A First Time Home Buyer's Guide to Utility Bills

For first-time homebuyers, your stack of bills can be a jolting surprise. Every adult pays bills, but there are a few extras for homeowners. Here are all the bills you can expect.


Your hydro bill covers your home’s electricity, so it varies depending on your monthly usage. You receive a bill once a month from your local provider—Toronto Hydro or Hydro One, as examples in Ontario—and it can break down several things, from daily use to your time of use.

There are many ways you can keep your hydro bill low, including:

  • Turning off and unplug electronics when not in use.
  • Using low-energy light bulbs.
  • Running your dishwasher in off-peak hours and use the air-dry setting.
  • Running your dryer in off-peak hours and make sure your lint trap is clean.
  • Treating your windows and make sure they’re weatherproofed correctly.


Your heat bill is also monthly and varies with your usage. You can have three types of in-home heat sources: gas, electric, or oil.

While gas furnaces typically cost more to install than electric pumps or baseboard heaters, the overall monthly cost of gas-fuelled or oil-fueled heat is a fraction of electric heat. And gas works during a power outage whereas electric won’t.

Gas heat has a separate gas bill, whereas electric heat shows up on your hydro bill.

Water and garbage removal

Depending on your municipality, you’ll receive a bill for water and garbage removal—quarterly, annually, or otherwise. You pay this directly to the city; if it’s not paid in time, the overdue amount can be added to your property tax bill.

Security (Optional)

It’s common to have a third party monitored security system in your home. You’ll pay an installation fee, as well as a monthly fee, for this service.

Internet, phone, cable

Don’t forget about the other standard bills! When budgeting, be sure to put in any other regular bills like Internet, cell phone, home phone, and cable.

Source: Zoocasa

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