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Utilities - lower cost of living

September 15th, 2015 at 03:00 am

The lower cost of living is SWEET. I am loving the small benefits. Yes housing is at least 25% cheaper, probably closer to 30-40% to be honest when everything is said and done. It's hard to compare because the houses are newer and need less work so where we lived a $800k home was a "fixer" that is about the same size or bigger, but needing new furnace, roof, insulation, lead paint, windows, electrical etc. I mean that this year 2 of my friends bought homes they couldn't move into without getting the electrical upgraded from Nob 2. That was $15k OOP before they moved in, besides it was a safety hazard. Both people also had to tear out bathrooms that had leaks and were rotting and are working on those projects. So though I think house are at least 25% cheaper I think it's much more.

But I can definitely see a difference in utilities however with our first electric bills. Here it is 9.5 cent/kwh, we last paid 24.8 cents/kwh where we lived. Ridiculous. If we used the same amount 921 kwh we should have paid $87.49. Instead we paid $228.40. So around 1/3 the price we paid.

Our natural gas in our new location $1.03/therm used. In our last place we were paying $1.16/therm used and this was summertime. The price in Dec/January was $1.40/therm. Being the frugal folk we only used 307 therms in the winter. So our bill was $430. Our connected neighbors who heated to 70 instead of our 60 was $1200.

Another direct comparison was our property taxes. The property tax rate of our town was $12.12/$1000 of assessed value. Here the assessed tax rate is $10.73/$1000 of assessed value. This is 12% saving on property taxes and that's direct comparison of assessed value.

I'm waiting on our water bill but previously our water bill was $18 per CCF for combined water and sewer. I'm interested in the rate we will be paying. Of course we are also paying $30/month trash service.

Add this all up with a saving of state incomes and lower food costs and I think we could potentially be looking at a lower cost of living around a solid 20%. So a 20% paycut should be fine. The question is where we will land income wise?

I also know that where we moved is not a LCOLA. It's actually pretty expensive for the US comparatively. Perhaps others will chime in about their cost of living. Do you watch what you pay? Do you know what you pay? I know when we moved from CA to the East Coast we had comparable COL. But this is the first time we've ever lived somewhere cheaper for us both. It's pretty sweet.

6 Responses to “Utilities - lower cost of living”

  1. bluesfemme Says:

    Interesting! Our electricity costs seem quite expensive then, at $24.35 supply charge per two months and 23.3663c per kWh.

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    Although I live in the high tax state of CT, I would prefer to remain in the town where I've lived for the past 20 years when I retire. However, I can still chip away at my cost of living by trading a house on 1.5 acres for a smaller condo; most every town here also offers a property tax credit those over 65, with some income limits tied to that, and I plan to take full advantage as soon as I qualify.

  3. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    bluesfemme, where do you live? It ranges dramatically in the US. PatientSaver where we lived was one of the lowest taxed towns in our old state. Most of our friends were looking at closer to 2% instead of 1% for property taxes so more like $24 per $1000 assessed value. We strongly weighed that as well when looking at homes out there and staying.

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    My most recent electricity bill had a usage of 385 kwh and a charge of $38.31 (+$17 in fees and taxes) So .. would that be .09996.... per kwh?

  5. bluesfemme Says:

    Sorry, missed this, Western Australia, where there is only one operator in the domestic electricity market.

  6. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    Frugal Texan something like that. Amazing. I'd simplify and add in the taxes and fees.

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