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Old 07-17-2010, 07:17 PM
 
9 posts, read 73,145 times
Reputation: 13

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I've spent the last few weeks looking at these boards and have been impressed by all the knowledge and insider info!

We'll be moving to the Berkeley area (or around there, close enough to cycle because we don't have a car, and the public transit sounds a little less reliable than what we're used to) for about a year and renting, and we're wondering how utilities work, e.g. is the heating electric baseboard or gas or radiators...? and would the same system be used to heat water and the apartment?

Besides paying for heat and water, what are the other usual monthly utility costs? I know it depends on usage and size of an apartment, so any helpful general information would be great. Other than visiting and enjoying the Bay area as tourists (from Canada and Europe), we have no clue what to try and plan for, and we definitely need to manage our student budget. Thank you!
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:29 AM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,001,201 times
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From what I have seen, most landlords in the Bay Area will pay for water. If it's a large building, usually one hot water boiler will provide hot water to the whole building and the landlord will pay for the power for it, but I have had an apartment in San Francisco where my apartment had a hot water boiler powered by gas that I had to pay for, but it wasn't much.

You don't need heat a lot except in the dead of winter like in late December and in January. Apartments usually have small electric heating units in one part that only heats some of the apartment, but if it's a big apartment it might have central heating with vents in each room. You would pay for electricity for that.

Electricity bills by and large seem to be quite low in the Bay Area if you don't have to use air conditioning, maybe $40-45 for a 1 bedroom or $35 for a studio. The main thing that adds to an electric bill is really air conditioning, and you don't really need one in Berkeley.
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:49 PM
 
9 posts, read 73,145 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
From what I have seen, most landlords in the Bay Area will pay for water. If it's a large building, usually one hot water boiler will provide hot water to the whole building and the landlord will pay for the power for it, but I have had an apartment in San Francisco where my apartment had a hot water boiler powered by gas that I had to pay for, but it wasn't much.
Hey, thanks for replying. That's really valuable information. I had read somewhere that on average in the Bay Area people pay $250 in utilities, but that could mean one person is paying $50 and another $450 (big houses!).

So, heating of the water is typically paid by the landlord, and amount of water used is paid by the tenant?
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:01 AM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 12,001,201 times
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No, if you're a tenant you're probably not going to have to pay for the water bill. As I said in my first sentence, "most landlords in the Bay Area will pay for water."
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:04 AM
 
379 posts, read 701,691 times
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I lived in a small 1br (590 sq ft) in Berkeley, and it was a shock if I had a PG&E bill over $25 - typically it was more like $15 - $20. I had to pay the water bill, and it was in the ballpack of $35-40 a month, I believe. I definitely miss those low utility bills.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Police State
1,472 posts, read 2,129,683 times
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Well, I live near Berkeley and my electric bill just last month was $18 and change. During the winter and other cold months (depending on several factors of course), looking to be paying $60-$80.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:01 PM
 
9 posts, read 73,145 times
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Great! Thank you everyone. Some places, there's a bill for the heating of water, and another for the general quantity of water used, but in other places I've been, it doesn't matter how much cold water is used.

I think the media gives a strong impression of water shortage in California, and so I had no idea what that would mean (collecting rainwater for your garden is cool, regardless!).
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