15 Cities Where Residents Spend the Most on Utilities

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This story originally appeared on Filterbuy.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the typical American family spends about $2,850 per year — or about 22% of total housing costs — on their utility bills.

With working from home on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are beginning to experience one of the hidden costs of working remotely: increased utility spending.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that industrial and commercial electricity usage both have declined due to shutdowns, stay-at-home orders and increased remote working in the wake of the pandemic.

In contrast, residential electricity usage in the last few months is higher than the average for the last five years. Not only has working from home led to increased electricity, internet and phone usage for residential customers, but many Americans are using more energy for things like cooking and running the dishwasher more frequently as well.

Energy usage depends greatly on climate. Households in colder climates tend to use a lot of energy in the winter for heating, while people in warmer climates see their highest energy usage during the summer months. According to data from the EIA, households in the Northeast and Midwest use the most energy on average. Households in the more temperate West region use the least.

Spending on utilities depends not only on climate but also on energy costs, which vary geographically. To find the metropolitan areas that spend the most on utilities, researchers at Filterbuy analyzed the latest data from the Census Bureau on owner-occupied housing units.

We ranked metro areas according to their respective median monthly utility costs, including electricity, gas, other heating fuels, water and sewer. We also calculated median monthly utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs.

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis.

The following are the large metropolitan areas that spend the most on utilities.

15. Washington, D.C.

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  • Median total monthly utility costs: $252
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 12.6%
  • Median electricity costs: $140
  • Median gas costs: $80
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $63
  • Median water and sewer costs: $50

14. Memphis, Tennessee

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $253
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 26.3%
  • Median electricity costs: $190
  • Median gas costs: $60
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $17
  • Median water and sewer costs: $20

13. Indianapolis

f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $255
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 25.5%
  • Median electricity costs: $140
  • Median gas costs: $80
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $42
  • Median water and sewer costs: $42

12. Louisville, Kentucky

Philip Rozenski / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $255
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 27.2%
  • Median electricity costs: $150
  • Median gas costs: $80
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $33
  • Median water and sewer costs: $58

11. Sacramento, California

Ed Gavryush / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $258
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 16.5%
  • Median electricity costs: $120
  • Median gas costs: $50
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $29
  • Median water and sewer costs: $83

10. Pittsburgh

esb-professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $267
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 29.8%
  • Median electricity costs: $120
  • Median gas costs: $90
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $75
  • Median water and sewer costs: $58

9. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $270
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 19.8%
  • Median electricity costs: $150
  • Median gas costs: $70
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $50
  • Median water and sewer costs: $66

8. Philadelphia

Tupungato / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $278
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 20.2%
  • Median electricity costs: $150
  • Median gas costs: $90
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $100
  • Median water and sewer costs: $50

7. Dallas

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $280
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 21.1%
  • Median electricity costs: $170
  • Median gas costs: $50
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $17
  • Median water and sewer costs: $70

6. Birmingham, Alabama

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $280
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 33.1%
  • Median electricity costs: $180
  • Median gas costs: $50
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $29
  • Median water and sewer costs: $40

5. Kansas City, Missouri

wallace-weeks / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $283
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 25.7%
  • Median electricity costs: $150
  • Median gas costs: $70
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $39
  • Median water and sewer costs: $50

4. Hartford, Connecticut

James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $283
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 18.7%
  • Median electricity costs: $140
  • Median gas costs: $100
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $117
  • Median water and sewer costs: $40

3. Providence, Rhode Island

Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $283
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 20.0%
  • Median electricity costs: $120
  • Median gas costs: $100
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $117
  • Median water and sewer costs: $42

2. New York City

By JJFarq / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $300
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 14.9%
  • Median electricity costs: $150
  • Median gas costs: $100
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $150
  • Median water and sewer costs: $46

1. Boston

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Median total monthly utility costs: $309
  • Median utility costs as a percentage of total housing costs: 16.5%
  • Median electricity costs: $130
  • Median gas costs: $100
  • Median other fuel costs (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.): $125
  • Median water and sewer costs: $50

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