Utility costs in San Francisco typically include phone, cable, high-speed Internet, water, electricity and natural gas. In addition to your rent, such costs can be rather prohibitive when you add them to your other expenses, such as your car payment, associated transportation costs, insurance premiums and food costs. Nevertheless, major utility expenses, such as gas and electricity, can be controlled by practicing a little diligence with respect to conserving costs.
The Cost of a Landline Phone
In addition to your cell phone, the cost of a landline phone in the San Francisco area runs, generally, about $30.00 per month on an annual basis. This amount remains pretty consistent throughout the year, provided you use your phone mainly for local calls. Of course, you can eliminate the cost completely by choosing to only use your cell phone instead.
Enjoying the convenience of cable can run you in the San Francisco area about $60.00 per month or $15.00 per week. Or, that’s what you can expect to pay, at the most, for in-home entertainment.
The Cost to Stay Connected
Internet usage in San Francisco will usually run you about $32.00 per month or only about $8.00 per week, which is pretty good compared to most cities.
Electric and Gas Costs
The two major utilities, electricity and gas, as you might imagine, can become quite expensive, especially during the hottest part and colder times of the year. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is the combined supplier of electricity and natural gas in the San Francisco metropolitan area. The cost of electricity, which was recently raised, now runs about $73.00 as an overall monthly average for the year in the months when usage isn’t as great, or in the spring and early fall. The cost of natural gas averages about $70.00 per month for the year with the months of September and October usually showing exceptionally low usage and typical costs of only about $12 and $28 respectively. However, in total, you’ll need to fork out about $840 for natural gas for the entire year.
Water Usage and Costs
In San Francisco, charges for water are usually incorporated into the rent but normally run around $45.00 to $60.00 on average per month.
Given the above information, the overall utility costs for the typical San Francisco apartment dweller can run about $240 to $280 per month, depending on the amount of space that is being heated or cooled and how conscientious the user is with respect to conserving costs and monitoring usage. Because San Francisco is a metropolitan area that charges fairly reasonable rates with regards to utilities, you can usually expect to manage such expenses satisfactorily, especially if you live in a rent-controlled property. Even if you don’t live in a rent-controlled setting, utilities in San Francisco are still, on the whole, lower than utilities in a good number of other U.S. cities. Just make sure, when it comes to gas and electric costs, that you account for the colder and warmer times of the year in order to keep your costs realizable and maintain your budget.