Part of determining the affordability of a home in Wilmington is assessing the monthly costs of utilities, including water and sewer. If you’re from out of town or haven’t paid for water before, you may be wondering what the average water bill is in Wilmington. Unfortunately, this information is hard to come by, but we can guide you on how to figure out where your costs may land.
Most of New Hanover County is serviced by Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA). There are some homes still on a well and septic system, which can affect the average water bill. When possible, its best to ask the current homeowners for a cost estimate, but it’s important to understand their usage may be more or less than yours.
Residents within Wilmington City Limits have their water, sewer, stormwater, and trash managed by the City of Wilmington, but it shows up on their CPFUA bill. Residents outside of city limits can shop around for their trash services. It’s important to know this, because if you ask someone what their average CFPUA bill is, it can vary depending on where they live.
For many years, CFPUA billed bi-monthly. In October 2021, they changed to monthly billing. Keep this in mind when reviewing past discussions about water bills, especially on public forums. You may be appalled by the pricing if you search the local Facebook groups and don’t know the answers are for two months.
CFPUA publishes their yearly rates and fees on their website. In 2021, single-family home customers are charged a base rate for water according to the meter size, plus $4.02 per 1,000 gallons. For sewer, there’s also a base charge per meter size, plus a rate of $4.63 per 1,000 gallons. Some homes also have a separate meter for an irrigation system. You can see an example of a bill here.
If you currently pay a water bill, it likely lists your water usage. With a little bit of math, you can determine what you may be paying in your new home. If not…
The EPA predicts the average American household of 4 people uses over 300 gallons of water a day at home. This can amount to 9,000 to 12,000 gallons per month. Of course, if you have a sprinkler system (not on a well) or do a lot of watering outside, this can account for 30% of your water bill and raise the costs during dry periods.
If you have any questions about determining the utility costs for your new home, don’t hesitate to ask your real estate agent. They are a great resource for local information. If you haven’t hired a Wilmington buyer specialist yet, we’d love to help. Here are the services that we offer.