has a tiered rate structure meaning the cost of water goes up along with the consumption. 

Most states like California have regulated water utilities. The state’s utility commission sets the rates and service terms for all the regulated water utilities.

What Are the Factors Affecting the Cost of Water?

Here are a few factors that affect the cost of water:

  • Maintenance and upgrades to the water system
  • Type of home
  • Meter size
  • Household members
  • Seasonal usage
  • Appliances
  • Water treatment plant costs
  • Type of pricing structure
  • State/City
  • Cost of drawing water from the lakes

What Are the Average Rates for Water Bills per Month?

The average American uses around 88 gallons per day per person in the household. That means a family of four would use around 10,500 gallons in a 30-day period.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for water in average in the US: 35$

If we talk specifically about New York, here’s how much you’ll be paying everything month:

Cubic Meter (m3) 

monthly usage

Average Cost

$1.44/m3

10 m3

1-2 people

$14.4

20 m3 

2-3 people

$28.8

30 m3

3-5 people

$43.2

*Doesn’t include wastewater/sewer charges.

*Doesn’t include fixed meter charges.

According to CBS News, this year, the typical household will pay $104 per month for water and wastewater services.

(*World Population Review, CBS & NYC Gov)

The Average Natural Gas Prices

How Much Is the Average Monthly Cost of a Gas Bill in the US?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The average monthly cost of a gas bill in the US is $63.

How Does Natural Gas Work?

The way natural gas works in the US is that domestic natural gas markets are regulated in part by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. American Gas Association (AGA) Represents natural gas pipelines and distribution companies both in the US and outside the US.

Natural Gas is produced and then sold on the competitive market. Gas retailers buy the commodity and charge you for the amount of natural gas you use each month or the natural gas supplied to you every month.

  • Gas Delivery Service: Covers the cost of storing, transporting, and distributing natural gas to your home or business. It does not account for the actual cost of gas, just the cost of delivering the gas to you.
  • Gas Supply Service: This is the cost of natural gas (or the Commodity Rate). You can buy it from any other natural gas retailer. 

 

In summary, natural gas companies drill and send the gas to your town through gas mains buried underground. Utility companies bring it to your house in smaller pipes.

Your natural gas bill constitutes of these two charges:

  • Supply charges: Comes from the retailer and accounts for the amount of natural gas you use each month.
  • Delivery charges: Comes from the utility and covers transportation and delivery costs.

 

Natural gas prices vary greatly throughout the US. It is more expensive in Hawaii and cheaper in Idaho and North Dakota. The high price of gas reflects the difficulties involved in transporting oil and refined products to the state.

What Are the Factors Affecting the Cost of Natural Gas?

Natural gas is traded in a competitive market where the sellers put gas on sale and the buyers (gas utility companies) bid for purchase. The prices vary throughout the year.

Natural gas utilities do not earn a profit on the natural gas they deliver. They earn their revenues from the service and delivery fees they charge customers to transport the natural gas to them.

Following factors affect the cost of natural gas in the US:

  • Transmission and distribution service area
  • Municipality
  • Season (winter or summer)
  • Delivery charge
  • Usage
  • State
  • Plan (Fixed or quarterly rate service)
  • Supply/Demand
  • State’s average temperature
  • Home size

What Are the Average Monthly Natural Gas Prices?

The main item on your gas bill will be your gas usage, which will be measured in CCFs (hundreds of cubic feet) or in therms.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for natural gas in the US: 10.78$ per thousand cubic feet.

Usage Per Month (m3)

Average Monthly Cost (@1.078¢/f3)

6000

$65

7500

$81

9000

$97

5880

National Average: 196 f3 per day

$63

The average US household consumed 71.2 million BTUs of gas in 2019, costing $712 over the course of the year.

Your bill isn’t based strictly on BTUs or Cubic Feet. You may also see some other items on your gas bill—such as taxes. Check with your local natural gas retailer for details to see what’s included in your bill.

If you live in Alaska or Maine, chances are you’ll be paying more for gas than the rest of us. Residents of New Mexico, Nevada, and Idaho, however, don’t pay nearly as much for their gas.

(*AGA, North East Supply Enhancement & EIA.gov)

The Average Internet Prices

How Much Is the Average Monthly Cost of Internet Bills in US?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The average monthly cost of Internet bills in the US is $64.

How Does the Internet Work?

The way the internet works in the US is that you get to choose from a wide range of plans offered by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The price also differs depending on the type of connection. 

 

  • DSL (5-45 Mbps)
  • Cable (20-200 Mbps)
  • Fiber-optic (50-1000 Mbps)
  • Satellite (5 – 25 Mbps)

 

Slow dial-up connections cost as little as $10-$12.5 per month, but the fastest fiber optic connections can cost up to $145 each month.

 

There are over 7,000 Internet Service Providers in the US. Some offer their services across many states, while others only cater to a single state or even a single city. These ISPs typically offer internet bundles with cable and phone services.

 

Average internet prices can vary from as little as $20 in Washington, DC to as much as $70 in Alaska. Of course, depending on the provider and plan you choose, rates may be even higher.

 

Here are some of the big names in the internet industry:

  • AT&T Internet Services.
  • Sparklight.
  • Comcast High Speed Internet (also known as Xfinity)
  • Lumen Technologies
  • Mediacom
  • Verizon
  • Spectrum
  • HughesNet
  • EarthLink

What Are the Factors Affecting the Cost of the Internet?

Here are the factors that affect the cost of internet in the US:

  • Location (urban or rural)
  • Service provider (ISPs)
  • Type of connection (DSL, cable, fiber-optic, or satellite)
  • Speed and bandwidth
  • State/City
  • Date cap

 

What Is the Average Cost of Internet Bills per Month?

According to BusinessWire, 82% of US households with a Cable & Internet bill spend $116 per month, or $1,392 per year – or $1,141 per year when averaging across all US households.

States with the Highest Cable & Internet Bills

State

Monthly Amount

Yearly Amount

% of Households w/ Bill

Alaska

$148

$1,776

78%

New Hampshire

$147

$1,762

84%

Vermont

$141

$1,689

69%

New York

$132

$1,580

72%

New Jersey

$130

$1,562

65%

Metro Areas With the Highest Cable & Internet Bills

Metro Area

Monthly Amount

Yearly Amount

% of Households w/ Bill

New York

$133

$1,593

67%

Boston

$129

$1,552

66%

St. Louis

$125

$1,503

89%

Los Angeles

$123

$1,479

84%

Kansas City

$121

$1,448

79%

 

Type of Internet 

Mbps 

Average Cost

DSL

All speeds up to 100 Mbps

$50.00/month

Cable

150 Mbps/10 Mbps

$59.99/month

Fiber-optic

940 Mbps/ 940 Mbps

$60.00/month

Satellite 

25 Mbps/ 3 Mbps

20 GB

$69.99

(*Costhelper Electronics, Rentcafe, Business Wire, Doxo, CenturyLink, Broadbandnow, Huguesnet & PR Newswire)

The Average Cost of Cable TV

How Much Is the Average Monthly Cost of Cable TV in the US?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The average monthly cost of cable TV in the US is $85.

How Does Cable TV Work?

In March 2021, there were 74 million US households that pay for cable, but that number will drop to below 70 million in a few years and 63% of Americans over the age of 68 pay for cable TV.

Yes, cable TV is slowly being replaced by streaming service and IPTV, but many households still prefer it because of the local channels.

You can watch basic channels for free using a digital antenna, but full cable subscriptions cost around $85 a month on average.

Many local cable TV operators are operating in the US, offering various packages, prices, and features. Typically, you are charged based on how many basic and exclusive channels you opt for.

Here are a few of them:

  • Xfinity
  • Spectrum
  • Verizon
  • Optimum
  • Cox
  • DirectTV
  • Dish

What Are the Factors Affecting the Cost of Cable?

Here are a few factors that affects the cost of cable:

  • Area of service
  • External factors (local competition, downturn in the cable market, etc.)
  • Local or state taxation and fee laws
  • Costs of shows and broadcasts
  • Cable prices
  • Number of channels
  • Type of channels (sports, international, local, news, entertainment, etc.) 
  • HD Channels
  • VOD (Video on Demand) availability

What Are Some Affordable Alternatives to Cable?

Here are a few affordable alternatives to cable:

  • IPTV
  • Satellite TV
  • YouTube TV
  • Shaw TV
  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Disney+
  • Xfinity’s Flex Streaming

What Is the Average Cost of Cable TV per Month?

Type of cable plan 

Average Cost

TV Starter

75+ local channels

Top networks like CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS and more

Access apps like Netflix, Prime Video and Peacock

$50/month

TV Preferred

140+ local and cable TV channels

Popular cable channels like ESPN, HGTV, USA, and more

Top networks like CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS and more

Access apps like Netflix, Prime Video and Peacock

$90/month

TV Preferred Plus

170+ local and cable TV channels, including premium channels

Premium channels including HBO Max, STARZ and more

Watch popular cable channels and top networks

Access apps like Netflix, Prime Video and Peacock

$110/month

TV Ultimate

250+ local and cable TV channels, including premium channels and channel packs

TV for everyone with NFL Network, Disney Junior, Cleo TV and more

Watch premium channels, popular cable channels and top networks

Access apps like Netflix, Prime Video and Peacock

$130/month

(*Techjury, Cox & Move.org)

The Average Cost of Home Phones

How Much Is the Average Monthly Cost of Home Phones in the US?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The average monthly cost of home phones in the US is $25.

How Do Home Phones Work?

Only 40 percent of US households have a landline because something better has come along — smartphones.

Home phones offer quick and reliable communication. Traditional copper landlines are self-powering, so they keep working even if the power goes out. Your landline is also associated with your exact address. In case of an emergency, EMTs know where you are.

Long-distance, your 911, voicemail, caller display, all those things are common on both cell phones and home phones.

Moreover, the home phone is directly linked to your exact address. In case of an emergency, 911 will know how to find you.

You can get landline services from the following providers in the US:

  • AT&T
  • Century Link
  • Cox
  • Frontier
  • Spectrum

What Are the Factors Affecting the Cost of Home Phones?

Home phones are still in the game as they offer perks that a digital phone or VoIP cannot match. The added features decide how much the service provider is going to charge you. Here are some of the factors that affect the cost of home phones:

  • Number of countries included in the plan
  • Added taxes or fees
  • Added features like (Long-distance calling, 3-way calling, caller ID block, online account management, etc.)
  • Voicemail
  • Call waiting

What Is the Average Cost of Home Phones per Month?

According to CostHelper, local calling plans cost $15-$30/month and local and long-distance plans cost $45-$75/month.

Type of home phone plan

Average Cost

Traditional Home Phone

Primary residential phone number

Unlimited local calling

Reliable connection

Optional long distance calling is also available.

$37/month

Complete Choice® Enhanced

Primary residential phone number

Up to 12 popular calling features including Caller ID, Call Forwarding, and Speed Dialing

Optional unlimited long distance calling

$51/month

(*At&t & Costhelper)

List of the 10 States with the Most Expensive Utilities

State

Cost of utilities

Per month

% Difference from US average

Most expensive utility in the state

Hawaii

612.79

48%

Natural Gas

223.07

Florida

484.4

17%

Electricity

126.44

South Carolina

475.51

15%

Electricity

140.8

Alabama

473.73

14%

Electricity

142.55

Georgia

466.1

13%

Electricity

126.38

Connecticut

465.03

12%

Electricity

139.97

Arizona

456.07

10%

Electricity

128.4

Delaware

445.53

8%

Electricity

121.73

Maryland

445.5

8%

Electricity

131.16

New Hampshire

444.17

7%

Electricity

114.95

(*National Interest & Statistica)

List Of The 10 States With the least Expensive Utilities

State

Cost of utilities

Per month

% Difference from US average

Most expensive utility in the state

New Mexico

369.55

-11%

Cable

$85

Utah

370.03

-11%

Cable

$85

Colorado

373.43

-10%

Cable

$85

Montana

377.74

-9%

Electricity

$94.75

Idaho

382.53

-8%

Electricity

$100.38

Wisconsin

384.8

-7%

Electricity

$94.67

Illinois

387.88

-6%

Electricity

$89.63

Michigan

388.44

-6%

Electricity

$97.41

Minnesota

391.88

-5%

Electricity

$97.58

Wyoming

392.94

-5%

Electricity

$97.10

(*National Interest & Statistica)

Conclusion

The USA is a big country — some states have a much higher average cost of utility for a house, and some are more affordable. You can cut down the cost of living by removing the superfluous stuff and evaluating the utility plans you’re currently using.

Utilities ensure that your household functions properly and remains comfortable, but the cost is recurring and variable. Knowing average household utility costs can help you reduce your usage and save tons of money at the end of the year.

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