Pre-setup checklist Typical utility costs in Sacramento Electric Cable & Internet Gas utility Water Sewer
The Sacramento area has a variety of utility providers, so residents are strongly encouraged to verify service availability via address lookup with each provider.
Garbage, recycling, and stormwater services are billed from the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities or from Sacramento Area Consolidated Utilities unless services are not provided to your address. Service charges are included on water and/or sewer bills issued bi-monthly, or every two months.
If you recently moved to the Sacramento area, we recommend monitoring the first few utility bills to make sure all services are accounted for.
Pre-setup utility checklist
- Review lease for utility clauses: It’s common for rentals in Sacramento to include utilities, such as water or gas, in the lease. Be sure to understand how utilities are billed for rental dwellings, including shared or master meter services.
- Check unit for existing or transfer services: Avoid an unnecessary service outage by transferring utility service from a previous customer to yourself, instead of requesting a new service, even for new construction.
- Identify electrical, water, and gas equipment at your 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. Knowing where the water shutoff is in your home is critical if you have a pipe burst. This step only takes a few minutes but can save you lots of trouble in an emergency.
Typical utility costs in Sacramento
Renters with one-bedroom apartments can expect to pay $150-$250 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 $350-$500 per month for all utilities, excluding internet. Larger homes can expect higher utility costs associated with heating and cooling additional living space.
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|
|Extreme hot or cold weather conditions||Weather temperatures around 65-75 degrees|
|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|
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.
Cable & Internet
Cable and internet service locally is provided by Xfinity, although there are a few alternative internet providers in Sacramento including AT&T and Earthlink.
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.
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 Sacramento?
Renters with one-bedroom apartments can expect to pay $150-$250 per month for all utilities, excluding internet. Small to medium-sized single-family homes (under 2000 sq ft) can expect to pay $350-$500 per month for all utilities, excluding internet. Larger homes can expect higher utility costs associated with heating and cooling additional living space.
What is the electric company in Sacramento?
There are two electric providers operating in Sacramento: SMUD and PG&E.
How do I set up utilities when moving to Sacramento?
The list on our resource page identifies every service option you have when relocating to the Sacramento area. Keep in mind that most utilities including gas and internet should be scheduled before move-in to avoid waiting without service after move-in.
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.