Seattle Housing Authority's voucher payment standards include an amount for utilities. The agency establishes utility estimates for the cost of utilities not included in the rent. They are based on the typical cost of utilities and services paid by energy-conservative households that occupy housing of the same size and utility responsibility in the same locality. Estimates are not based on an individual family's actual energy consumption and do not include non-essential utility costs, such as telephone or cable. Other housing authorities may call this a utility allowance.
In general, households pay at least 30 percent—but no more than 40 percent—of monthly adjusted income for rent and utilities. (You may pay more than 40 percent of your income after the first year.) Monthly adjusted income is your household's gross income, after certain deductions and allowances are taken into account.
Additional utility estimate information is available in PDF format (download Adobe Reader):