The utility allowance is the amount a household is expected to pay in necessary monthly utilities that the agency considers when calculating the amount of rent the household can afford.
Utility allowances will differ from unit to unit, as it is directly associated with the utilities which a tenant is responsible for paying and/or providing. These include electricity, gas, propane, water, sewer, and trash collection.
The amounts calculated for the utility allowance are standardized amounts that are based on unit size and unit type for a conservative energy household. This amount is not based on actual expenses or consumption.
Utility Allowances are considered when comparing the payment standard and the gross rental amount of unit. Recognize that utility allowances can impact the determination of subsidy amount. In some cases, when the Housing Assistance Payment exceeds the contract rent, the agency may pay the balance to the family or directly to the utility supplier on behalf of the family. These types of payments are considered a utility reimbursement.
It is important to note that the agency conducts Utility Allowance Studies annually. The data collected in these studies is used to establish updated utility allowance amounts each year.