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Utilities in Durham

Most living arrangements require you to set up and pay monthly utility bills. Typical apartment bills include electricity and internet. Some apartment complexes will also require you to pay the water bill. Most house rentals will require you to pay electricity, water, and internet. Some houses that are heated via natural gas rather than electricity will also require you to pay a gas bill. 

**For students without a social security number: many utility providers require additional verification if you do not have a social security number. Learn more from Duke International Student Center on setting up electricity, natural gas,


Average monthly utility bills in Durham are about $135 per month for a 900 sq ft apartment, with internet averaging about $65 per month. Learn more about cost of living.

How to set up utilities

To start electricity in your new home, Duke Energy will be your provider.  

Go here to set up your account. You will need your new address, the date you’d like the electricity to start, and your date of birth and social security number. For students without a social security number, you can still set up your account, you’ll just need to call Duke Energy. Learn more about the process from Duke International Student Center.

To start internet in your new home, you can choose from a number of different providers who offer service in Durham. The most popular services in Durham are AT&T and Spectrum. Ask for any specials available for new customers.

  • Spectrum
    You do not need a social security number, only the number on your passport. There is no deposit, sign up fee, or equipment rental fee. Connection will be made within 2-3 days.
  • AT&T

Water is often included in your rent, especially in an apartment. However, if you do need to pay your own water bill, it is managed through the City of Durham. Go here to start the process. You will attach a copy of your lease to the request to show that you live in Durham, and will need to provide your social security number or passport number. There is a security deposit of $50 to start water in your name. It will be reflected in your first monthly water bill.

Most apartments in Durham have electric appliances and heat, but some houses have gas heat and appliances. If you do have gas heat/appliances in your home, Dominion Energy is the local company. Begin service here. You will need to provide a social security number (and maybe driver’s license or state ID number) as well as the meter number or current tenant’s name to begin service. The meter number can be found on the gas meter, usually on the outside of your house. If you do not have a social security number, you can still apply. Learn more from Duke International Student Center.