Average apartment utilities costs can have a big impact when you are calculating how much rent you can afford each month. Renters should realize that utilities fluctuate widely, not just from state to state, but even between different cities and apartment complexes within a city. It really pays to do research and ask the right questions about utilities when it comes to evaluating the true cost of renting an apartment.
Many apartments are hooked up with natural gas, but this may not be included in the rent. Check with the apartment complex to determine whether the gas utility is part of the rent. Many gas companies allow you to pay a flat monthly rate for gas rather than specific monthly readings, making it easier to budget. Most utility companies keep statistics for properties of various sizes, so you can get a good estimate for what the gas bill for a one-bedroom apartment might cost in your area. The difference in utility prices from state to state will vary, with places like Colorado and North Dakota costing around $10 per mcf (thousand cubic feet) and states like Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut costing more than $17 mcf (2009).
Renters are generally responsible for all the electric bills associated with an apartment. The amount per kilowatts can vary from state to state, so a renter can check with her state to determine how many cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) the electricity will cost. For example, residents of Wisconsin will pay 12.55 cents per kwh (June 2009) while those in Iowa, Kansas and Minnesota will pay over 10 cents per kwh (June 2009).
Most cities have a group bill for services that include water, sewer and garbage services. Many apartment complexes will roll in this city bill into the rent, but it is not always guaranteed. This utility could vary widely, from around $60 per month in rural Utah to in the hundreds for urban centers.
Cable And Internet
These services are generally considered utilities, and often an apartment complex will include basic services as part of the rent. It's an attractive offer to entice renters to choose that apartment complex. If you are interested in upgrading, check to see that the complex isn't locked into a contract that would prevent you from customizing your communication needs.
If you are thinking of getting an apartment or renting a house, there are no doubt some questions that you will want to have answered before you make your decision. Deciding on a place to rent takes a lot of consideration.