No one likes getting their electric bill, and for most of us, it’s the most expensive utility we have to pay for. If you’re wondering if your current electric bill is abnormally high or low, or if you’re getting ready to move into a new place and you want to know what to expect, you’re in the right place.
Below, we’ll outline everything you need to know about your electric bill for small apartments so you can work on reducing your usage, both for the sake of your wallet and the environment!
How much is an average monthly electric bill?
The average electric bill for a 1 bedroom apartment per month is about $50-90, depending on where you live. It will increase for larger apartments and households, and vary depending on your lifestyle.
Your electric bill is likely to account for the highest expense on your monthly utility bill. Most Americans find their electricity usage is 41% heating and cooling, so that’s often the biggest expense. We’ll break down the average electricity usage later in this article.
Your apartment electric bill will also vary depending on your appliances and electronics, where you live (as it varies by state), the climate, how many people live in your household, and how large or small your apartment is.
What uses the most electricity in an apartment?
You will probably find that the appliance that uses the most electricity in an apartment is the air-conditioning system.
The amount your air conditioning system gets used depends on the season, where you live, and how cool you like to be when in your home. If you live in a cooler state, your air conditioning usage is likely to be limited to summer months when just opening the windows isn’t enough to keep you cool.
If you live in a state that’s typically warm year-round, like Arizona, Nevada, or Florida, your AC usage is going to be much more frequent, for longer periods of the year, so you can expect to have a higher electric bill.
Of course, if you have to heat your home, you may find the cost offsets the difference of the added expense in hotter states.
What are typical apartment utilities?
There are a number of apartment utilities that can be powered using electricity, and will contribute to your electricity bill.
- Heating – 46% of apartments in the US use electricity to power their heating systems
- Water heating – 49% of apartments in the US use electricity to heat up their water
- Cooking – 64% of apartments in the US have use of an electric oven or stove
- Air conditioning (as mentioned above)
- Internet and cable
If you find that your electric bills are particularly high, you could find alternative methods to power these utilities or work to make them more efficient wherever you can.
Does it save electricity to unplug things?
Many modern appliances and electronics will take in electricity even when they are not in use, i.e., in ‘standby.’ In fact, electronics on standby are responsible for around 3-10% of the energy used within a home. Although this might seem like a relatively small amount of energy, when you have all the appliances in your home either on or in standby, this can add up considerably on your electric bill.
There is evidence to suggest that if you make the effort to actually unplug your appliances and electronics when they aren’t in use, it could save you anywhere between $100 to $200 every year, and you are less likely to fall victim to a power surge, so it’s definitely worth doing (or turning off at the wall).
Why is my electric bill so high?
There are several reasons why your electric bill might be particularly high, compared with previous months, or compared to the average bill.
If your monthly bill is abnormally high, this may be because:
- You will find a relatively big increase to your electric bill if you have somebody new join your household
- You’ve got a new energy-heavy appliance and you didn’t have one before, such as a dryer
- It’s been abnormally hot/cold and your heating and cooling systems have had to work overtime to keep your home comfortable.
If your electricity bill is higher than the averages listed here, consider:
- Are you on a good tariff? If you’re on the default tariff, you’re likely paying far more than you should be
- Your appliances and electronics in your home are too old. As you can imagine, like many things, electronics age over time so that they lose their efficiency and need more energy to function how they should. More often than not, out of date appliances simply were not made with the same efficient, energy-saving standards as they are now which means that they need to take in a lot more energy to do the same job as a new appliance, and often take a lot longer to do it.
- You live in an expensive city or state
- You live in a state that requires constant heating/cooling
Below is a list of average electric bill prices for a number of states, so you can get an idea.
Average electricity bills by state:
- Average electric bill in __Florida__ 1 bedroom apartment: $131
- Average electric bill for 1 bedroom apartment in __Texas__: $132
- Average electric bill for 1 bedroom apartment in __Maryland__: $125
- Average electric bill for 2 bedroom apartment in __Pennsylvania__: $113
- Average electric bill in __Georgia__ apartment: $132
Ways to save electricity in your apartment and benefit the environment:
If you find that your electric bills are higher than they should be for an apartment of its size in your state, there are several ways in which you can work to save electricity in your apartment while benefiting the environment.
- A really easy way to save electricity is to get into the habit of turning lights off when you are not in a room and properly turning off or unplugging appliances and electronics when you are not using them. This may sound super simple, but you are likely to find that it can really save you money on electricity in the long run. If you have energy-saving bulbs (not LEDs), don’t bother if you’re going to be out of the room for less than 15 minutes.
- Invest in energy-efficient products such as energy-saving light bulbs and Energy Star appliances. They might be more expensive to buy than other options on the market, but they really will save you serious money on your electricity bills long term as they are so much more energy-efficient.
- If you are able, aim to only use appliances that eat up a lot of power (like your dryer) early in the morning or late at night, as energy costs at these times are cheaper.
- Maintain your appliances – blocked fans, for example, will force them to work harder.
- Try to keep the cooling and heating of your home to a minimum. This may mean only controlling temperatures of rooms you are actually using at any one time, so that all energy is focused on these areas instead of trying to heat or cool every room in your home. Less energy will be needed to keep you warm or cool in one or two rooms in your apartment.
- If you own your apartment and have the ability to do so, new windows may help. Try to learn how to make your windows more energy efficient as a great starting point.
One other way to manage your electric bill and to make each payment predictable is to sign up for a subscription plan which means you have a flat monthly payment each month. At Inspire, we offer access to 100% clean energy subscription plans, so you know exactly what your bill is going to be every month, regardless of if you need to run your A/C or are using extra electricity.
Plus, it's 100% clean and from renewable energy sources, so you don't have to worry about a negative environmental impact.
If you want to be part of the movement bettering the world and helping move toward a clean energy future, consider a renewable energy company like Inspire today.
Not sure if renewable energy is right for you? Read the latest Inspire Clean Energy reviews to see how we've helped customers make the switch.
What are electric bills?
Homes and buildings cost money to operate, including gas and power. Electricity provides power for all electrical devices in a home or an apartment. Everyone utilizes power every time we switch on a light, plug in a device, or let our refrigerator run. Electricity is available for purchase by the kilowatt-hour to power your home. When a company or utility requests payment for the electricity you use, they send you a letter detailing the amount of electricity you used, the rates they charge, and the amount owed for using energy.
What costs most in an electric bill?
When you receive your power bill, you may be perplexed as to how the cost came to be. It may have something to do with the quantity of electricity you used, or it could be that the price of electricity increased if you are on a variable price plan. It also depends on whatever appliances you use and how frequently you use them. After all, if you use more electricity from one month to the next, the cost will increase. Customers are often charged in cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity.
As all electrical devices consume energy, you can expect many electric items to drive the cost of your bill up. However, some appliances use more power than others. For example, the HVAC system - the central heating and cooling for a home - is typically the most power-consuming, using up to 15,000 watts per hour. Next, washers and dryers can take up to 7,000 watts combined per hour of use. Lastly, using water heaters can also add up quickly, as you need to regularly heat water for dishes, showers, and baths.
What does the electric bill include?
An overall summary of your account information, current charges, and electric pricing all appear on your electric bill, and sometimes a more detailed analysis of your energy consumption can be found. Hours are understood in kWh (or a kilowatt-hour) which measures the duration of energy use.
The meter focuses on the date it was read, showing the previous and current reading. Next, there is a breakdown of information that centers on the different services that are included in your energy at home. Expect to see charges for transmission, generation, and distribution, which sum up the bulk of the bill. A usage profile has two parts, with the first showing your kWh usage for the last month and the current month along with daily usage. The second part will show your energy usage patterns.
How are electricity bills calculated?
Electronic meters that can record the quantity of electricity flowing in and out of your home are used to track electricity usage. Your utility company checks your meter every month to establish your monthly usage. Meter readings are usually displayed as a lengthier string of digits on your account. Still, you may calculate your monthly usage by subtracting last month's reading from the current month's reading.
Every month, the average home consumes roughly 900 kilowatt-hours. In general, utilities bill their clients based on the amount of electricity they consume. Therefore, as your usage increases, your bill will increase as well. The amount you owe is calculated by multiplying your utility's per-kWh rate by the total number of kWhs you consumed during that month.
What can affect the energy bill?
Depending on where you are located, different areas can offer different rates. Furthermore, other factors can change your bill as well, such as seasonal changes. The colder temperatures of winter may necessitate the usage of additional natural gas to heat your home and water. Alternately, summer's hotter temperatures may necessitate more power consumption to keep your home cool, causing additional energy consumption.
Using new or extra appliances can affect the bill too. In the summer, dehumidifiers, swimming pool pumps, and hot tubs all demand more electricity. Installing new equipment, such as a television or a second refrigerator, will also raise your energy bill. Daily habit changes can affect your bill, too, as you turn up the heat, take more baths, or run more electronics. The number of billing days can change a bill, and energy rates always fluctuate.
Moreover, hidden energy consumers may be lurking in your home, like items that are plugged in all the time. Think of your air fryer, speakers, computer, and lights that are left on and connected to an outlet. If they have a light on, they are taking energy, even in small amounts that add up to a larger electricity bill. Likewise, the wrong light bulbs could be taking up more energy than necessary as newer bulbs use up to 75% less energy.
Other factors to consider are insufficient insulation. Your windows may not be as tightly shut as you believe, which might cost you a lot of money. However, inadequate insulation in your walls and ceiling may be the most significant cause of excessive energy expenditures. Add in older energy-guzzling appliances, inefficient thermostats, and using too many appliances during peak energy time which can also affect your electric bill.
Are electricity bills going up?
Because energy costs have risen continuously year after year, your rates have also climbed. As of December 2021, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports rates per kilowatt-hour (kWh) increased by 7% to 11.10 cents/kWh. The industrial sector, which increased by 11.7% from December, was followed by the Commercial and Residential sectors, which both increased by 7.6%. It's easy to see the current economy is affecting all prices, including the cost of electricity.
How much electricity does a three-bedroom house use?
While it's impossible to estimate a 3-bedroom house's exact electric bill, there are some methods you can use to get a close estimate. You will need to check your energy company's rates and understand your usage to begin, though. With that in mind, the average electricity cost for a three-bedroom house with two occupants would range from $88 to $97. A three-bedroom house with three inhabitants would have an average electricity expenditure of $97 to $105.
Some states have much higher rates, such as Hawaii and Massachusetts, while others states like Oklahoma and Idaho have the lowest prices. The average monthly electric expense for a three-bedroom house in the states with the highest electricity prices was above $160.
What uses electricity overnight?
There are still some devices in your house that need electricity after everyone has gone to bed. The most likely culprit is your heating and cooling system. The largest usage of electric energy in your home is temperature control, and if you can reduce this, you will save a lot of money on your monthly energy bill. Other appliances, such as the refrigerator and freezer, must continue to function. There are, however, some devices in your home that drain energy for no apparent reason, such as coffee makers, stoves with an LED clock, and other appliances with a constant electronic display.
Anything that is still connected to the wall, even if it is not switched on, is using energy. Not just in the kitchen either. These include alarm clocks, thermostats, computers, and gaming consoles, to name a few. While the amount is small from one minute to the next, it adds up quickly when 40-50 devices are used all day and night. Some people use the television to fall asleep, and then it stays on all night, racking up the energy bill.
Is electricity cheaper than gas?
In general, larger home appliances that run on gas or electricity offer you the choice of lower upfront expenses versus long-term savings. Natural gas is typically less expensive than electricity on a monthly basis, and natural gas equipment will continue to operate even if the power goes out. However, it's difficult to compare expenses because electricity is measured in kilowatt-hours, and natural gas is measured in therms.
What is the difference between fixed energy rates and variable energy rates?
The price you pay per kilowatt-hour stays the same with a fixed-rate energy plan throughout your contract. As a result, even if market prices fluctuate, your energy rate will remain unchanged. In addition, a fixed price makes it easy for you to budget for how much energy you'll need each month.
The amount you pay per kilowatt-hour for electricity under a variable-rate plan may be set by the market or other criteria assessed by the retail energy supplier. Because the market price of power fluctuates so much, your costs can fluctuate as well. When market prices fall, this can be beneficial. However, a variable-rate plan could become pricey if variables such as high temperatures or greater demand raise energy rates.
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