What Does it Cost to Operate a Home in Kelowna?
This was something that my wife and I had to look at very carefully before making a move here to Kelowna.
I did as much research on the topic as I possibly could, I found the investkelowna.com website to be very helpful when it came to the economics of the region.
However, I was never really able to find the kind of information that I was seeking out. Things like how much are property taxes? How much do utilities cost? Who are the utility providers? How much do groceries cost? How much are gas prices?
You know, the usual things, the costs associated with running and operating a house but also your every day costs.
So my intent with this post is to try and provide you with everything that I was looking for prior to us making the move to Kelowna in June of 2021.
How Much do Utilities Cost in Kelowna?
Utility providers here for your gas and electric are through FortisBC and they come on separate bills.
In Calgary we could get our services through a couple of different providers if we chose to, if we chose to go with Enmax we could have our gas, water and electric all on the same bill. It was very handy.
Now here in Kelowna I have an online account for FortisBC Electric and one for Gas, it's a bit of a pain to be honest.
Something else that is interesting to note, our electric bill is sent out every two months, not monthly like it was back in Alberta. The gas bill though is a monthly and so is our water bill, which is not through either of those providers, we are actually billed for water by the City of Kelowna.
On average over the last year this is how our utilities have shaken out on a fully developed 2700sqft bungalow:
- Average Gas Bill: $84
- Average Monthly Electric Bill: $132
- Average Water Bill: $80
Now, can you expect the same? Of course not but at least you have a baseline to go off of. If you're buying a strata/condo there's a good chance your water and gas (heat) will be included in your fees and if you're buying a larger home of course your cost's are going to increase.
How Much are Property Taxes?
Property taxes in Kelowna are less than what we were paying in Calgary, by a country mile.
Now, that may not be the same for everyone as different parts of that city and different parts of the country are subject to different tax roll rates.
So I'm not going to blow smoke here and say you're going to save a bunch of money on taxes. If you're coming from Winnipeg though you probably will!
There is something called the Home Owner Grant and it has to be applied for in May of your current tax year. Once applied it actually reduces the amount of property tax that you owe.
I won't get into how much our taxes are on an annual basis but I will tell you that our grant was $770 this year. If you want to read up on the grant you can do that right here: BC Home Owner Grant Information
How Much are Gas Prices and Food Prices in Kelowna?
As of this writing you can expect to fill up here in Kelowna for around $2.20/litre, or if you go to Costco you can usually save as much as about .20/litre on average.
It does get a little cheaper if you head north of the city up towards Vernon but likely not enough to justify the time it would take to head up there.
Food prices have skyrocketed everywhere in 2022, I can say that $100 doesn't get you very far anymore. That said, use some of the big box stores like Superstore, Freshco and Walmart to cut down on some of the expense.
Get yourself a Costco membership as the items you get there are in bulk and you can typically save by buying a little more than you sometimes think you need.
Summer time is awesome because of all the fruit and vegetable stands in Kelowna so try and take advantage of those spots, you will save a little bit and of course you'll be supporting local.
Would I Make the Move Again?
There are things here in the Okanagan that are in your face, way more expensive than where we came from like gas and groceries.
Here's what I can tell you...my property taxes have dropped by 25% and my utility bills have dropped on average of about $60-$70 per month.
Again, it's not in your face, but there are some savings here.
Of course there is the provincial sales tax, if you're moving here from any province that already has a PST then no problem, you're used to it.
If you're coming from Alberta, you're going to NEED to get used to it!
The locals call the expense here a 'Sunshine Tax', to live here it's expensive, they say, but you get to live here.
If you're interested in more information about the Okanagan and are considering a move here, give me a call at 403-827-7527 or you can click the contact form to submit a request to book an appointment.