If you’re considering moving to Texas, you’re in good company. Many people enjoy the rich culture and history, affordable cost of living, lack of state income tax, career opportunities, warm weather, and wide open spaces that the Lone Star State offers.
However, before you make the jump (or even if you’re already a Texan), it’s important to stay informed on the exact cost of living in Texas as compared to other states. Utilities are often glossed over when budgeting for rent and other necessities, but utility bills can add up. The cost of utilities in your new home is crucial to keep an eye on.
- The average monthly cost for utility bills in Texas is around $456/month.
- Many factors impact your utility bill, including the size of your property, the number of people living with you, how often you use your appliances, and your Internet/cable plan.
- There are steps you can take to decrease your monthly utility bill, such as investing in energy-efficient solutions or simply monitoring the amount of energy you use.
How Much Do Utilities Cost Per Month in Texas?
The cost of living in Texas is relatively affordable compared to the national average. For instance, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, the necessary salary for a single adult in Texas is about $19,000 less than in New York City and about $11,000 less than in California. However, it’s important to manage your money carefully regardless of where you live, and utility bills can add up (especially for large properties as are common in Texas).
Below you’ll find the average cost for each typical utility used by homeowners and renters in Texas on a monthly basis.
|Electricity bill||$133/month (about 14.47 cents per kWh)|
|Natural gas bill||$111/month|
|Water bill (includes sewer & trash service)||$97/month|
What Other Factors Will Impact the Cost of My Utilities?
Aside from your locale and its climate (bills for AC are likely to be higher across Texas than most other states due to its extreme temperatures, but relatively even within Texas itself), there are a variety of factors that may affect electricity prices and your ability to get the lowest rates.
For instance, your average electricity bill may be steeper depending on the size of your home. It simply takes more electricity to power, heat, and cool larger homes. Texas is famous for its wide open spaces and large properties and ranks 11th for largest homes in the U.S. (with an average of 9,540 square feet). However, Texas is also home to plenty of great cities, so it’s possible your Austin, Dallas, or San Antonio apartment won’t require quite as much electricity to fit its specific needs.
Your energy costs might also be affected by the number of people living in your home. Living with a partner, family members, or roommates means that more people are likely to be home and using electricity, heat or AC, appliances, cable, or Internet at any given time. This also means that people may use the same or different utilities at the same time (i.e., one person watches cable while another uses the Internet; two people use AC units in their bedrooms simultaneously). It may seem like common sense, but it’s easy to forget that more residents in your home means a higher average electric bill for each month.
Another factor that might impact utility costs for the average home in Texas is which appliances you use and how often you use them. For instance, leaving your fridge open a minute too long adds up over the course of the month. Using a dishwasher requires electricity and water. Monitoring your shower can help you save on water heating. Using your smart TV too frequently may run up your electric and/or Internet bill.
Finally, your Internet or cable package may impact the cost of your utilities on a monthly basis. Choosing a more expensive data plan will add to your bill, but so will exceeding your monthly plan if you choose one that’s too small.
What Are Some Pointers for Saving Money on Utilities?
The good news is there are many easy steps you can take to decrease your monthly utility bill. Start by doing your best to track which utilities and appliances you use the most and which appliances use the most energy on a monthly basis (you can also hire an energy auditor to do this for you). This will help you see where you need to cut back on your monthly budget.
Invest in updated, efficient, and energy-saving appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, and even solar panels. Using EnergyStar appliances in your kitchen and laundry room will make your home more energy-efficient, and using less energy means paying less. Using a programmable thermostat will help you save on heating or cooling bills while you’re asleep. Even energy-efficient light bulbs make a difference on your electricity bill.
In terms of heating and cooling, find an efficient and sustainable solution for your home. Ensuring any leaks are sealed, vents are open and clear, and that your home is well-insulated will regulate your home’s temperature and keep you from using excess heat or AC. Changing your AC’s air filters frequently will help it run optimally and also improve your home’s air quality and provide you with the lowest rate.
The Texas Weatherization Assistance Program is a resource available to Texans in all Texas counties across the sprawling state and offers free supplies to those affected by Texas’s 2021 winter storm. Your independent electricity provider may also offer benefits such as cash-back rebates on energy-efficient appliances or free LED light bulbs.
Finally, just as you surely heard repeatedly from your parents growing up, it’s important to turn off the lights when you leave the room and unplug any unnecessary electronics in order to use less electricity. Every bit of energy adds up over the course of the month, and eliminating unnecessary use of power to achieve the lowest cost is good for both the planet and your wallet.
Questions Others Are Asking
What is the average cost of living in Texas per month?
The average cost of living in Texas is around $39,661 per year or approximately $3,305 per month.
What is the average monthly grocery bill in Texas?
The average monthly grocery bill in Texas is around $276 per month for one person. A family of four can expect to spend upwards of $700 per month on groceries.