The cost of utilities can vary from area to area. One way to get a local average cost is to search utility company complaints. If you live in South Carolina, you can visit the South Carolina Public Service Commission to look up utility billing records.
On average, across the US, utilities will cost about:
- Electricity – $183
- Natural Gas – $82
- Water – $40
- Sanitation (Garbage, Sewer, Recycling) – $12-20
- Internet – $47
The average doesn’t tell you very much though. There are some areas where electricity is much less expensive. In the rural Western US, many power companies generate electricity using water from dams. This lowers the cost of electricity and makes a lower electricity bill. On the other hand, some small towns need to install expensive water treatment equipment, which can cost several times the average.
Another helpful tip with averages is to look at local numbers. Look at how much people pay in your town, or in your state. If you’re moving, check the average utility bill for the town or state you’re moving to.
If you’re renting a home, you can sometimes find previous records of usage. This can help you estimate your average monthly bills. Some rentals include utility billing with the rent, so be sure to ask.
Lastly, there are other situations that can change your household usage. A private water well will throw off your average by trading a water bill for equipment repair costs. A home with a solar panel could generate part of its own electricity.
You can find more about utilities at your state’s public utility commission. Most states publish records of local average rates and usage, water quality, and even complaints.
If you’re in South Carolina and are interested in learning more about your areas average utility costs, contact the South Carolina Public Service Commission.