Your mortgage or rent payment isn't the only number to consider when considering a move. Utility costs can vary significantly between two addresses. Even if your address is not changing, knowing the monthly utility cost is an important part of any household budget. If the total cost comes as an unpleasant surprise, it may be time to look at options to reduce utility consumption or, if possible, find a less expensive provider.
Estimating Cost at New Address
Call the water, gas and power companies. Utility companies will usually give you the average monthly utility cost of the prior occupant. While your usage of the utilities may not be exactly the same, the prior occupant's usage can be used as an estimate.
Call your other utility providers. Other common utilities are phone lines, Internet and cable television services. Your current provider can confirm whether they service your intended new location and whether there will be any cost differences between your new and old location. This is also a good time to shop around for better pricing offered by competing providers.
Total the average costs provided to you by the various utility companies. This will be your estimated average utility cost in the new location.
Calculating Cost at Current Address
Gather statements from all your current utility providers, ideally covering the last 12 months. If you have not saved your statements, call your utility provider instead to request the information.
Calculate the average monthly cost for each utility. Add the last year's worth of monthly bills together and divide by 12 to get your average monthly cost.
Total the average monthly costs. Since this method uses your actual usage history, it will be a very accurate measure of your total average utility costs per month.
- Many utilities companies have a free option called budget pay, or a "level payment plan," which estimates your total bill for the year and splits it into 12 equal payments. Signing up for one of these programs may make it easier to budget for utility bills.
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