Typical Utility Costs in AustinApril 8th, 2010 by Staff Writer
While Austin is a great place, typical utility costs for its residents can often make it more expensive than other Texas cities. Because of the city’s frequently extreme weather, air conditioning and heating costs raise are the largest expense for most of Austin resident expenses. Below is an estimation of typical monthly utility costs in Austin, Texas.
Living in Austin
Because it is the capitol of Texas, the cost of living in Austin is higher than it is in other Texas cities. As it is a desirable place to live and a college town, demand for apartments is high, making rents high. Austin also charges high taxes. The city’s plethora of outdoor activities and kind residents, however, more than make up for these extra costs. Additionally, the city’s focus on “going green and staying local” offers many cost-saving opportunities. Locally grown produce is sold at the city’s many outdoor markets, and tax rebates and other incentives exist for Austin residents to use environmentally friendly utilities in their homes or offices.
Air Conditioning and Heating
Unlike other Texas cities, Austin experiences each of the four seasons. Summer and winter, though, dominate; either heating or air conditioning is needed all year round. Most air conditioning and heating units in Austin residences are electric. Setting the thermostat at 75 degrees year-round costs approximately $100.00 per month.
Certain residences may have gas-based utilities, typically stovetops and ovens. Because of this, it will only cost about $20.00 a month. Some homes or apartments may have a gas-based heating, which when used will raise wintertime gas charges by approximately $50.00.
Of course, your water costs will vary depends on your usage. Water bills in Austin also include the cost of sewage and treatment. A single person running the dishwasher once a week, the shower daily and doing two loads of laundry a week will cost about $35.00 a month.
Telephone, Cable and Internet
The local cable company offers bundled packages for cable, telephone and internet. The monthly cost of this bundle is quite expensive, typically $160.00 a month. However, there are ways to cut this cost, such as by reducing the number of channels received, eliminating your home phone and not having internet in your home. Free wireless internet is offered many places throughout the city. Of course, eliminating these services may not appeal to you. In this case, basic cable only costs $30.00 a month, phone about $15.00, and non-wireless internet at $40.00. This comes out to less than $100.00.
Some residences may charge for garbage removal. While a minimal charge, it is still one to look for and ask about if you are considering becoming a new. Garbage removal charges can range from $20 to $30.00.
Depending on your lifestyle and residence, you may have additional monthly costs. Groceries and gas should be figured into every budget. Fortunately, Texas typically has lower than average gasoline prices and cheaper food costs. Additionally, the many local Farmers Markets are a great place to purchase cheap and healthy breads, fruits and vegetables.
As in any city, monthly bills must be included in your budget. While not as expensive as other cities, Austin’s monthly utility costs are quite high. Prior to signing any utility agreement, research and negotiate the cost of your utility bills, you may be surprised at just how much money you can save.