Whether you have to change your rental home or buy your house, you know there will be a significant price to pay. But some steps or decisions can prove beneficial, such as accounting for utility expenses. Many people forget that utility bills will be recurring monthly expenses, regardless of where they go. These can quickly add up. When you make a budget, you must consider this factor to avoid an expensive mistake. Count everything that forms a part of your energy bills, such as electricity, internet, water, etc. Being realistic in these areas can save you from paying unforeseen and unwanted costs.
Imagine what you can achieve with that extra money in your account, which otherwise you have lost to the utility bills. Well, you can facelift different corners of the house for better performance and aesthetics. For example, you can get a sink faucet that matches your bathroom design. Or, you can beautify the lawn or outdoor area. While it is one aspect, accounting for utility cost from the beginning has greater significance in every sense. Hence, it can be worth figuring out what components form a part of it and to what extent. It will make your buying or renting decision simple. So, let’s delve into this at once.
Budgeting for Air Conditioning, Electricity, and Cable
You cannot be definitive about your monthly utility bills. But agency experts feel that you can keep about 5-10% of your total income toward covering this cost. If you plan to live in a rental home, you can expect it to be at least USD$100 to USD$150 every month for natural gas, cable, and electricity. In your own house, this cost can amount to USD$400. If you calculate the average price for individual components, you can imagine the monthly fee for electricity to be around USD$110.76, waterUSD$70, natural gasUSD$72.10, and internetUSD$60. There will be waste disposal and recycling costs also. You can expect to pay USD$14 for this.
All these are average figures. The prices can be higher or lower because location, area-wise rate, and consumption tend to affect your bills hugely. However, it is worth noting a few things.
Air conditioning and heating
Electric bill shoots up if your air conditioner runs round-the-clock. It is more relevant for the summer season. Similarly, heating systems will cause a bill hike in the winter. Homes using natural gas for heating may have to pay higher gas charges also.
It forms a considerable chunk of your utility expenses with monthly costs varying in different seasons. However, some companies charge equal money every month and higher toward the year-end. They can also credit an amount if you paid extra.
Cable and internet
You can control internet charges by opting for a slower connection. Of course, you can be comfortable with this arrangement only if you don’t watch too many movies or play games online. Or, if you want fast speed at a reduced rate, you can let go of cable connection and switch to streaming platforms. Many people don’t find this idea too encouraging. Don’t bother if you are from the same tribe. You can make changes at other places to reduce your utility bills.
While these variables are there, you can ask your real estate agent, apartment manager, or landlord a few questions to estimate your cost. For example, if you plan to buy an existing home, you can inquire with the previous homeowners about the annual utility bills or request your agent to find out what other homes cost in that area. It will give you an insight into a normal range. Even Campbell apartments managers and landlords can cooperate with you because utility packages tend to be a legitimate concern among new people. Generally, apartment communities combine the cost of heating, gas, water, waste disposal, and air conditioning into single monthly bills. Cable, internet, and electricity can be separate things.
Measures for energy efficiency and cost control after a home purchase
If you plan to buy an old house, it is necessary to remember that it can generate high utility bills due to a lack of proper insulation. As a result, the indoor area can be drafty and demand more heating consumption. At the same time, dated plumbing lines can have leakage issues, affecting your water charges. Older appliances can be another challenge. You can replace them with energy-efficient modern models to save on your electric bill. In your newly bought home or apartment, you can install LED light bulbs and a programmable thermostat. These simple changes can help bring down your utility cost by almost 10% or more every year.
Nowadays, you also get a home energy monitor that you can affix to your electric panel and get electricity consumption readings on your phone through an app. You can detect which devices use more power even when they are not running. It can also help you figure the difference in wattages when you plug or unplug appliances. You can take this approach for items like your refrigerator or computer. Experts suggest that anything that remains warm signals higher power usage. Hence, be careful about this.
For water bills, you can replace leaky faucets in the kitchen, bathroom, and everywhere else. To reduce your cooling and heating costs, you would want to insulate your home correctly.
Both aspiring homeowners and renters can benefit from this essential yet significant consideration. Most people don’t take these monthly expenses into account until they come across a huge utility bill. At that time, they might feel shocked because they had not anticipated it. As an intelligent and careful individual, you wouldn’t want to make this mistake. Also, regardless of personal home or rental property, some energy-efficient changes are easy to implement at both places. You can think about leaky faucets, bulbs, daily use appliances, etc. Even such small steps can have a positive impact on your savings. So, once you settle down, make sure to attend to these minor corrections immediately.
Energy efficiency is also good for the planet. By controlling your utility consumption, you will help the environment at large.