Amid a record-setting rise in inflation rates, utility bills climbed steadily in 2022. And the expectation is that most energy prices will continue to rise for the time being, exacerbating the squeeze on homeowners and renters alike. Below are key statistics and information on the current energy environment, as well as tips to estimate utility costs and save money.

Key takeaways
  • The average American family spends $5,640.72 on utilities (including electricity, gas, water, waterwaste, broadband internet, and phone service)
  • Electricity is the most expensive utility in a typical household
  • Utility costs should not exceed 10 percent of your gross income
  • From solar panels to Energy Star appliances, there are several ways to reduce utility and energy bills

Utility bill data and statistics

  • Average monthly electric bill: $121.01 (U.S. Energy Information Administration, December 2021)
  • Average monthly gas bill: $63.42 (American Gas Association, December 2021)
  • Average monthly water bill: $45.44 (Statista, December 2022)
  • Average monthly waterwaste bill: $66.2 (Statista, December 2022)
  • Average monthly broadband internet bill: $59.99 (Statista, December 2022)
  • Average monthly phone bill: $114 (Statista, December 2022)
  • Year-over-year increase in energy prices: 7.3 percent (Consumer Price Index, December 2022)
  • Year-over-year increase in gasoline prices: -1.5 percent (CPI, December 2022)
  • Year-over-year increase in fuel oil prices: 41.5 percent (CPI, December 2022)

Typical utility expenses

Utilities are services that keep your home comfortable, functional and safe. They include:

How to estimate utility costs

To estimate utility costs for a specific home, you have to take into account its size, its geographic location, the number of people in the household and the types of energy sources available. More specifically, factors that influence utility bills include:

  • Square footage of home
  • Age and efficiency of appliances and HVAC systems
  • State of insulation
  • Condition of pipes
  • Number and size of windows and doors

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling recommends you keep your utility costs under 10 percent of your gross income. Of course, utilities are necessities and some factors influencing their cost are beyond the individual’s control. Even so, try to set that 10 percent as an absolute ceiling.

Here are the top five states where residential utilities averaged the most each month, and the top five where they averaged the least in 2022.

States with the most expensive utilities*

State Avg. monthly cost per household
Source: Statista
Hawaii $725.97
Connecticut $576.62
Alabama $553.16
Georgia $552.18
Arizona $504.61

States with the least expensive utilities*

State Avg. monthly cost per household
Source: Statista
Vermont $452.54
Idaho $452.54
Colorado $469.83
New Mexico $473.48
Montana $474.27

*includes electricity, natural gas, water, waterwaste, phone, broadband internet, streaming services

How to save on your electric bill

There are a number of steps you can take to reduce energy usage and your utility bills:

  • Turn off and unplug – While this change might seem minor, standby power accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of residential energy usage, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Turning off appliances regularly could save you up to $100 per year.
  • Install ceiling fansCeiling fans circulate air, which has a cooling effect. So you might be able to get away with less air conditioning, a notorious booster of energy bills.
  • Upgrade to more efficient appliances – Products with the Energy Star label meet government efficiency standards, and sometimes even exceed them (Energy Star refrigerators, for example, are at least 15 percent more efficient than the minimum required). Automated fixtures, like smart faucets, can reduce wasteful drips and leaks too. By using less energy and reducing waste, these types of appliances can help you save money.
  • Switch to LEDs – Residential LED lighting uses at least 75 percent less energy, according to the DOE, and lasts longer compared to incandescent lighting. The result: an average annual savings of about $225. Pair the LEDs with timers and dimmers to really maximize these savings.
  • Install solar panels – Solar panels produce energy from the sun, a free power source. The cost to install solar panels or an entire solar roof isn’t cheap, but the expense tends to pay off in the long run. You can estimate your potential savings with a calculator from Project Sunroof.
  • Use smart meters – Smart meters are devices attached to appliances that track their energy usage, sending readings directly to the utility provider. If the smart meter shows a spike in usage, you can take steps like using less power or water to reduce consumption.
  • Request an energy audit – A home energy auditor can identify where your home is losing energy. If you make the energy upgrades recommended by the auditor, you could save between 5 percent to 30 percent on your bills, according to the DOE.