How to Estimate Utility Costs for a New Home

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Moving to a new home requires a lot of planning and math. Planning often demands the lion’s share of your attention, but your financial calculations have a direct influence on the quality of life you can expect. In this post, we’ll share how to estimate utility costs for a new home.

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What utilities do you need to budget for?

For this post, we’ll provide average cost estimates for the most common utilities Americans typically need to pay for when they purchase a home. These include:

  • Gas
  • Electric
  • Water
  • Trash
  • Sewer
  • Internet and cable
  • Phone

How to estimate utility costs for a new home

According to researchers at This Old House, who conducted a comprehensive analysis of 2024 utility costs throughout the United States, the following average costs can help you estimate your expenses.

Natural gas

The average natural gas cost is $80.33. This cost can fluctuate based on the size of your home, the number of occupants, and local rates.

How to save money on your natural gas bill:

  • Install a programmable thermostat.
  • Seal leaks in windows and doors.
  • Insulate water heater and hot water pipes.
  • Use energy-efficient appliances.


The average electricity cost is $135.25. Factors such as the size of your home, usage patterns, and local rates can influence this expense.

How to save money on your electricity bill:

  • Switch to LED light bulbs.
  • Unplug electronics when not in use.
  • Utilize natural light during the day.
  • Install ceiling fans to circulate the air.


The average water cost is $39.16. Your bill can vary depending on your household size and water usage habits.

How to save money on your water bill:

  • Fix leaky faucets promptly.
  • Install low-flow showerheads.
  • Use an energy-efficient dishwasher instead of hand washing.
  • Consider a shower timer.

Trash collection

The average trash collection cost is $31.10. This cost is usually fixed by local municipalities.

How to save money on your trash collection bill:

  • Recycle and compost to reduce waste.
  • Use reusable bottles, food storage containers, and grocery bags.
  • Buy products in bulk to reduce packaging waste.
  • Reduce the number of times you buy take-out food.


The average sewer cost is $71.16. This charge is often based on water usage.

How to save money on your sewer bill:

  • Reduce overall water usage.
  • Fix any leaks promptly.
  • Consider upgrading to a more efficient toilet.
  • Read the water and sewer newsletters for local tips.

Internet and cable

The average internet and cable cost is $118. Your costs can vary based on the service provider and the plan you choose.

How to save money on your internet and cable bill:

  • Bundle services for discounts.
  • Negotiate with your provider for a better rate.
  • Choose a basic package that fits your current budget.
  • Cut the cable and use streaming services.


The average landline phone cost is $166. This cost can vary based on your plan and usage.

How to save money on your phone bill:

  • Switch to a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.
  • Bundle with internet services.
  • Limit international or charged long-distance calls.
  • Pruchase a modem instead of renting from your provider.

Total average utility costs

By considering all these utilities, you can expect to pay around $641 per month on average for your utility bills. Keep in mind that these costs can vary based on your location, usage, and specific circumstances. Let’s look at the high and low state examples identified by This Old House researchers.

Which states have the highest utility bills?

Here are the states with the highest utility bills, according to This Old House’s 2024 report.

Connecticut: $751.13

Connecticut has the highest monthly utility costs, with significant expenses in electricity ($176.10) and phone services ($166). Residents spend about 7% of their income on utilities, aided by a relatively high mean monthly income of $10,680. Charges like the Revenue Adjustment Mechanism and the Combined Public Benefits Charge contribute to these costs.

Hawaii: $738.54

Hawaii is a close second with high utility costs, primarily due to electricity ($221.53). The state’s reliance on imported oil and high transportation costs contribute to these rates. Residents spend 7.3% of their $10,080.75 mean monthly income on utilities, reflecting Hawaii’s high living costs.

Massachusetts: $696.52

Massachusetts has a total monthly utility cost of $696.52, with a lower percentage of income spent on utilities (6.2%) due to the high mean income ($11,151.92). High electricity rates (around 28 cents per kilowatt-hour) are offset by a robust economy and energy-efficient policies.

New Hampshire: $694.52

With utility costs similar to Massachusetts, New Hampshire residents spend $694.52 per month on average. Given a lower mean monthly income ($9,954.33), they allocate 7% of their income to utilities, with significant costs in electricity ($149.91) and internet/cable services ($151).

Alaska: $691.12

Alaska has the lowest total utility costs among these states at $691.12 per month. However, residents spend 7.6% of their income on utilities due to a lower mean monthly income ($9,127) and high heating costs, particularly for gas ($133.17). The harsh climate significantly influences these costs.

Which states have the lowest utility bills?

Some states offer more affordable utility costs, making them attractive for budget-conscious homeowners and homebuyers. Here are the states with the lowest utility bills, according to This Old House’s 2024 report.

Utah: $520.88

Utah residents enjoy the lowest utility costs at an average of $520.88 per month, spending 5.5% of their mean monthly income ($9,503.67). The state’s energy-efficient building codes and renewable energy sources contribute to these low costs.

New Mexico: $525.55

New Mexico has average utility costs of $525.55 per month. Residents spend 7.7% of their mean monthly income ($6,865.17) on utilities. With one of the lowest average electric bills ($91.21), the state’s utility costs are kept affordable.

Idaho: $526.65

Idaho’s average utility costs are $526.65 per month. Residents spend 6.7% of their mean monthly income ($7,875.25) on utilities, benefiting from the state’s focus on renewable energy sources, which account for nearly three-fourths of its electricity generation.

Iowa: $543.00

Iowa’s average utility bill is $543.00 per month, representing 7% of the mean monthly income ($7,724.50). According to This Old House, support programs like LIHEAP (Income Home Energy Assistance Program) help manage utility expenses, particularly for low-income households.

Montana: $546.36

Montana residents pay an average of $546.36 per month for utilities, which is 7.2% of their mean monthly income ($7,572.80). The study’s results show that the average costs of living appear to be more evenly distributed across different utility services, meaning that no single expense disproportionately affects residents.

How Much Is Your Home Worth Now?

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What is the average monthly utility bill in my state?

Below is a table created by This Old House that shows the average monthly utility costs by state. The trash category is not included. Local governments sometimes provide household garbage disposal, and a location may have multiple options from private companies. In our national estimate above, we used an average of $31.10 per month for trash services.

Online energy cost calculators: Many utility companies provide online cost calculators to help new residents estimate their costs. For example, Arizona Public Service offers an online Energy Estimator where residents can enter their home size and usage categories, such as air conditioning. Other examples include California’s Pacific Power Company and Florida Power & Light Company.

What factors can influence your actual utility costs?

While average utility costs can give you a ballpark figure, your actual expenses can vary based on several factors. Here are some things that can influence your monthly utility budget:

  • Climate: The local weather can significantly impact heating and cooling costs. Colder climates may result in higher heating bills, while hotter areas can increase air conditioning expenses.
  • Home size and age: Larger homes generally consume more energy. Additionally, older homes might lack modern insulation or energy-efficient appliances, leading to higher utility costs.
  • Usage habits: Your personal usage patterns, such as the frequency of washing clothes, running the dishwasher, or using heating and cooling systems, will affect your utility bills.
  • Energy efficiency: Homes with energy-efficient appliances, windows, and insulation typically have lower utility costs.
  • Local rates: Utility rates can vary widely by region. Local taxes, infrastructure, and utility provider policies all play a role in determining these rates.
  • Number of occupants: Obviously, more people in your home typically means higher water, electricity, and gas usage. However, this can depend on how well-versed the occupants are in energy-saving techniques.

Other new home costs to keep in mind

When budgeting for your new home, remember to consider additional expenses beyond utilities. Here are some other costs to keep in mind:

  • Homeowners insurance: Home or hazard insurance protects your home and belongings from damage or loss, but the cost will depend heavily on where your home is located.
  • Private mortgage insurance (PMI): PMI is typically required if your down payment is less than 20%, adding to your monthly mortgage payment.
  • Homeowners association (HOA) fees: HOA fees are common in many communities. These monthly or annual dues cover the maintenance of common areas and other community services.
  • Transportation: Factor in commuting costs, including gas, public transit, or car maintenance.
  • Groceries: The cost of food can vary by location, so do some research and budget accordingly.
  • Entertainment: Consider entertainment expenses for dining out, movies, and other leisure activities in your new area.

»Learn more: A ‘Cost of Living’ Resource Guide for Homebuyers

Partner with a professional to find your new home

Finding the right home involves more than just calculating utility costs. Partnering with a knowledgeable real estate professional can make the process smoother and more efficient. Seasoned agents can also provide real-world insights into local energy bills.

HomeLight can connect you with top agents in your market who understand your needs and can guide you through the entire home-buying process. With the right agent, you can find a home that fits your budget and lifestyle.

Buying and selling at the same time? Ask your agent about HomeLight’s Buy Before You Sell program to help take the uncertainty out of your next home purchase. Below is a short video illustrating how HomeLight Buy Before You Sell works:

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