New England bill breakdown

Utility costs throughout the year

What is the typical total utility bill breakdown for apartment buildings, and how does it change over the course of a year? WegoWise's rich database can answer that question, and more.

Some interesting insights emerge when we focus on New England buildings with air conditioning and gas heat. These histograms show how the distribution of utility bills (in dollars per bedroom) changes from month to month. The three vertical lines in each plot designate the cheapest 25% of bills, the median bill, and the most expensive 25% of bills.

First, water costs remain nearly stationary month-to-month, but make up a sizeable fraction of the monthly bill — as much as 40% of the median bill in fall and early summer.

Second, gas and electric bills trade off in winter and summer. In New England, high heating bills sting the worst, and for a longer period of time.

Third, the total bills peak twice, due to the gas/electric trade-off. Though, unsurprisingly, the gas heating bill drives the total bill the most, accounting for almost half of the total median cost in January.

  • The monthly water, electric, and gas bills were collected from the WegoWise database, for multifamily buildings in the six states of New England, plus New York.
  • The buildings are all electrically cooled, heated by gas, and have gas-heated hot water. Approximately 2000 buildings made the cut, providing over 200,000 utility bills to bin across years into monthly histograms.
  • The total bill histograms are simulated from the distributions of actual water, electric, and gas bills, since not all buildings track enough data for all three fuels. The data are current through January, 2014.