Hannah’s Guide to Apartments: Utilities

Here’s something that was a complete mystery to me when I got my first apartment: you have to set up utilities.

Even, oftentimes, when it is included in the rent and subsidized by the landlord. If you do not call and set them up, you will not have power or water or anything when you move in (well, you might the first day, but not after).

Basically, you need to set up the essentials: water, power, and gas. Now, these may be with 3 different companies, or all with one. Oftentimes it’s going to depend on your area. The best thing to do is to ask the former tenants or landlord what they use, or even your parents or a friend if they live close by. If you live in Los Angeles, your building probably uses LADWP for water and power and SoCalGas for gas.

You’re also going to need Wifi. Now, back in the day everyone packaged wifi with telephone and cable services – so just think of what company you got your cell phone at, or what company your family had cable through, and they probably have wifi. They’ll try to sell you on the packaged three, but in today’s age you really only need internet. You should be able to find this for about $50/month. I have mine with Time Warner but there are plenty of good options! If you really want cable you can package that in.

Utilities are annoying, and you can only have one person paying each. If you live with multiple people, a great option is for one person to just pay all the utilities and then charge everyone through an app called Splitwise. You just put in what you paid and who you’re splitting with and it’ll do the math! It also connects to venmo.

The person who takes cares of the all the utilities should definitely get a discount on the rent for their extra work.

Checking your bank account after paying utilities for the entire apartment:

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