What do utilities cost in Seattle?
June 6, 2004 7:02 PM   Subscribe

What do utilities cost in Seattle?

I'm moving from an apartment into a house shared with a few people. In this apartment, I've only ever had to pay for electricity, which has been fairly cheap, and I'm a little concerned that sewer, water, and garbage in the new house will start to add up. I've never rented a house before, and so have never had to pay for these things.

What do you, my fellow Seattleites, pay for (Electricity + Water + Sewer + Garbage) on a per person basis? If you don't mind me asking, that is.
posted by Hildago to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
The Moving Cost Calculator knows all.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:16 PM on June 6, 2004

Seattle Utilities have this information on their website. Garbage rates can be found here. Looks like roughly $30/per month. Sewage info can be found here. Looks like roughly $30/month. Water rates can be found here. I guess that depends on how much water you use.

As for electricity, Seattle rates can be found here. That one's harder to calculate. It really depends on what type of heating you have. But, expect to pay more for a house than an apartment, especially if you have electric heating.

(Not actually a Seattle resident, but I used to be.)
posted by Eldritch at 7:29 PM on June 6, 2004

It also really depends. I lived in Seattle for about 12 years and our utilities were all over the map depending on things like:

* how many people lived in the place and how much laundry they did & how efficient the washer is. We had neighbors who we shared water with who I swear were running a laundry out of the basement.
* gardens? outdoor watering?
* how much they recycle versus trash [Seattle does a can-sized based bill for garbage. You can get a pretty small can if you recycle a lot IF your landlord will let you. You can recycle a lot of stuff in Seattle so if you compost you can get trash down to almost nothing]
* how good all your plumbing is in terms of leaks. No drippy faucets, no running toilets.

Sewer is just some fraction of water so lots of water = more sewer costs. Recycling is free, no matter how much you put out, pretty much. That said, I remember those costs being not that huge [where a my share of a bi-monthly water bill would be in the $10-30 range, really minimal]. Electric is what is really up and down because a lot of people have electric heat and/or electric hot water. In these cases, even though winter is not that cold, you can get electric bills in the winter that are upwards of $75-100 per user [assuming a 2-4 person household] if you keep the heat on and comfy and use a lot of hot water. If you tend towards conservation, this number can drop dramatically. Here's Seattle's rate page. It won't tell you how much you'll pay but can give you an idea of where the big ticket items are.
posted by jessamyn at 7:39 PM on June 6, 2004

Garbage/Water bills and Electricity Bills come every other month (they trade off). Any given month you'll pay anywhere from $50-$100, depending on how often people take showers, if you use electric heat, etc. etc.
posted by falconred at 8:19 PM on June 6, 2004

Smart Dalek - Gracias

Eldritch - I have the rates, my confusion is as to how much people use, anecdotally, since I have never measured myself. Thanks for the links though.

Jessamyn - Very helpful, thanks. We recycle a lot currently, and I didn't even know I was saving my landlord money. This is good to know.

Falconred - Thanks, hopefully we can save money by not showering (plan b)
posted by Hildago at 9:46 PM on June 6, 2004

P.S. my prices include electric water heater.
posted by falconred at 10:51 PM on June 6, 2004

ALso, older homes with baseboard heat can come in over $300 in winter for the juice.
posted by mwhybark at 11:30 PM on June 6, 2004

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