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How to read your bill
Here's how to find out what you're paying now for natural gas, and other useful information about your bill. You'll still be billed by your utility after you switch natural gas suppliers. No new bill, just a lower rate.
Sample Natural Gas Bills
- Commodity Charge (or Supply Charge) - The key charge, what you're paying for gas itself. If you switch, this is what you'll be buying from a new supplier. Natural gas is usually priced in cents per ccf (100 cubic feet). Sometimes this is in dollars per Mcf (1,000 cubic feet).
- Account Number (or Customer Number) - Keep this handy, as you'll need it to switch. No change after you switch suppliers.
Useful Information (This will help you shop and compare)
- Price to Compare - Some utilities list this on the bill, some don't. It's the unit price you're paying for natural gas. You can use it for direct comparison to different suppliers' prices.
- Usage Information - A breakdown of how much gas you've been using, usually broken down month-by-month, year to date, and compared to last year. This is useful in estimating how much you'll save by switching.
- Distribution charge - charges from your utility for delivery of the gas you've used.
- Customer charge - a monthly flat fee from your utility for providing service.
- Balancing service - charges from your utility for costs incurred to meet gas storage requirements.
- Gas Cost Adjustment (or Migration Rider) - OK, bear with us on this one: Your utility provider has to take a guess as to how much gas it will need to supply to its customers every month. Based on that guess, they buy a certain amount of gas. If they guessed low, and they had to buy extra gas after they already set their price, they have to charge all their customers a little bit extra, which is what this fee is. Sometimes they guess high and buy more than they need, and instead of a fee, it will be a credit. This will continue show up on your bill for a few cycles after you switch, then will disappear. It does not apply to alternative suppliers.
- State Taxes - State taxes on the items on the bill.
- State Tax Adjustment - A charge or credit for changes in State taxes.
Special note regarding your specific utility region:
Each utility region has it's own uniquely confusing set of rules, regulations, special programs, and other ideosyncrasies. Visit our Region-specific Natural Gas info page to learn more about yours.