A property has multiple utilities to consider—some properties will have more than others. In Houston specifically, if you’ve recently purchased a home, common utilities will likely describe your monthly expenses. Now taxation is itself a recurring cost for property, and so is your Homeowners Association fee.
We’ll be excluding taxation and HOA fees in this list as they’re not technically utilities, even though you have to pay them regularly. That said, you can expect three primary utilities—the averages used in this writing can be found at this site.
Trash And Gas
You can pay for recycling if you like. For trash and recycling, you can expect about $14 a month in Houston—that’s the national average. Gas averages $72.10 nationally, but you can expect this cost to be slightly lower owing to the regular heat of the region. It’s seldom cold enough for you to need that much gas in Texas, so if you budget using the national average, then you’ll come in ahead of budget every year.
Water And Sewer
You can expect your monthly water bill to be about $70.39. Meanwhile, your monthly sewer bill will be slightly above the national average in Houston at $51.44, assuming 8,000 gallons are flushed a month—for a family. Naturally, you can reduce this number if you’re careful to reduce bathroom visits as possible. Rain barrels can also be used to reduce your water bill. However, if you’re investing in something like a rain barrel, you won’t see Return On Investment for a few months or years, because the cost of rain barrels, filtering apparatus, and clean hoses will run you up a few hundred dollars. But after you get the system in place, it can save you a few hundred dollars a year.
Electricity And Technology
When it comes to electricity, you don’t just want to go with whatever default option is bringing your home energy. It may be the cheapest; there’s a high likelihood it won’t be. To help you uncover the best deal on your new home, you can use EnergyBot to find the best Houston electricity rates. On average, Americans tend to pay about $110.76 a month on electricity.
You might be able to cut that in half as simply as changing your electricity provider. Also, you can probably parse it down by switching in part to solar energy, but as with rain barrels, you’ll have to spend a little up front before you see ROI. In terms of technology, your primary monthly bills are going to be internet and cable. Internet will run you up on average $60 a month, cable will average you $85. More and more people quit paying cable owing to the convenience of the internet, and if you shop competitively, you might be able to cut that internet bill in half as well. It may mean slower web surfing, though.
Regulating Your Monthly Houston Utilities
Every household will be different, but if you pay the average rate on all these utilities, you’re looking at about $463.69 a month. You’re probably going to want to cut that in half if at all possible. This can be done by going with the least expensive electricity option, installing solar solutions, putting in a rain barrel, avoiding cable, and managing sewer usage.
On top of these monthly fees, you should budget in a recurring HOA fee, and appropriate taxation for Houston property ownership. Add that in with your mortgage and you can expect to pay about $1,500 a month on your home, dropping to around $250 once you own the property and cut down your monthly utility bill to something more reasonable.