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What is Considered A Utility and How Much Should They Cost?

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As you begin your apartment-living journey, you may find yourself asking: what is considered a utility? Utilities ensure that your home is equipped with essential services, well-lit and at a comfortable temperature. But how do you know what you should be paying? In this blog, we’ll delve into the details about what utilities you will encounter, how often they will likely be paid and how much they could roughly cost.



Hydro bills include the electricity used in your home. These include air conditioning, appliances, lighting, media equipment and more. Services are provided through local utility providers that cannot be chosen. You will receive these bills either once a month or every other month – they are not included in the price of rent. The prices for these bills can vary. For example, the average cost of hydro in Toronto, Ontario is $42 for a 1 bedroom apartment with it increasing as you add more rooms. If you find your bill is too high, you can lower it by turning off electronics that are not in use, running appliances during off-peak hours with time-of-day billing plans – typically overnight between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am – and making sure that all windows and cracks are properly sealed.


Natural Gas

Some appliances – like home and water heaters – may use gas instead of electricity. The difference between the two is that they come on different bills and you can choose your natural gas provider. Depending on where you live, the billing period and cost will vary. For example, the average gas bill in Toronto is around $22 and is paid four times a year. However, these are often included in your price of rent. If you want to lessen this cost, you can lower your thermostat and be careful about what time of day you dry your clothes.



Anything that consumes water is included on your water bill. These are appliances like showers, toilets, sinks, washing machines and dishwashers. The frequency of these bill payments varies depending on your city, but they are often included with your rent. Depending on your location, your local water companies will charge you either a flat fee or through a tiered pricing system – which is based on your consumption and time of use. The average cost for water in Toronto is around $37. If you want to lower this cost, check for any leaks and practice water-saving measures like turning off taps and taking shorter showers.



Your technology bills cover your internet, cell phones, home phones and cable. These charges are billed monthly. Unlike the utilities included above, these services are provided by a variety of companies that tenants can choose from. The prices can vary depending on what is included in the package, the speeds of the service and any add-on’s that are included. However, these prices can be negotiated and altered in an attempt to keep you as a customer. As well, sometimes service providers will have exclusive deals with apartment buildings, allowing you to save more money. In Toronto, the average internet price is $58, cable is $49 and a cell phone with 5GB of data is $45.


In summary, water and natural gas are often included in rent and should be factored in when looking for your next apartment. Based on the numbers listed above, your utilities in a city like Toronto could average out to around $231 to $253 depending on what month it is and how your bills fall within those times. Keep in mind that this may not account for all fees and charges and some wiggle room should be considered. Fortunately, all these expenses can be lowered through proactive measures.