Understanding Your Georgia Natural Gas Bill
It doesn't have to be difficult to read a natural gas bill if you understand the key items required by Georgia law to be listed on each and every natural gas bill.
These items allow consumers to make “apples-to-apples” comparisons between natural gas providers, ensuring that you, the consumer, are getting the best possible rates and the natural gas plan that works for you. The various fees and charges on your natural gas bill should be laid out in an easy-to-read format that allows you to make those comparisons. It's important to know what those fees and charges are to know what you are comparing.
What items will I see on my bill?
The key listings on your natural gas bill are: Type of plan, per-therm rate, gas charge, customer service fee, Dedicated Design Day Capacity (DDDC), and Atlanta Gas Light Company base charge.
- Type of plan: Consumers are often given the choice of a natural gas plan with variable or fixed rates. A variable-rate plan is based on your per-therm rate and may increase or decrease at any time as fuel prices change. A fixed-rate plan has the same per-therm rate over the course of your contract. A fixed-rate plan may sometimes be a little higher than a variable-rate plan, but the benefit is that the per-therm rate will remain constant during the term of your contract.
- Per-therm rate: Natural gas providers measure the amount of gas you've consumed by a therm, or a unit of heat. Your natural gas provider will bill you for the amount of natural gas you've used multiplied by their per-therm rate. The per-therm rate is the easiest way to compare other natural gas providers to figure out if you're getting the best deal.
- Gas charge: This is the amount of gas you've used for this month's billing cycle. It is based on the total therms and the plan you've signed up for.
- Customer service fee: This charge is based on your natural gas provider's costs to maintain and serve your account as a consumer.
- DDDC charge: This charge is based on consumer demand on the system on the coldest day of the year. It allows the natural gas provider the ability to recoup its losses.
- Atlanta Gas Light Company base charge: This is a charge that Atlanta Gas Light Company bills through all natural gas providers to consumers. The base charge rate covers the following month so consumers will be billed on the 20th of the current month for this base charge regardless of how many days you used the service.
Other fees on your natural gas bill include federal, state and local taxes. Consumers may also be assessed penalty fees for insufficient funds, a nonrefundable fee for a payment not accepted by your bank; a late charge, if your natural gas bill is past due; or an early termination charge, if you end your contract early on a fixed-rate plan. New or returning customers may be subject to a service connection charge.