Utility Rates are Ever-Increasing

Posted by Livable Content Team on Jan 6, 2021 12:00:00 PM


Nationwide, property owners should expect across-the-board ongoing utility increases, with some jurisdictions expected to see double-digit rate hikes. According to a survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the residential electricity price nationwide increased just under 1% between 2020 and 2021, continuing an upward trend - rates have gone up 6% in the last decade.  


Natural gas

Prices are also rising for natural gas, with international markets willing to pay a higher rate for this U.S.-produced energy source. Domestic demand is also on the rise, with those areas most impacted by climate change increasing their need for heating and cooling. In fact, cooling devices like fans and air conditioners comprise the largest percentage of residential energy use.



Rates for water varies enormously depending on the area, with typical water and sewer rates under $50 a month in cities like Memphis and Phoenix, and over $200 a month in Seattle and San Francisco. But no matter the municipality, over the long-term rates are up substantially from an average of $39 a month in 2001 to $100 in 2018.


Interestingly, demand for water has actually dropped significantly since an all-time high in the 1980s, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. But the aging water and wastewater infrastructure, and the increasing capital and operational costs that drove these rates higher over the last two decades are unlikely to change in the years ahead.  


Waste Removal and Recycling

Much like water, the underlying issues driving rates up in the waste removal industry are likely to keep rates high moving forward. The biggest issue is that China is no longer interested in purchasing much of our scrap, turning a former profit center into an increasingly expensive endeavor.


With recycling stacking up, there are higher employment costs since more people are needed to separate the dwindling percentage of still-valuable reusable materials from the rest. This while the waste industry is seeing an active labor shortage, which means waste haulers need to provide higher pay and better benefits to bring in drivers and other staff. As these expenses rise at the same time that recyclable profits plummet, expect waste rates to rise with more fees and higher prices for recycling in particular.


Take Control Of Rising Costs

With the continuing rise in utilities, there has never been a better time to invest in custom utility management and cost recovery solutions for your property. Livable offers a Ratio Utility Billing System, that makes it easy to divide your building’s utility bills and allows your tenants to reduce their environmental footprint and find savings along the way! Book a call today and connect with a Livable professional.


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Did you know there are low-flow showerheads? Standard showerheads release 2.5 gallons of water each minute, whereas low-flow showerheads use 2 gallons or less. This change along with being mindful of how long you run the shower (try setting a timer for each shower) can reduce the amount of water you use while showering, conserving this precious resource and saving you money!

utility bill property owners rising costs increase NOI homeowner