Updated on January 16, 2012
H.J. asks from Saint Paul, MN
29 answers

I am trying to figure out how $150 a months is unrealistic as expense towards all utilities for a home. We have a 2400 sf home and I just looked at the numbers and for Gas, Electric, Water, Garbage we pay $160 a months except Jan,Feb, and Oct where it comes out to be 189 (cold months in this state). I just saw someone post on how $150 is unrealistic for total cost and yet ours is only $10 more then that on average.

We pay 120 a month for gas/elec, 15 for garbage/recycle, 25 a months for water/sewer. Now we pay yearly for garbage and every three months for water/sewer, so I just divided those out.

With all this we keep the house at 68 in the winter and 70 in the summer.

I am just posting because I find it odd that another person has the idea that a home cannot run in this range for utilities...I know that it varies on where you live, we have lived in many different states the last 9 years.

Edit* our home was build in 1970 so not new...

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answers from Phoenix on

My electric for my 1000 ft apt is 130 in the winter and almost 200 in the summer.....its not unrealistic........and im on the lower end of the spectrum

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Sounds great to me. When I lived in a small town, the electric ran about $300 a month for a 1200 sq ft rental.- just electric! I think a lot has to do with where you live as to how much you pay. You are getting a great deal!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

well I just paid $115 for december's gas bill
37 for water
66 for the quarter's trash
112 for electric bill.
so yeah 150 is unrealistic.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Our gas bill can be well over $300 in winter and in Summer over $500. We have a 16'X80' mobile home so your bill is very inexpensive to me.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

I'm the one who posted that those number were wildly unrealistic from my experience. I'm sure it has to do with location but before people think I'm from a more wealthy area and that's why our costs are so high think again. Carmel is a place considered high income but we share a county with some of the poorest residents in our state. Cost of living in Salinas where I used to live is almost identical and it is a town plagued by poverty, practically the entire east side is very poor as are most towns east of us. Those people don't get a break just becuase they aren't as comfortable.
Here's our basic costs:
We do have a guest house on our property that is occupied about 1/2 the time and our home is about 2000 square feet.
Mortagage & Property Taxes-well over $2500 per month and this is very low compared to other locals
Gas/electric average $350-400 per month average
Water $45
Garbage $25
Groceries $800 (includes household stuff)
We are not extravagent people but I do buy wine, coffee, seafood. We don't eat meat (hubby has occasional steak) so I think we save some there. I do buy organic and high quality so I know I could feed my family for less but we are very careful with lights, heating etc.
I just honestly cannot believe some of these numbers for cost of living. I would never trade where I live as I think it's the most beautiful place on earth but I cannot get my brain around how little some people pay for exactly the same thing.
I had better get off this site back to work so I can pay for all these bills!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I won't bore you with the details. I'd just like to know if there are any homes for sale on your street ;-)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I say that $150 for utilities is a very reasonable amount. Your utility amounts are in an acceptable range. Actually, I think you're quite fortunate.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I don't quite understand what prompted this post but $150 can be very unrealistic or it may be very realistic. Houses are different sizes, were made at different times and from different materials. They are also in different locations. Some municipalities cover water, water and trash, trash, recycling, heck some cover everything but gas and electric.

So saying 150 is one way or the other is stupid.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It depends on where you live and how big your house is.

We lived in Arkansas in an old home (1200 sq ft) without a/c, a single floor furnace and a gas water heater and a gas stove and oven. We spent $60 per month for our utilities.

Now we live in California in a 2200 sq ft home with a/c and a whole home heater and a/c. Everything is more expensive. Now we spend about $130 month in winter and $160 during the worst of summer.

Good luck to you and yours.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Unrealistic as in too high or too low? I would say when we lived in VA, we paid more. In Texas our utilities cost less, in Maryland they cost more. Our garbage/water/sewer in our last house was $85 per month. Just depends on where you live and how big a house, and how many people in the family. Pretty sure out gas and power was higher in the winter, but lower in the summer.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think it depends on where you are.

I pay $185 year round for electic (lights and ac -we keep the house at 70 in the summer).

I pay $100 year round for gas (cooking and heat - we keep the house at 68 now. Last year it was at 71.).

Water is about $50 per month.

Trash is about $30 a month for pickup twice a week.

Our house is about 3200sq ft including our finished basement.

It really depends where you live.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

is your home new? newer energy efficient appliances, sealed tight windows, all the seals in your plumbing are brand new?

My brother lived in a brand new, airtight house and it was kept ice cold frigid, a/c running constantly. His electric bill was only $60 a month. My home was built in the 1980s. It has hot spots and cold spots. Drafts, old insulation, 20 yr old appliances, and a/c. Old fashioned water heater. My utilities are closer to $300 a month!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I'm jealous. We pay $50 per month for water/sewer, $91 for electric (budget plan), $25 for garbage, and $200 for oil heat. For the oil, i just took the total and divided by 12.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Our square footage is about the same and:
Gas/ele: $185
Trash: Free
Water/sewer: $35

Our home is also a 2 story home built in 1920 and we keep our stat on 69 during the day and 70-71 at night.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Do you mean to tell me that you pay 160 a month for ALL your utilities? If so I am very envious!! This is the break down of our utilites:

Electric - $218 (on a level pay plan so this stays the same year long)
Gas - $15 in the summer, up to $80 in the winter
Trash - $45 a month
Water - $80 in winter, $130 in summer

We have a 1900 square foot, two story home in California with a large back yard and make a conscious effort to reduce our water and electric usage. Looks like I need to move to MN!! ;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

depends on where you live. in northern MI where it gets pretty cold from Nov. - April (or more) ...I pay about $200 a month in winter months for water/garbage/sewer + heat (gas) + electric. summer months when I don't need the heat on, it would be maybe only $100. Buy my heating bill alone has been almost $200 some really cold and windy months. (I got a new furnace and insualtion last spring so hopefully I wont' have bills like that again)
Maybe they were also talking about phone/cable and internet ... that adds another $100 or more a month

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I'm sure it depends on the rates charged by the electric company and gas company. $25 for water/sewer per month is just a little low for a family of four in northern CA; but $15 for garbage and recycle is definitely significantly lower that what we are charged. I think my garbage bill runs about $90 every two months for just the one standard can. Electricity and gas run about $150 per month and that's with keeping the thermostat at 68 during the winter.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Erie on

Our home was built in 1903, I think we have 1500sqft. Our natural gas bill (which covers cooking and water and heating) has never been above $260/mo, and that was during months when it went below zero for a week or more.
Electric is $60-80, depending on the season, higher in the winter from running the furnace fan. We don't have central air, but run the AC unit occasionally when it goes above 90 because the kids and I get heat exhaustion easily. It will go up to $100 any month I have to do that. I have an electric dryer, too, and do A LOT of laundry.
Water/sewer is $40/mo for SIX people. We all shower every day and water our garden in the summer. I love living on the Great Lakes :)
Garbage is about $15/mo.

So that's...$415 for utilities. Our heating bill will drop next year after we replace the windows and have the insulation blown into the walls.

My mortgage/insurance/tax cost per month is $533. It's the area, we were one of the few areas of realty that didn't experience a "bubble" or a "crash", our property values have pretty much stayed consistent over the past 10 years. And our property taxes have gone down due to a casino opening nearby.



answers from Phoenix on




answers from Kansas City on

My electric here in MO (there is a monopoly and no where to switch to) was 250.00 this month, with a checked out, new energy effecient unit. Even with all the warm days where heat wasn't even needed. Our house is about 2400 sq ft as well and we also do 68 in winter and 70 in summer. Peak months average 350 to 380 and off peak months can be around 120 to 150 if we are really lucky. They actually just raised the cost of doing business 12 percent for those of us here in MO and a different raise for those across the river in KS. Funny how everything can be almost identical yet due to differences in company prices the bill differences can be so drastic!

Our water is about 50 on average and they just started adding the trash to it (and recycling) so it will go up to about 65 or so.

As a whole, I think that 150.00 is almost unatainable anywhere. I'm glad you can. I can't even get close!



answers from Omaha on

I've seen my mothers utilities on a house built in the 80's. It's in a upper middle class neighborhood and is pretty well kept up. . . But during the winter her gas bill can be 200 to 300 dollars a month!

I think her house needs new windows all around and that would help minimum but you are talking about 20K for that. My husbands parents just got all new windows in their house and that was what it cost and they have rather standard sized windows. My mothers are floor to ceiling so it will pry cost more.

We pay 90 dollars a month for a 1000 sq foot apt for either gas or electric depending on if it's summer or winter. (hot summers and cold winters and not much inbetween seasons sadly). The other bill pry still gets us up to 150 a month on a 100 sq foot apt!!!! APARTMENT! So I can see very easily it costing more.

There are so many factors here that act upon the cost. So saying 150 is realistic is well for you but not necessarily for everyone.


answers from Dallas on

We are in Plano TX, northern Dallas burb. 4000 SF+ house:

Most recent utilities........
electric $158.26
water $80. (includes garbage, etc)
gas $211

We are quite happy with those numbers.
Our August water bill was just under $660 and September water bill was just under $750. YES, you read that correctly. We are in stage 3 water restrictions and our water is very pricey.

The highest our electric got this summer was just under $400
The highest the gas usually gets in the colder weather is just under $350

All that said, we are not ones to freeze all winter or burn up all summer.. We keep our thermostats set at our comfy levels. I run the washer at least once a day, usually 2 times, dishwasher at least once a day as or more if needed.

Before we revamped and re constructed our entire heating and ac units, furnaces, ducts,and added insulation, etc about 5 yrs after moving into this house we just built at the expense of about $20,000.... Our electric was never under $400 in the summer and was as high as $700.

It was well worth the investment to redo what the builder did.

Sounds like you are doing great!



answers from Rochester on

Can I have your utility bill? Just this month I paid 319 for gas, electric, water and sewer. In the summer it drops to about 190ish. I have a 1800sq ft house built in 1930.



answers from Milwaukee on

I'm in Wisconsin and our house is about 1400 sq ft and almost 100 years old with bad windows, we're looking into getting our house tightened up (sans windows, not ready for that expense) and our utilities can easily be $500/month in the winter months. I'd love your utilities!!


answers from Dallas on

I live in north Texas, so summers are HOT usually. Last summer was horrible. I'd say on the average, my water/garbage bill is $90.00/month, lat summer the most I paid was $150. My electric and gas on average runs $200, during the summer last year highest was $390. Our house is about the same size, built in the late 80's. My parents live mile away, her water is usually more than mine, and her electrical (she doesn't have gas) is about $20-30 less than mine, but she lives in 1800 sqft. She even has about 5% different rate. The only thing gas in my house is my heater. The one thing I hate is my electric company charges me in the summer for being a customer even though I'm not using any gas, it's only $8.00 but it's the principle, that's not right...


answers from Tulsa on

I live close to Tulsa in a 1975 1600 sq foot house. My bills are usually:

Water/Sewer: $25
Trash: $15
Gas: $40-45 March-Oct, $70-75 Nov and Feb, $100-125 Dec and Jan
Elec: $30-40 Oct - April, $65-75 May and Sep, $90-100 June - Aug

I keep the house on 62 in the winter when we are home and we stay in the bedrooms most of the time since we can shut the door halfway and the heat stays in the room. Summer the A/C is on 78 when we are home and fans turned on. Programmable thermostats are wonderful! So about the cheapest I can get is $110 and about the highest I hit is $205. This winter has been very mild for us so far and my December gas bill was only $64!



answers from Fort Wayne on

we live in NE Indiana, live on a well and everything is electric (geothermal for heating) we keep the temp at 68* winter 72* summer our average bill is about 120mo we do set up a pool in the summer so that might spike it to about 135mo for about 3 months but in fall/spring we open up the house so our bill is around 80mo then christmas and colder months it might spike to about 180mo. we live in a 1400sqf 100yo farm house that is super insulated but needs new doors badly. Our windows are less than a 3yo. as for garbage it is 22mo.



answers from Janesville-Beloit on

Our home is only 6 yes old and about 1800 sq ft, we pay between $130-160 for electric and water (goes down slightly in winter) and $100-160 for gas in winter (oct - April). This goes down to around $30 in summer. So at minimum we are paying $190/mo in summer and $230/mo in winter.

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