If you’re like me, you’re probably not too happy when you see your gas bill. It’s usually one of the most expensive bills we receive each month. Why? What can you do about it? This guide will help you understand why you get a high gas bill and what actions to take to reduce it.
What Charges Make Up My Gas Bill?
Commodity Fee for Natural Gas
Commodity charges are the basic gas costs, and they can vary depending on many factors, including where you live and what supplier you use.
These costs can also fluctuate month to month, so it’s important to carefully read your gas bill each month and look for any changes.
Transportation Prices for Natural Gas
Your natural gas company must transport the commodity from a local source to your house, which costs money. We call this charge transportation prices for natural gas, and it’s usually a fixed fee added to your monthly natural gas bill.
Surcharge for Public Purpose
Some states charge a surcharge for a public purpose, which is the money that goes to fund things like school construction and improvements to water systems. This surcharge usually appears as a separate line item on your bill.
What Does a Typical Gas Bill Cost?
US households’ national average gas bill is around $70-100 per month. However, this can vary significantly depending on the size of your home and where you live.
Some factors contributing to higher gas bills in a given month include severe weather, increased natural gas prices, and more gas appliances, such as a gas stoves or central heating.
So, there is no definitive answer to this question, as factors like these will impact your gas bill differently.
Man calculating gas bill statement and home energy consumption
Causes of High Gas Bills
The size of your home is one of the major factors affecting your gas bill. Generally, a larger home will use more gas than a smaller home.
Large home with multiple gas appliances, such as a gas stove and central heating, will use more gas than a smaller home with just one or two such appliances.
Different sizes of houses arranged in rows
Another major factor that can contribute to higher utility bills is the price of fuel. In general, if energy prices are high, your gas bill is also likely to be higher.
It is because most natural gas suppliers charge a fixed rate for the commodity of gas and then pass on any fuel price increases to consumers.
Severe weather can also contribute to higher energy bills. Natural gas appliances like furnaces and boilers work best when cold outside, so you’ll use more gas than usual in colder months.
Additionally, your gas bill will likely increase as the temperatures drop and you start using your heating system more frequently.
Weather forecast widget concept
If you have outdated gas appliances, this can also lead to higher heating bills. For example, if your furnace is old and inefficient, it may use a lot more gas than necessary to heat your home, which increases gas consumption.
Similarly, if your appliances need repair and aren’t working properly, they may use more gas than they should run effectively.
If you have an outdated or malfunctioning thermostat, this can also contribute to higher electricity bills. If your thermostat isn’t working properly or isn’t calibrated correctly, your heating or cooling system may be working harder than necessary to maintain the desired indoor temperature.
This, in turn, can lead to higher energy costs, including higher gas bills.
Outdated old, and dirty radiator valve
How to Save on Your Gas Bill
Upgrade your appliances
The first step to saving on your gas bill is to improve energy efficiency by upgrading any outdated or malfunctioning appliances in your home, such as your furnace, water heater, stove, or air conditioner.
Upgrading to newer, more energy-efficient appliances can drastically slash your gas costs over time.
Cut down on your consumption.
Another way to save on your gas bill is to reduce your use. It means turning down the heat when you leave the house and running your appliances at cooler temperatures when possible.
You can also try to limit your use of gas appliances during peak energy usage hours, such as in the middle of the day when everyone else is at work or school.
Also, I recommend performing an annual energy audit. The energy audit will help you understand how your home energy works and how to reduce the bills.
Hand-turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption
Use a programmable thermostat.
A smart thermostat is an automated system that you can use to regulate the temperature of your indoor environment.
Using a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the temperature in your home based on when you’re most likely to be at home.
For example, you can set the thermostat to turn up or down at certain times, such as when you’re at work or sleeping. Doing this can help slash your heating costs, including gas bills.
Utilizing solar energy is another option to reduce your gas expenses. Solar power systems, also known as photovoltaic systems, capture and convert the sun’s energy into usable electricity.
Solar panels can help to drastically reduce your reliance on traditional energy sources, including natural gas, and can significantly slash your gas costs over time.
The Solar panel, photovoltaic, and alternative electricity source
Apply for gas bill assistance
If you’re struggling to pay your gas bill, several gas companies are available to provide financial assistance.
These include energy assistance programs, government grants and subsidies, and low-interest loans. Here are some options to explore:
- The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- The Weatherization Assistance Program
- The NARUC National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners
As mentioned, several ways to save on your gas bill include upgrading your appliances, reducing your consumption, and using a programmable thermostat.
Another option is to explore resources such as energy assistance programs and solar power systems.
Whatever approach you choose, being mindful of your gas usage is the key to reducing costs. Hope this helps you!