Utilities payable is the amount owed to suppliers for electricity, gas, Internet connections, telephones, and water. This liability is considered a current liability, since the amounts owed are typically payable in less than one year. The utilities payable account is used when an organization wants to separately identify this type of liability. It may choose to instead record utility bills in its accounts payable account, which contains all trade payables.
Utilities expense is not the same as utilities payable. The expense is the year-to-date or period-specific cost of utilities, while the payable is just the unpaid amount of utility bills. Thus, the utilities expense is usually much higher than the utilities payable balance.