The utilities allowance is the cost of a reasonable amount of utilities as determined by the Public Housing Agency (PHA). Utilities allowance is paid by the housing voucher program in addition of the base rent price. Covered utilities includes electric, gas, water, sewer, and garbage. The PHA determines the amount required to cover "reasonable utilities". The allowance does not include telephone.
Renters are expected to pay a maximum of 30% of the monthly income on rent. This portion of contribution is called the Total Tenant Payment. The cost of gross rent (rent + utilities allowance) above a family's maximum rent contribution is the amount of housing assistance paid by the HUD. Fair Market Rent prices are gross rent meaning FMR prices already include the utility allowance.
The HUD utility allowance will cover individually-metered utilities that measure the user's actual individual or family consumption. The HUD allowance will not cover master-metered utilities where a utility is metered for an entire building which includes multiple units. In some cases, the PHA may install a checkmeter that measures individual consumption in a building with master-metered utilities.
The utility allowance can range from $10 to $200 per month. The allowance can depend on many factors include size of rental, efficiency of appliances, construction type, temperatures in the area, etc. Ultimate decision of utilities allowance is determined by your local PHA.