Have you finally signed the lease on your new apartment after months of searching? Don’t put your budget calculator away just yet. It’s time to consider all of the basic living necessities that will eat at your wallet every month – after all, air conditioning doesn’t pay for itself. Make sure you consider all your average monthly utility costs such as a natural gas bill and an energy bill, and don’t forget that deposits have to be paid up front before even receiving service. Read on to learn about how much an electricity deposit is for an apartment.
How Much Does an Electricity Deposit Cost for An Apartment?
When preparing a budget for your apartment utilities, it is important for you to consider all hidden fees that might not have been initially considered. Read below to learn about the cost of electricity deposits, why providers request them, if you can qualify to have them waived, how to get them refunded, and how to avoid them all together.
Cost of Electricity Deposit
More often than not, the cost of your electricity deposit will range from the amount of one month’s service to double the apartment’s monthly electric bill. This cost will vary across providers and customers and can be determined based on your credit score and payment history. You can pay this deposit upfront in its entirety or in monthly installments which will be added to each month’s utility bill until the deposit balance is paid in full. However, if you are ever late to pay an installment, you will likely have to immediately pay the entire deposit in full. Utility deposits may be paid by phone, at local energy provider offices, and authorized payment locations.
Why Utility Companies Request Electricity Deposits
Utility companies typically require energy deposits from their customers to protect themselves from customers potentially defaulting on their monthly utility bills. In most fixed rate energy plans, customers use electric service for a set period of time before having to pay their electric bill. Customers who have a poor history of paying their bills on time or do not have good credit are high-risk candidates for defaulting on these payments or ending service without paying. Utility deposits are meant to cover the amount an electric provider may need if a customer does not pay for service. These deposits are often required for first-time apartment renters since they have no recorded payment history.
Waiving an Electricity Deposit
Generally speaking, you cannot have your required electricity deposits waived, though your local utility company may choose to waive it under certain circumstances. If you are a senior citizen, have proof of medical indigence, or are a victim of domestic violence, then your utility company may choose to waive your deposit. Additionally, if you have or a well-qualified co-signer has a positive history of paying utility bills on time and has good credit, then you may qualify for a waived deposit.
Getting Your Electricity Deposit Refunded
In order to get your utility deposit back, you must be able to make on-time payments for 12 consecutive months. To note, your deposit will be accruing interest throughout your first year of electric service at a rate established by the Public Utility Commission. If you are unable to make on-time payments throughout the year or do not pay your bill in full, then your deposit will be applied towards paying this balance. In the case that you move to a new apartment and switch electric providers, your deposit plus interest will be applied to your final bill and you will receive a refund check in the mail for the difference within 45 days. However, if you continue service with your previous utility company at your new home, then your deposit will seamlessly transfer to this new location or account.
Avoid Electricity Deposits with Prepaid Energy Plans
Is paying a utility deposit up front creating a huge barrier to entry to getting the energy you need for your apartment? Check out Payless Power’s prepaid energy plans that allow customers to avoid deposits and credit checks. With a prepaid energy plan, customers strictly play for an initial amount of energy up front and consume it until they have reached the limit of that particular payment. Payless Power instantly approves all customers for no deposit electric plans regardless of their payment history or credit score, lowering the barrier of energy to electric service for all who need it.
Don’t Forget to Budget For the Cost of Other Apartment Utilities!
Not only do you have to think about the utility costs that come with renting a new apartment, such as your electric utility bill and natural gas bill, but you need to budget for all of the other bills that make daily life possible and enjoyable. The full list of apartment utilities that will make up your utility costs are water and sewer, energy, natural gas, trash, internet, cable and phone, and security. So before you crank that air conditioning all the way up on a hot summer day, remember how much you budgeted for your monthly utility bill!