Average Utility Costs in New York City

By: ROS Team

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Money talks and the world listens. Our society equates bigger with better, but along with bigger often comes more expensive.  Unfortunately, the bigger-better relationship doesn’t always translate to living expenses.

Many renters and homeowners alike work their fingers to the bone to secure a sanctuary that they call home. But with the rising cost of utilities here in New York City and the surrounding boroughs, some residents are also struggling to keep the lights on.

Key Factors That Determine Utility Costs

On average, the average New Yorker can expect to spend around $2,000 annually on utilities alone.  This may fluctuate depending on a few key factors:

1) Season

Winter in New York can be brutal, with temperatures dropping near or below freezing.  As a consequence, costs related to running the furnace more often will definitely drive up your monthly utility costs.  Similarly, soaring summer temps will increase the demand for air conditioning.

At the end of the day, research hacks for maximizing comfort while keeping utility usage low. One option is to upgrade to smart thermostats, which help you better optimize central heating and cooling based on external temps.

2) Square Footage

Bigger is better, except when it comes to paying the utility bills!  Larger homes require larger heating and cooling systems.  There’s also more space to warm up and cool off when external temps are extreme.

Read Also: Square Footage Guide To Living From Small Home

3) Location

Location plays a huge role in determining utility costs. Demand drives utility prices; therefore, utility rates in metropolitan areas will be much higher than those in more suburban or rural neighborhoods.

4) Number of Occupants

Utility costs are directly related to the number of occupants sharing the space. More people increase the demand for internal systems such as electricity, internet, and water/sewage, thus driving up costs.

Looking to Make NYC Home

If you are planning to move to the NYC area or have already made the transition, it’s not too late to shop around for the best rates for services like electricity and internet. Even if you’ve signed a contract, it won’t hurt to see what other options are available so you’re ready once your current agreement expires.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of the referral. Ask family or friends who live in your area of interest what their utilities typically run per month to get a sense of what you may be paying given your living situation.

Negotiate Rates

Your monthly utility costs are going to depend on how many utilities are included in the rent. Water and trash service is typically included in the monthly rent, but you may be able to negotiate additional utilities included in the rent as well.  Whatever is negotiated, be sure to get it formally added to the lease.

Common Utilities

  • Electricity:

This expense makes up the major portion of your monthly expenses.  How much you spend on electricity is driven by the number of people in the household and the age and number of your appliances.

  • Gas:

Many households use gas to power their stoves and, possibly, warm their homes. depends on how often you cook and for how many family members you cook.

  • Water:

Water is normally included in monthly rent, but, if you have to pay for it separately, the average cost is $40 per month.

  • Trash Disposal:

As with water, the garbage disposal is usually included in the monthly rent. Separately, it costs approximately $20 per month.

  • Internet and Cable:

There are several internet and cable providers in NYC that provide various rates for different service options based on your household needs.

  • Parking:

If you own a car, parking costs average $150 monthly.

Final Thoughts

Utility bills are a part of life just like death and taxes, but paying them doesn’t have to be a struggle.  With a little research and, possibly, finagling, your NYC utility payments can be tamed and manageable.

Related Article:

What Are Apartment Utilities – Average Costs & Fees in the USA
Apartment, House, and Business Utilities?
Should Utilities Be Included in Rent?