Understanding Your Gas Bill
Sample Gas Bill:
You will understand your natural gas bill better if you know some of the basic terms:
- Monthly Usage – is measured in CCF’s (1 Ccf = 100 cubic feet of gas) at the meter then converted to therms for bill calculation purposes. One therm is equal to 1.0498 CCFs.
- Estimated vs. Actual – estimated usage is based upon historic monthly usage; actual is based upon meter readings.
How Your Bill is Organized:
While each of the gas utilities has its own specific bill design, the bill is typically organized as follows.
- Current Bill Itemized: This portion of the bills shows your usage in CCFs for the number of days between meter readings. The usage is then converted to therms for billing purposes. The bill then identifies the line charges, taxes, and services. These charges are discussed in further detail below.
- Account Summary: This gives you the current status of your account including your previous balance, new charges, past due amount and payment due date, and any payment received by the company.
- Gas Use History - The number of days in the current billing period and the total number of therms used are highlighted here. For comparison, this information is provided for each of the last 12-14 months.
- Return Page: This identifies your total charges and is included when you mail in your payment.
The Charges on Your Gas Bill:
The following are typical charges you will find.
Gas Delivery Charge :
- What is it: This represents the cost of local transportation of gas to your home or business, providing safety services, local pipeline maintenance, meter reading, billing and payment processing, and other business related costs. This includes a Minimum Charge that covers the company’s fixed costs of providing service to you, whether or not you’ve used gas during the billing period. The Rate Block Steps show you how your cost per therm decreases as you use more gas.
- Who put it on your bill: The utility who owns the local distribution system, with the approval of the PUC.
- Who gets your money: The utility who owns the local distribution system.
Gas Supply Charge:
- What is it: This charge represents the actual cost of gas purchased from suppliers and delivered to your service area.
- Who put it on your bill : The Company actually supplying the gas. In all cases except some Commercial and Industrial customers, the utility acquires the gas and supplies such to customers. The PUC approves this charge before the summer and winter seasons.
- Who gets your money: This is a pass-through charge. The utility gets the money and uses it to pay for the gas it acquired for customers. Gas supply is not a profit center for the local distribution company.
If you want to dispute a charge on your bill you should immediately contact your natural gas company. The company’s business office number or toll-free customer service number is listed on your bill. If after speaking with your natural gas company the result is unsatisfactory, please contact Consumer Affairs at the NH Public Utilities Commission at 1-800-852-3793.