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Snaple4

How much are your Utility Bills?

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I am trying to get an idea of what we will be paying. Three of my friends and I are getting an older 4 bed house in Fayetteville near the UofA and I have no idea how much these things are going to cost. Could anyone give me some ranges of what to expect for sewer, water, trash, electric, and gas.

Lets see, two gas water heaters, gas stove and central heat. Dishwasher...

Thank you for giving some input.

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I am trying to get an idea of what we will be paying. Three of my friends and I are getting an older 4 bed house in Fayetteville near the UofA and I have no idea how much these things are going to cost. Could anyone give me some ranges of what to expect for sewer, water, trash, electric, and gas.

Lets see, two gas water heaters, gas stove and central heat. Dishwasher...

Thank you for giving some input.

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Snaple, SWEPCO's website has a utility cost estimator that might help give you an idea of what to expect. That won't do you any good on the gas costs, though, I imagine.

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Thank you, I originally spoke with SWEPCO about the previous bills at the location and the lady told me nothing about the online calculator (or about the previous bills for that matter). The site does help some but unfortunately it does not tell me what people are actually getting charged.

Thank you zman for the detail. Anyone else able to input?

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Thank you, I originally spoke with SWEPCO about the previous bills at the location and the lady told me nothing about the online calculator (or about the previous bills for that matter). The site does help some but unfortunately it does not tell me what people are actually getting charged.

Thank you zman for the detail. Anyone else able to input?

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Wow, $600 for electric. That is considerably higher than what I have been budgeting for... That makes me wonder. We will have 4 people as well so I might have to become OCD about keeping the electric bill down.

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So I talked with the Electric and the Gas Company again... For electric they told me the average for the past 12 months is about $50 and the Gas was $60. For some reason I don't think this is so accurate. I think the house only sat empty for about 2 months out of that time.

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So I talked with the Electric and the Gas Company again... For electric they told me the average for the past 12 months is about $50 and the Gas was $60. For some reason I don't think this is so accurate. I think the house only sat empty for about 2 months out of that time.

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My 4 bed, 4 bath house, built 1935, costs about $600 per month for electric plus another $300-$500 per month for gas during the winter (gas heat and cooking). The water and sewer and trash runs an average of about $112 per month (I have two large trash containers; smaller ones are cheaper). There are four of us living here. It will cost you more than you think, I predict.....

M.

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Wow. We have an 1854 SF, 4 BR in Greenland with the original half built in 1961 and an addition in 1997. Our highest gas bill this winter was $170 and our highest electric (Ozarks) in the summer was $190. We use gas for water heater, but not cooking, and in the summer our gas bill is often less than $30. Electric in the winter averages $55-$60 tops. There's just two of us, but even if you double our bills they don't come close to that. We are also both not home during the same period of the day, so that saves a lot on elec/gas (when we remember to turn the thermostat down before we leave. I need to get one of those timed thermostats.) If there are people at home all hours of the day, your bills will be higher.

While in college, I roomed with three other guys in a fairly large house in Fayetteville. I seem to remember gas topping out around $250-$280 in the winter and electric in the $200 range during the summer. Depending on how your utlities are set up, I can't imagine the two exceeding $400 on average per month, which would only be $100 each. Take advantage of fall and spring when you can keep both the elec and gas totals down by not running heat or AC. Our gas bill went from $129 last month to $68 this month.

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Just got my electric bill for last month. $730+ on my house and $75 on my guest house (unoccupied). We do have a lot of lights on the outside of the place and a pool pump running constantly but it is expensive. Gas was down in the low 200s--we use it for heating and cooking only--water heaters are electric.

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I'm slightly baffled as to how expensive your bills are. My rates here don't compare well since it's not a house, but my house in Mountain Home is about $160 for electric (entergy) (all electric house) in the most expensive months, and although it's probably a bit smaller than your place, it's 2100 sq feet and the HVAC unit is pretty inefficient. Most months it's around $130. Last year it was about $80 a month, so it's gone up quite considerably, but still, nothing compared to $730. Is your house poorly insulated or something?

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My house is large (about 4500 square feet with studio, guest house not part of that and on separate meter) and being built of rock in 1935, is poorly insulated. It also has its orginal windows. My experience is old houses are energy hogs. The older they are, the more energy they consume. The more people live there, the more energy will be consumed, too. A single person or couple who work outside of the home all day will have lower bills...The whole point of this discussion was a student renting a house with three other students--an old house--will likely have substantial utility bills.

M

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Okay, that makes more sense. In a house around that size, those windows alone are probably costing you a minor fortune, but I imagine old rock houses in general are, as you said, probably poorly insulated. I know the point was that older houses are costly, but it also depends on what he's considering older. He's never mentioned what year the house was built, and my house is a 70s house, so by some definitions, it could be "older". I did have a lot of insulation added in the attic 5 years back when we bought that one, and the addition built on to the house is extremely well insulated (as well as having better windows... the windows in the addition look identical to the ones in the rest of the house, but are about twice as thick... much better insulated, and quieter. I want to replace all the windows now that I know how much better the new double pane windows are vs. 70s double pane, but it'd be costly), so ours is probably on the lower end of the scale cost wise except for the heating and air. That unit is in the process of dying and runs practically non-stop now, so bills are increasing. I'm interested to see what the bill will do once I get a new unit put in.

I got sidetracked. At any rate, I'm sure it'll cost more than a website will budget depending on the age/condition of the house, so find someone that lives in a similar house/situation and ask them. I'm planning on moving to a larger place in Fayetteville shortly since it appears I'll be staying here at least for a while, but I'll probably keep renting, so I'm also going to be in the "no idea what my energy bill will be" category pretty soon, haha.

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I think if he cuts Mark's bills in half, that might be a decent place to start budgeting. I don't remember too many 4500 SF rental houses around the UA, I'd guess a four BR over there is probably 1800-2000+ SF or so, and most likely older construction so not as energy efficient.

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You're right about the definition of "older." Some might consider your house older but to me it is not. It will have insulation in it, but, like you said, that era tends to have cheap windows. One thing--keep those furnace/AC filters clean. It makes a big difference. And keep the ceiling fans running if you can and the thermostat up a little higher.

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I completely understand about your definition of older, in your line of work my house is still about 15-20 years away from needing your help (well, assuming I let it go like many people seem to do), haha. The filters I change religously, but unfortunately there are no ceiling fans in the house. I thought about adding some in the great room since it is a pretty large room for a house that size and has cathedral ceilings, but the wiring and mounting issues due to the pitch of the peak turned out to be a bit difficult to work around. Luckily the windows are "good" for the time period, but still mediocre at best when compared to newer energy-efficient windows. So, I had 12 more inches of that fluffy insulation added above the ceilings when I moved in to help offset the loss. The big problem lies with the AC unit right now, and the repairman (luckily a friend of mine, so he's basically quit charging us for calls that he can't "fix" anything during) said that it's just on it's way out. Hopefully a new unit will be able to be budgeted in the near future.

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You know you can get something called a "sloped ceiling kit" that along with a downrod will allow a fan to go on any ceiling. I use them all of the time. That only leaves the box as a potential problem, depending on how it is secured. A good electrician will be able to help you (contact me offline if you want a referral).

Mark

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Well, the first month the gas was about $5 and the electric was about $5 as well. This was not for a full month and I made sure everything was turned off for most of that time. We were not able to fully move in b/c of everyones other contracts.

I am terrified of this months though. My roomates are very bad at leaving crap on. I will let you know how it ranges.

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First Round Due Date

Account Balance

Electric (1st) 69.35

Electric (2nd) 83.40

Electric Charge 1.00

Gas (second bill) 34.80

Cable 76.91

Lawn 30.00

Water 60.07

Total 355.53

Second Round Due Date

Account Balance Gas (first bill) 4.89

Gas (3rd) 30.75

July 17th Electric (3rd) 63.13

Electric Charge 1.00

Lawn (2nd) 30.00

Aug 15th Electric(4th) 86.74

John's Bills

Cable 40.10

Water (2nd) 63.75

Cable 103.00

Total 423.36

Third Round Due Date

Account Balance gas th) 0.00

th) 87.75

+ Charge 1.00

Electric (6st) 94.14

+ Charge 1.00

Lawn 30.00

John's Bills

Cox 54.01

Water 72.97

Water 62.52

Cox 80.96

Total 484.35 Fourth Round Due Date

Account Balance 13-Nov Electric w/ charge 62.11

28-Oct gas 23.10

gas 52.63

16-Dec Electric w/ charge 56.64

26-Dec Gas 123.32

John's Bills

Water 73.51

Water 70.51

Cable 80.96

Cable 80.96

Total 623.74

Yes, I know that this is a bunch of numbers. But I did say I would post the amounts so for anyone who wants to know here is the running numbers as of now. Our electric for the most recent month would be in the 120+ range (what happens when roommates leave electric heaters running when not here). The joys of living in an old house that stays cold.

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