Average Cost Of Utilities In Ottawa – A Complete Guide
Do you know that Ottawa is the world’s third-cheapest city to relocate in 2023? Are the utilities as affordable as the housing in Ottawa? Our experts have done some research to find out how much homeowners and tenants spend on various utilities that power their homes. We have also explored some ways to lower utility bills each month. This article will discuss the cost of utilities in Ottawa as well as some tips to reduce these utility costs.
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What Are Utilities Anyway?
Utilities are the basic facilities homeowners need to keep their houses functioning comfortably.
Some of these facilities include:
- Water and sewer
- Electric and gas
- Trash and recycling
- Other miscellaneous costs like landscaping, home security etc.
Utilities do not include public transportation, property tax, or any other living expense like groceries.
Who Pays For Utilities In Ottawa?
If you are renting an apartment, the cost of utilities could be paid by:
- Split between landlord and tenant
Sometimes the landlords are aware of the average cost of utilities in their apartment, and they include the cost in the rent. At other times, they may decide that the tenant is responsible for paying for the utilities, considering the fluctuating nature of the utilities.
Total Cost Of Utilities In Ottawa
According to numbeo.com, the monthly cost of utilities (Electricity, heating, water, garbage, cooling, internet) in Ottawa for a single household (2 adults, two children) is C$277. An article on movingwaldo.com suggests that the monthly expenses on utilities in Ottawa every month are around C$127 for two adults. Similarly, wova.com suggests that the cost of utilities for an average family (2 adults, two kids) in Ottawa is around C$252. A report from the financial accountability office suggests that Ontarians spend C$180 a month on energy. The exact costs vary, but on average, people in Ottawa expect to pay between C$200 to C$350 for utilities in Ottawa.
Breakdown Of The Cost Of Utilities
According to a CBC podcast, one of the deciding factors when accepting a job in Canada is the living expenses. The monthly cost of rent plus utilities and food is more than C$3000 on average in Canadian cities like Toronto or Vancouver. Ottawa is a relatively affordable option. The following is the average cost of utilities that you are expected to pay in Ottawa.
1. Water And Sewer
In Ottawa, an average person pays water and sewer bills every two months. Sometimes they are based on meter readings; at other times, you might have to pay a bill based on estimation.
- On average, a family of 4 would spend around C$80 after every two months on water and sewer bills.
Water is sourced, processed and distributed at the local level. Your water bill includes the price of the water itself, the cost of delivery, and the cost of maintaining facilities and infrastructure such as sewers and wastewater treatment.
Tips On Reducing Your Water And Sewer Costs
- Turn off the tap while you are brushing your teeth or shaving. Fill up the sink with water to wash your razor. Before brushing your teeth, fill up a glass of water to rinse your mouth.
- If you prefer to bathe, fill up the tub with a quarter of water and bathe in it. Take shorter showers to save water.
- Find out the leaks in your toilet. One way of doing it is to put some food colouring in the water tank and wait for a few minutes. If the colour appears in your bowl without flushing, your toilet leaks.
- Replace older showerheads with new low-flow showerheads and save water and money.
- Install a new low-flow faucet aerator to reduce water usage.
- If you are washing the dishes by hand, avoid running the water. Fill the sink with water to wash the dishes.
- While doing laundry, wash full loads for the greatest water and energy savings.
- Save water by using a broom to clean driveways, sidewalks and patios.
- Use a bucket and sponge to wash your car and a trigger nozzle on the hose to wash the soap off.
2. Electricity And Gas In Ottawa
Electricity is one of the most important utilities in Ottawa and is used for powering lights, appliances, and heating and cooling systems. Some homes are heated with natural gas. You need to set up an account with your local gas and power company.
- On average, the electricity prices for a family of 4 would be around C$90- C$110 every month. The bill for natural gas would also be around C$90.
The electricity supply in Ontario is generated from two sources, i.e., nuclear and hydroelectric power. That is why electricity utilities are often called hydro in Ottawa. Some electricity is also generated through wind and solar power.
The electricity is then transmitted to local utility companies, which manage the distribution and maintain the infrastructure. Most of the Ottawans pay their bills to these companies. There is a set rate for electricity which changes with the time of day to react to the overall load on the grid. The current rates are set at 17¢/kwh (on-peak), 11.3¢/kwh (mid-peak), and 8.2¢/kwh (off-peak).
Most of the natural gas that Ottawans use is sourced from Alberta. Once it is extracted, it travels through pipelines and is stored at your local utility company.
The rates for natural gas are set by the Ontario Energy Board. The current rate of gas is around 18¢/m3. Your gas bill also has added costs like customer charges, delivery fees, and federal carbon charges.
Tips To Save Gas And Electricity
Electricity costs can be reduced by following these tips:
- Weather-strip windows and install a seal sweep on doors to keep the rooms heated in summer and cool in winter.
- Air airtight the windows or use the plastic window film during the winter to avoid heat loss.
- Keep the blinds and curtains closed during the day in summer.
- Avoid using air conditioners all the time during the summer. Use fans instead.
- Install air conditioning units in the shady areas of the home.
- Clear away anything blocking heating and cooling vents.
- Replace furnace filters regularly.
- Install an Electric Thermal Storage unit rather than electric space heaters.
3. Trash And Recycling
In most cases, your municipality will offer trash and recycling services for a fee. The average monthly cost of garbage disposal for a household of 4 (2 adults and two kids) will be C$20.
How Often Is Garbage Collected?
- Garbage is collected every two weeks.
- Green bins are collected every two weeks. All food waste or scraps, such as eggshells, bones, fish, mouldy food etc., belong to green bins. Leaf or yard waste also goes into your green bin.
- Recyclable bins (black and blue) are picked up on alternating weeks.
4. Technology and Subscriptions
When it comes to the internet, the average price varies based on speed and data limit. If you spend more, you get a faster connection and a better service. The speed of the internet is measured in megabits per second. You will have two listed speeds, one for download and the other for upload. Most Ottawans consider a basic internet speed of 60 Mbps downloading and 10 Mbps uploading as a good connection.
Internet plans can be as low as C$30 a month to C$80 a month. Your provider often charges you for additional costs like an account set up, service installation and network equipment.
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) C$82.26
Mobile and Home Phone Plans
Mobile phones are becoming more popular than cell phones every day. There are a variety of choices when it comes to paying for phone service. Some of the factors that decide the cost of phone service are the number of minutes of phone time and the number of text messages allowed by your mobile phone plan.
For $35 a month, you can get unlimited talk and text plus 3GBs of mobile data.
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) C$0.54
The average cell phone bill in Ottawa is C$35
We all need utilities, and they are not free. If you know what you are expected to spend on utilities, you can ensure you are not overspending your hard-earned cash. It can also help to keep better control of your budget.
Ottawans can reduce their utility costs in a variety of ways. Refer to the tips above for saving on your utility bills.
A family of 4 expects to spend around $300 on utilities. This amount excludes food costs or public transport
It could be due to a variety of reasons. One reason could be a change in the household, such as new tenants or visitors. Another reason could be the installation of new appliances such as water-cooled air conditioners, humidifiers and lawn sprinkler systems. You also need to check for some plumbing problems or leakages in your pipes.
Some of the cheapest places to live in Ottawa are Vanier, Sandy Hill and Alta Vista.
Taxes are cheaper in Ottawa than in Toronto. You need around C$ 6568.1 in Ottawa to maintain the same standard of living that you can have with C$ 7500 in Toronto.
What is the average monthly net salary in Ottawa and Toronto?
According to numbeo.com, the average monthly net salary in Ottawa is C$ 4,013. In Toronto, it is C$4,049.