Save With Your Gas Furnace by Understanding Your Gas Bill
Reading your utility bill can help you operate your gas furnace more efficiently and save money. But the most useful information may be hard to distinguish among all the facts and figures. Different gas utilities may utilize different terminology. Some may include graphics that depict gas prices and consumption and allow you to visualize trends at a glance. Other helpful info can provide a glimpse of coming increases or reductions in the cost of natural gas. Most utilities offer explanations of the terms somewhere on the bills.
Here are some common terms you’ll see.
- British thermal unit, usually expressed as BTUs, is the standard format that indicates energy consumption. There are 1,028 BTUs released when a cubic foot of natural gas is burned. Another method of measuring the consumption of heat is therm (thm), which represents 100,000 BTUs.
- Gas consumption may also be reported by CCF and MCF. CCF equals 100 cubic feet of natural gas, while MCF means 1,000 cubic feet.
- Most utilities sell gas to consumers at the same price they purchase it from wholesale suppliers. The base price they—and you—pay appears on your bill as the commodity charge.
- The baseline allowance is a state-mandated figure representing the amount of gas allowed for essential needs. The baseline allowance is always charged at the lowest rate. The more your gas consumption exceeds the baseline, the higher the amount you’ll pay. Keep heating costs low by keeping your monthly gas consumption as close as possible to the baseline allowance.
- Fluctuations in gas prices appear in the gas cost adjustment on your bill. It reflects the difference between expected future costs and the amount the utility is collecting at present rates. If future prices are expected to either exceed or fall short of present costs, that amount appears as an additional charge or a credit in the gas cost adjustment.
Sobieski Services wants to help you lower your utility bill by operating your gas furnace efficiently.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Alan Cleaver