How much electricity does an apartment tenant use?
Most people don’t consider their electricity cost when they move into an apartment. But even a small place can produce a shocking Texas electricity bill. Bad insulation, a rickety air conditioner, and flimsy windows can make a cheap apartment quite a bit more costly. So how much electricity does an average apartment dweller use?
An average one-bedroom apartment of around 750 square feet uses about 750 kwh per month. More square footage means an increase in cost primarily because of heating and cooling a larger space. Typical apartment electricity usage increases to about 880 kWh for 1,000 square feet.
Because apartments vary widely in size, age, and energy efficiency, a better question is: How much energy would you use in a particular apartment you intend to rent? Determining this is easier than you might think.
How do you estimate apartment energy usage?
Switching apartments comes with a lot of problems to solve. How many pizzas will your friends eat while schlepping your possessions up three flights of stairs? Pizza math is hard. Predicting your electricity bill shouldn’t be. If you know a few key pieces of information, estimating your energy usage should be easy.
As the sports saying goes, past performance is the best indicator of future performance. Even though you’re new to your apartment, chances are someone has lived there before. You can ask the prior tenants how much their electricity bill ran. You can also ask neighbors or the apartment office staff. Chances are your usage won’t be significantly different than that of tenants in similar apartments within the same complex.
If you can’t get historical electricity usage information from these people, you’ll have to make an educated guess. Find your past bills to see how many kilowatt-hours you used each month over the past year. Use this as a baseline for further calculations.
Identify the key differences between your old place and your new digs:
- Are the two apartments significantly different in size?
- Are the air conditioning units different sizes?
- Does one have more appliances than the other?
- Does one have new windows?
Adjusting your past usage based on these factors will give you a better forecast of your future energy usage. If you behave similarly in your old and new apartments, your daily electricity usage should be in the same ballpark.
Electricity usage in apartments versus houses
Houses tend to be larger than apartments. This means the average electricity usage in houses is greater than in apartments. In addition to the smaller size, the fact that apartments share walls with one another drives down electricity usage. This is because the shared wall and adjacent apartments reduce heating and cooling loss to the outside. Living in a sprawling house is nice, but it’ll cost you each month on your electricity bill.
How have electricity rates changed over time?
Fixed rate electricity plans lock in your electricity price for a time period. However, the market price changes all the time. Though some states’ prices have decreased, the latest national electricity pricing data shows slight increases for Texas and the nation. According to figures released February, 26, 2020, Texas electricity went from 11.00 cents per kWh in December 2018 to 11.93 cents in December 2019. Over that same period, the national average residential price rose from 12.69 cents to 12.43 cents.
Since we’re heading into the spring, you can find Texas electricity rates even lower now. Prices tend to drop after winter thaws but summer heat is still a few months away.
Power plans for your apartment energy usage
You’re smart to consider apartment energy usage before you sign a lease. You’ll also need to sign up for Texas electricity. You can find all the information you need at https://www.texaselectricityratings.com. Here you can even sign up for a new power plan. Then, you can focus on lining up friends to help you haul boxes.