PG&E includes both electric and gas charges on one bill each month. Similarly, the City of Fresno DPU includes all utility services provided on one bill accessible through their Finance Department Utilities Billing and Collection.
In the past few years, energy costs have doubled or more for many PG&E customers, and costs are projected to continue increasing. Solar energy systems, popular with Fresno residents, drastically reduce monthly energy costs while reducing a household’s carbon footprint.
According to some Fresno residents, homes with solar energy production pay a fraction of their previous monthly PG&E bill. Even with the monthly solar lease payment included, some residents are paying half or less of their old electric bills, saving hundreds of dollars per month.
Pre-setup utility checklist
- Review lease for utility clauses: It’s common for rentals in Fresno to include utilities such as water, sewer, and garbage in the lease. Be sure to understand how utilities are billed for rental dwellings, including shared or master meter services.
- Check out the City of Fresno Move-In Guide: The City’s Move-in Guide offers detailed information for Fresno residents, including accepted waste materials and important city contacts. From water conservation to street sweeping, this guide will help you get to know Fresno’s city utility services.
- Identify utility equipment and utility emergency info at your new home: Knowing the location of the electric meter, circuit breaker panel, water meter, water shutoff, and gas meter can help speed repair work should you need it. Keep a list of emergency contacts for each utility handy to report service outages. Tenants, adding the rental property emergency maintenance number to your phone during move-in makes reporting future issues easy with a quick text and picture of the problem.
Typical utility costs in Fresno
Renters with one-bedroom apartments can expect to pay $300-$700 per month for all utilities, excluding internet. Lease agreements with some or all utilities included will change this estimate, and renters with utilities included in their monthly rent need to understand how their utility costs are calculated.
Small to medium-sized single-family homes (under 2000 sq ft) can expect to pay $500-$1000 per month for all utilities, excluding internet. Larger homes can expect higher utility costs associated with heating and cooling additional living spaces.
During extremely hot or cold weather, the cost of energy can double or more as compared to energy costs during mild weather due to higher demand. As mentioned above, a popular solution to buffer these extreme utility bills is investing in solar energy systems at home.
While solar energy systems are not cheap, residents find the steady cost of solar lease payments, in conjunction with a much smaller power bill, easier on their monthly budget than utility power alone.
Keep in mind that a household’s utility costs can vary widely for several reasons.
|Higher Utility Costs||Lower Utility Costs|
|All electric appliances||Both natural gas and electric appliances|
|Electric car charging at home||No electric car charging at home|
|No renewable energy sources available||Homes with solar panels or other renewable energy sources|
|Irrigation in use||No irrigation in use/xeriscaping|
|Older home or rental structure with poor insulation or lacking energy-efficient appliances||Newer home or rental structure with excellent insulation and energy-efficient appliances installed|
|Older home or rental structure lacking modern plumbing and water-saving devices||Newer home or rental structure equipped with water-saving devices|
|Home with pool or decorative water feature||Home w/out pool or decorative water feature|
Electric and Water utility (LADWP)
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District provides electric service to parts of Sacramento. Pacific Gas & Electric provides electric service to other areas of Sacramento, depending on the service address. Citizens report that SMUD electric rates are historically lower than PG&E.
How to sign up for SMUD electric service
To sign up for new electric service at SMUD, be prepared with the account holder’s social security number and government-issued ID. An existing customer can log into their account to transfer service.
SMUD electric service changes are processed on weekdays only and can be scheduled 30 days in advance.
How to sign up for PG&E electric service
To sign up for new electric service at PG&E, be prepared with the account holder’s social security number or government-issued ID, new service address, and new service start date. Existing customers can log into their account to transfer service also.
An electric service request at a location previously served by PG&E can be entered as much as 60 days in advance. For new construction electric service, visit the Building and Renovation website.
How much will the electric bill be?
SMUD customers in small apartments can expect monthly electric bills of $100-$150 per month, while customers in larger single-family homes can expect monthly bills of $150-$250 per month or more.
PG&E electric bills can be higher. Small apartments may have a monthly bill of $150-$250 per month, and single-family homes can expect monthly bills of $200-$400 or more.
Keep in mind that some residences may have both electric and natural gas services provided by PG&E, resulting in an overall larger monthly bill for the combined services.
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) provides natural gas to the Sacramento area. Natural gas service is not available to all addresses, so you will need to verify service availability to your address first.
How to sign up for PG&E gas service
To sign up, be prepared with the account holder’s social security number or government-issued ID, new service address, and new service start date. PG&E does not charge for starting or stopping service.
How much will the gas bill be?
Natural gas bills can vary depending on how many appliances use gas. For a home with a gas stove, a gas water heater, and gas heat, monthly bills can vary from $50-$150 a month, possibly higher during extremely cold weather.
Also, as indicated above, sometimes PG&E will provide both electric and natural gas service to a home. These customers can expect combined billing from PG&E.
Internet, TV, phone
Xfinity is the primary internet provider in Fresno. For a full rundown on alternative ISPs servicing the area, check out our full guide to Fresno internet services.
City water service in the Sacramento area can be confusing, as there are over 20 community water providers scattered across the region.
How to set up water service in Sacramento
The first step to starting water service is to use the Sacramento County Water Agency lookup tool. Enter either the service address or parcel number, and the search results will provide you with contact information for the appropriate water provider.
How much will the water bill be?
Water utility bills in Sacramento range from $35-$75 per month. Keep in mind that water bills are usually sent bi-monthly, or every other month, resulting in 6 bills per year. The total amount includes water usage over about 60 days.
For some Sacramento residents, their water bill will be included on a combined billing statement with other services listed, such as sewer, trash, and recycling services. These bills may seem very high at around $200 per bill, due to the combined billing.
Other Sacramento residents will receive separate water, sewer, and trash & recycle bills from different providers. The service address determines how billing will occur for these services.
Sewer utility service in Sacramento is provided by either the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities or the Sacramento Area Sewer District (SASD). As with other services, the provider is determined by the service address.
How to set up sewer service
Customers of the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities will need to set up an online account at the City’s online billing and payment site. This site also provides bill access to other city services, such as trash, recycling, and yard waste.
Customers served by the Sacramento Area Sewer District will need to establish an account with Consolidated Utilities Billing and Service (CUBS), a third-party managing billing for SASD and other local utilities.
How much will the sewer bill be?
Sacramento sewer bills range from $45-$65 per month. Similar to water bills, sewer bills are usually sent bi-monthly, or every other month, resulting in 6 bills per year. In addition, sewer bills may be combined with other services such as water, trash, and recycling, resulting in seemingly higher totals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do utilities cost in Fresno?
Renters with one-bedroom apartments can expect to pay $300-$700 per month for all utilities, excluding internet. Small to medium-sized single-family homes (under 2000 sq ft) can expect to pay $500-$1000 per month for all utilities, excluding internet. Larger homes can expect higher utility costs associated with heating and cooling additional living space. During times of extremely hot or cold weather, utility costs can increase to double the normal amount.
Which electric company serves the Fresno area?
Electricity, along with natural gas, is provided by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to homes and businesses in the Fresno area.
Tiffanie Hawley has worked in the water treatment industry for nearly 20 years as a treatment plant operator, laboratory technician, regulatory consultant, and plant manager. She aims to educate readers about the scientific and human contributions that are part of producing and protecting drinking water.