How Much Are The Monthly Utility Bills?

I’m a licensed real estate broker in the State of Oregon.  That license allows me to “broker” the purchase and sale of real estate.  Beyond that . . . I’m not licensed to give tax advice, legal advice, or energy audit advice.

See:  Energy Trust of Oregon

From time-to-time I get asked questions that I am incapable of answering.

These are actual questions I’ve been asked over the years:

  • when do the buses run
  • how good are the schools
  • how much will the property appreciate in years to come
  • will the cleaning crew clean the fan blades
  • are the neighbors planning to have children
  • . . . and yes . . . what is the “average” monthly utility bill

I understand the need to budget.  Matter of fact, I budget too!  But sometimes, when I get asked this question, I can not answer with a pat and firm reply, other then:   Weatherization is the key!

The utility usage average of the current owners may not be your utility usage average  

There are many variables:

  • What’s the sq. ft. of the property?
  • Where is the property located?  (500′ above sea level, 1,500′ above sea level, 4,500′ above sea level)
  • How has it been insulated?  (Attic, crawlspace, walls? What’s the R-value? Are the ducts wrapped?)
  • What kind of windows are installed?
  • Is there a crawlspace, basement, slab?
  • What is the primary heat source?
  • How many people live in the house?
  • How many times does the toilet get flushed?
  • How often is the lawn watered?
  • Is the dishwasher used daily? (major energy drain)
  • What temperature is the thermostat set in winter?
  • How long does the furnace run?
  • Are the windows / doors properly caulked, sealed and weather stripped?
  • Is the house heated at night?
  • Is every TV, radio, computer running 24/7?
  • Is there a hot tub used on the premises?
  • Does hubby tinker in the garage and use 220 amp toys?
  • on and on and on . . .


There are organizations that can provide information on ways to reduce the energy costs in a home. Energy Trust of Oregon is a good starting point.

I can, and do, provide referrals to qualified vendors in the Portland Metro area who will be able to change windows, update furnaces to 95% efficiency units, blow in insultation, etc.  I  direct people to the right source for information.

But remember: Weatherization is the key!

Hope this makes sense.