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How to read your natural gas bill

Understanding your natural gas bill is one of the steps you can take to monitor and lower your energy consumption.  Bills vary slightly from Utility to Utility, but the following guide will help you to better understand your bill and save money.

Billing Basics

Ohio customers are given the option to choose their supplier. Quake Energy customers are billed directly through the Utility, so there’s no extra payment to remember.  Gas is measured based on the amount of gas a home or business consumes during a billing cycle, unlike electricity which is measured based on peak demand and consumption. Your meter is read monthly by your Utility to determine the total amount of gas (measured in ccf/mcf) you have consumed for that billing cycle.

Reading Your Bill

Summary:  The summary is the top section of your bill that includes the following information:

• Billing Date
• Total current charges
• Prior balance (if any)
• Last payment received

This section also provides information about your supplier (i.e., Quake Energy).

Current Charges: The current charges section highlights your basic monthly charges, Gross Receipts Tax, Usage-Based Charges, Gas Cost and Sales Tax and Energy Supplier.

Total Current Charges: Total current charges are the total sum of charges from both your Supplier and Utility.

Total Account Balance: This displays the total amount due, including any balances carried over from previous months.

Monthly Usage and Consumption Comparison: This section details the average monthly temperature and compares it to the temperature a year ago. This is helpful for you to determine trends in your gas usages as well as compare this year’s costs to the previous year’s costs.  Please see below for a sample:

Gas Use Chart

Billing Period and Meter Reading:  This section displays the meter number at the service address, meter read date, and the amount read.  It also tells you whether the meter was read by a Utility employee (Actual) vs. estimated (Estimated).   To determine the Gas Usage Charges, the difference of the two reading is multiplied by the billing rate.

Estimated Readings: There are three types of readings that can be present on your bill: Actual, Estimated, and Customer/Resident.

• If a technician or an electronic reading was made, this is considered an Actual reading.
• If you, the customer sent a reading to the utility company, it is considered a Customer/ Resident reading.
• If a technician was unable to read your meter, an Estimated reading will be applied based on your usage history.

Reasons for Estimated Readings:

• Severe weather
• Dogs or animals near the meter
• Limited to no entry to a meter
• Poor road conditions

You can avoid an Estimated Reading by:

• Keeping meters free of clutter and obstructions
• Removing weather related obstacles from walkways and steps such as: ice, thick snow or other hazards
• Ensuring gates and fences are open around your scheduled meter reading
• Keeping pets away from meters (i.e. refrain from chaining animals near the meter)

If you are worried about your meter being read, you can talk to your Utility about sending in your own reading.  For more natural gas terms, click here.