Rent isn't the only housing cost you have to take into account when moving to a new place. Whether you live in a luxury home or a modest apartment, you're probably going to have to pay for utilities, too. Those expenses can vary quite a bit from state to state, thanks to infrastructure, natural resources, demand, weather, and regulations. But just how much?
As Thrillist spotted, Move.org compared average utility bills across all 50 states, discovering that costs can run anywhere from the $300s to more than $700 a month in bills for basic needs like electricity, natural gas, internet, cable, and water.
Across all 50 states, the average price for all those utilities was about $422 a month, though that number depends on usage and the level of services you buy. (It costs more to heat a giant mansion than a studio apartment, for instance, and high-speed internet costs more than smaller plans.) However, states outside the continental U.S., in the Northeast, and in parts of the South tend to pay much more than that for their utilities, while some Western states pay a bit less.
These are the 10 states that pay the most in utilities, on average.
1. Hawaii: $731 per month
2. Alaska: $528 per month
3. Rhode Island: $522 per month
4. Connecticut: $496 per month
5. New York: $477 per month
6. New Hampshire: $477 per month
7. South Carolina: $474 per month
8. Massachusetts: $469 per month
9. Vermont: $468 per month
10. Maine: $464 per month
New England's high bills are largely due to very high electricity prices caused in part by mandated clean energy requirements and geography. Much of the region relies on natural gas to generate electricity rather than cheaper coal, and since that natural gas has to be imported from other regions, that drives up prices as well.
While it may make sense that electricity bills or heating costs might be high in a particular area, paying for internet plays a surprisingly large role in some other states' high utility bills. Alaskans pay more than $107 a month on average for a 60 Mbps connection, the highest in the nation. Rhode Island and South Carolina's bills are also inflated by high internet costs.
And these are the states that pay the least.
1. Idaho: $344 per month
2. Utah: $350 per month
3. Montana: $359 per month
4. Washington: $369 per month
5. Nevada: $377 per month
6. Louisiana: $381 per month
7. Oregon: $381 per month
8. South Dakota: $383 per month
9. Arkansas: $388 per month
10. Wisconsin: $391 per month
Inexpensive natural gas supplies are the main driver of low prices in these states. Louisiana, for instance, is one of the country's top suppliers of natural gas, as are Wyoming, Arkansas, and Utah.
Where does your state fall on the list? See the full rankings at Move.org with the breakdown of electricity, natural gas, internet, cable, and water costs state-by-state.