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.
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 . . .
——> YOU CAN NOT BASE YOUR PERSONAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION ON ANYONE ELSE’S ENERGY CONSUMPTION! <——
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.