Robert September 20, 2023 0 Comments

Navigating Utility Costs in Rwanda: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to the cost of living in Rwanda, understanding your monthly utility expenses is crucial for residents and newcomers alike. In Rwanda, all utilities are prepaid, and the monthly costs can vary depending on factors like location and usage. In this article, we’ll break down the typical expenses associated with utilities in Rwanda, from electricity and cooking gas to water, garbage tax, and security tax. Additionally, we’ll explore property taxes and building value taxes that property owners should be aware of.

Electricity: $10-$30

Electricity is a necessity in modern living, and in Rwanda, it’s no different. Monthly electricity costs can range from $10 to $30, depending on your consumption. Payment is typically made through monitors located outside houses, which allow you to top up your electricity credits as needed. It’s important to monitor your usage to keep your electricity costs within budget.

Cooking Gas: $5-$10

Cooking gas is another utility you’ll need to account for. The monthly cost for cooking gas generally falls between $5 and $10. Again, the exact amount you spend will depend on how frequently you use your stove. Efficient cooking practices and regular maintenance of gas appliances can help you save on this expense.

Water: $2-$15

Access to clean water is essential for daily life, and in Rwanda, water bills vary depending on usage. Monthly water costs can range from as low as $2 to around $15. If you’re environmentally conscious and want to reduce your bill, consider installing water-saving fixtures and being mindful of your water consumption.

Garbage Tax: $2-$5

Proper waste disposal is a responsibility for all residents. In Rwanda, monthly garbage tax typically ranges from $2 to $5. This fee goes towards maintaining waste collection services and ensuring a clean environment for all. Segregating your waste and disposing of it properly can help keep these costs manageable.

Security Tax: $2-$5

Rwanda places a premium on security, and as such, residents are required to contribute to the security tax. This monthly expense typically falls between $2 and $5. These funds are allocated towards maintaining law and order, which is essential for a safe living environment.

Total Utility Costs: $16–$65 per month

When you add up all these utility costs, the total monthly expense can range from $16 to $65. This variation is largely dependent on your lifestyle, family size, and the location of your residence. Being mindful of your usage and adopting energy-efficient habits can help you keep these costs in check.

Property Taxes

For property owners in Rwanda, it’s important to be aware of property taxes, which include:

  1. Property Tax: Varies from $0 to $0.30 per square meter, depending on location. Property tax rates can vary significantly depending on where your property is located. More prime locations may have higher property tax rates, so it’s essential to research the tax rates in your specific area.
  2. Building Value Tax: 1% of the current market value of the house, phased in over four years. This tax is based on the assessed value of your property and is phased in over four years to make it more manageable for property owners.


Understanding the costs associated with utilities and property taxes in Rwanda is essential for residents and property owners. By being aware of these expenses, you can budget effectively and make informed decisions about your living situation. Additionally, adopting energy-efficient practices can help you reduce your monthly utility costs, allowing you to enjoy a more affordable and sustainable lifestyle in this beautiful East African nation.