Frequently Asked Questions about your gas bill
Call 642-5635 for more information.
Call 642-5635 to request information about your latest bill.
You will be provided with the following information:
- Billing period
- Current bill
- Previous balance
- Total balance
- Total therms used
- Payment due date
- Next meter reading date
- Date and amount of last payment
Need a copy of your most recent bill? The request will be processed within 3 working days from the date your request is received. You should receive your duplicate bill within 5 days from the date of your request. You can also request up to 24 months of billing history.
Note: Billing information can be sent only to the mailing address on record.
BTU: British Thermal Unit: One BTU is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. A more practical definition would be: how much gas an appliance will use to produce heat or cooling. As a result, gas appliances are sized by a BTU rating. 100,000 BTU’s equal 1 therm. For example, a 400,000 BTU heater, when in use, would use 4 therms of gas per hour. A 30,000 BTU range would use .3 therms per hour of use.
CCF: Hundred of Cubic Feet: Method used for gas measurement. The quantity of gas at a temperature of sixty degrees Fahrenheit and a pressure of 14.73 pounds per square inch makes up one cubic foot.
Billing Factor: An adjuster used to convert CCF into therms. It adjusts the amount of gas used to reflect the heat value of the gas at a given altitude. The heating value can vary from month to month; therefore, the billing factor is not always the same.
Therm: A therm is approximately 100,000 BTUs. It is a standard unit of measurement. CCFs are converted to therms for purposes of billing.
1 cubic foot = 1050 Btu
Therm = 100,000 Btu
Ccf = 100 cubic foot, or 1 therm
Mcf = 1000 cubic feet = 10.20 therms
MMcf = 1 million cubic feet
Bcf = 1 billion cubic feet
Decatherm (Dth) = 10 therms = 1 million Btu
Mmbtu = 1 million but = 10 therms
Seasonal weather conditions have the most impact on the amount of natural gas you use. When it’s cold outside, your furnace goes on more frequently and runs longer to warm your home. Your water heater also stays on longer to heat the colder incoming water.
Aside from weather-related and other changes in your gas appliance usage patterns, your bill may vary due to changes in wholesale natural gas prices, which change based on market conditions. The Natural Gas Company buys natural gas on the wholesale market for most residential and small commercial/industrial customers. We do not mark up this price, which is shown on your bill as as “The Gas Company’s Gas Commodity.”
Although the size of your homes may be the same, the many ways people use their appliances can cause the differences you see when comparing bills. Gas bills may differ due to home temperature preferences and the frequency of laundry loads, showers, and cooking. Guests or new family members may also increase gas usage. Differences in the types of home furnishings and appliances, such as those you’ll see below, can also affect the amount of gas you use.
- Floor coverings (area rugs vs. wall-to-wall carpeting)
- Window Coverings (lace curtains vs. lined drapes)
- Appliances (with pilots vs. super-efficient pilotless furnaces or ranges)
Check for the following:
- Is the weather this month colder than it was last month — or than it was during the same month a year ago? Weather fluctuations have the most impact on your gas bill from month to month, and in Tennessee, sometimes our cold “winter” weather occurs during different months each year.
- Does your furnace thermostat have an on/off switch? If not, the furnace will go on automatically when the temperature drops below the setting.
- Are you or your family taking more showers, or washing and drying more laundry or dishes than you were previously?
- Are any hot water pipes or fixtures leaking?
- Have you turned your pool or spa heater burner valve to the “off” or “pilot” position for the winter? Simply turning the thermostat to the lowest setting may cause the heater to turn on if the temperature drops low enough.
- Have you recently received a bill insert about an increase in gas rates?
You can lower your bill by conserving energy, installing energy-efficient natural gas appliances and/or improving the energy-efficiency of your home.
And check out the latest rebates and programs available to help you install new, more efficient appliances and home improvements.
Income-qualified customers may be eligible for assistance programs.
If I do not change my heater thermostat setting, wouldn’t that prevent my gas bills from going up and down in the winter?
As nighttime temperatures drop, the heater burner comes on more often and stays on longer to compensate for the colder outside air temperature. Consequently, while your impression inside the home is that the temperature is constant due to the thermostat setting, your bills will still fluctuate from month to month in response to changes in nighttime temperatures.
Why did my bill increase, if I didn’t do any holiday cooking?
Actually, cooking uses a very small amount of gas. In fact, you can cook three meals a day for about $3- $4 per month.
The appliance to watch in the winter is your heater or furnace. The typical heater or furnace consumes more natural gas per hour than any other appliance in the home, in most cases costing more than $1 per hour.
With fewer people living in my house this year why didn’t my bill go down?
In general, you may see some reduction in gas usage due to fewer loads of laundry and less dishes to wash. However, if your heater or furnace is used in the same way as the previous winter, the cost per hour to operate the heater will be the same regardless of the number of people in the home.
Check the “daily average use” at the bottom of your gas bill. It will show if you’ve used more or less gas this month when compared to the same month last year.
No one is home all day so why did my bill go up?
Actually, most people use their heater or furnace when someone is home, which is usually in the evening, early morning, or on weekends. The colder the nighttime temperatures are, the longer and harder your heater must work to maintain the temperature you’ve set. This causes the typical household to use 4 – 7 times more gas in the winter than in the summer.
Managing Gas Bills
The Budget Billing helps you balance your bills so they are about the same amount every month, throughout the year. With budget billing, you can level out the highs and lows of your monthly bills, which can help make your gas bills more stable and predictable. Typically, you will pay less than your actual usage in the winter months and more in the summer months. With budget billing, you pay about the same amount each month based on your prior 12-month’s usage and forecasted gas prices. Call 642-5635.
Call us at 642-5635 and ask about Special Payment Arrangements.
How Gas rates are determined
Natural gas rates are made up of two primary charges:
- Gas delivery service, which The Gas Company provides – the “delivery” (or “transmission”) charge; and,
- The cost of the natural gas itself — which is reflected in the “procurement” charge.
Many people believe that The Natural Gas Company produces natural gas, but we don’t. For our residential and smaller business customers, we buy natural gas from producers and marketers at the best possible prices on the open market.
The wholesale gas prices we pay are based on market supply and demand. They’re not marked up by The Natural Gas Company, and are shown on your monthly bill as the “commodity charge.”
The Gas Company’s delivery service charge covers the costs of transporting natural gas through our pipeline system.
Monthly Gas rates vary based on monthly gas prices
Since 1999, the cost of natural gas that customers pay in their rates is based on the monthly price of gas and averaged storage cost instead of a forecasted annual price. This allows rates to more closely follow current natural gas market prices.
With monthly pricing, gas rates are based upon a 30-day cost of natural gas market prices. This gives customers a better picture of the current price of natural gas, and means they no longer have to wait for annual adjustments to their bills to make up for differences between the 12-month forecast price and the actual price paid by The Natural Gas Company on a monthly basis.
Does The Gas Company benefit from higher gas prices?
We do not produce natural gas; energy production companies produce natural gas. The Gas Company just delivers natural gas to its customers.
Frequently Asked Questions about your gas meter
Please use the following steps to read your meter correctly:
1. Read the dials left to right.
2. If the hand is between two numbers, always select the lower number. When the hand is between “9” and “0,” then “9” is considered the lower number.
3. When the hand looks as though it is DIRECTLY on the number, look at the dial to the right. If the dial on the right has passed “0,” use the number that the hand is on. If the dial on the right has not passed “0,” use the number less than what the hand is on.
Use the meter reading below to understand how to read your meter.
Remember to record the lower number if the dial is between two numbers.
For this example, read from left to right.
The first dial is turning counter-clockwise. It points between the “6” and the “7.”
Read this dial as 6.
The second dial is between “8” and “9.” It might even look as though it is on the “8,” but you can see that the dial to the right is past “0.” (It is “8.”) Read the lower number.
Read this dial as 8.
The third dial is turning counter-clockwise and is just after the “0.”
Read this dial as 0.
The fourth dial is turning clockwise and is between the “7” and the “8.”
Read this dial as “7.”
The correct reading for this meter is 6807.
Call 642-5635 for more information.
To learn your cycle number ask one of our account representatives. We use a 32 day read cycle on normal billing and your meter is generally read on a monthly cycle.
If your meter cannot be accessed due to vegetation, an unfriendly dog, or a locked gate, we must estimate your bill. If you choose to keep your gate locked, please contact us to make arrangements to have your meter accessed on the “scheduled read date.” You’ll find this date printed on your last bill.
We may also contact you because of a locked gate when we need to work on the meter or survey the underground piping. And in an emergency, we or the fire department may need to shut off your meter. So make sure the meter is easy to reach.
How come I never see anyone come to read the meter?
Although you may not actually see the meter reader, we attempt to read each meter once a month. If we have difficulty accessing your meter — an unfriendly dog in the yard or locked gate with no one home — we will estimate that month’s usage. We will print “Estimated Bill” on your bill. When we get an actual read of your meter, adjustments can be made.
Could there be something wrong with the meter?
During the past 50 years, gas meters have proven to be very reliable and accurate. If, however, one shows that you’ve used a much higher or lower than normal amount of gas, we automatically take steps to investigate the problem. If needed, we will test the meter and may possibly replace it and make any necessary adjustment to your bill.