Your home heating bill likely surges far above the amount of gas consumed during summer due to the basic necessity of providing heat for your home. There are ways to lower your home heating bill, but first, you need to learn how to read your gas bill. Utility companies may structure their bills differently, but most will include similar terms and components. Here’s what you need to know.
Terms on your home heating bill
Your natural gas bill will include essentials like your account number, the billing date, contact information for the utility company including their phone number and address, along with the payment due, previous balance and the due date. These components are fairly straightforward and simple to understand.
But when it comes to what’s above the bottom line, understanding terms related to various charges is tricky. You’ll likely find these terms on your home heating bill:
- Taxes – Based on the amount of fuel consumed.
- Baseline quantity – The average amount the company estimates you’ll use, which is charged at the lowest rate.
- Over the baseline usage – The amount of gas consumed by home equipment that goes beyond the baseline quantity allowance.
- Procurement charge – The cost related to buying and transporting natural gas.
- Meter readings – There are two: the prior reading performed at the beginning of the billing cycle and the current reading performed at the end of the cycle.
- Difference – The actual amount of gas consumed, or the difference between prior and current meter readings.
Lowering your bill
In order to lower a gas bill, homeowners must employ tactics to encourage better efficiency from their furnace systems, as home heating is generally the highest consumer of energy in the average home.
- Scheduling annual maintenance for the furnace encourages peak efficiency.
- Lowering the home’s heating load reduces the amount of heat your home requires to stay comfortable. Consider energy-saving projects such as upgrading insulation, sealing air leaks and installing energy-efficient windows to lower the heating load.
To schedule maintenance, or learn more about understanding your home heating bill, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbingtoday! We serve Grand Traverse County and the surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about understanding your heating bill and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock