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Natural Gas Prices in Georgia - Fall and Winter 2017-2018

Issue: How to get the best price on natural gas in Georgia

You can pay hundreds per month on natural gas.. or just $30 or so.  Natural gas is deregulated in Georgia, and there are many natural gas providers yet there is only one pipe to deliver the gas to your house. How does this work? Simple, it is like buying a seat on an airline.  You can buy it from many places, and at many places, but ultimately it is all on the same airplane.

What you need to know

Natural gas is a fuel gas (vapor) made of combustible Methane.  It is a very efficient and clean burning fuel.  In the home, it is usually used in your stove, hot water heater, gas furnace, gas fireplace and sometimes connected to an outdoor gas grill by a pipe. Natural gas is delivered to your house by an underground pipe. The meter tells the company how much gas you used. 

Therms?

Since natural gas is gaseous, temperature affects its volume, so it is measured in "therms" a way of counting the number of methane molecules, by their heat value, called a  British Thermal Unit (BTU). A BTU is the amount of energy needed to raise one pound of nearly frozen water (39 degrees Fahrenheit) by one degree Fahrenheit (100,000 BTU = 1 therm).That way, regardless of the temperature or pressure, you are always paying the the correct rate for the actual amount of energy you used.

Rate plans, explained

There are at least a dozen different natural gas providers in Georgia.  They offer different rate plans. For most people, a fixed rate plan offers the best price and total cost.  However, a senior citizen may get a better deal with the senior plan. 

  • 6, 12, 18 or 24-Month Fixed Plans - You lock in a price for the time period you select. This is usually the way to get the best rate, when natural gas prices are relatively stable (as they are now) or rising . The only downside is, if you have to cancel the service before the term is up, you are usually charged a cancellation fee about $100.
  • Variable plans - These rate plans can change each month, depending on the natural gas market, just like the price of gasoline at a gas station. I have never found this to be a good deal.
  • Senior citizen plans - most providers offer some form of discount to senior citizens. Whether this is actually a good deal for you depends on the details, as each provider's senior citizen plan is different.
  • Military plans - Obviously, if you are a current or former military member or spouse of, you should examine these plans. not ALL PROVIDERS OFFER THEM.
  • Flat Rate plans - These are usually not a good deal.  But for people who cannot budget or save their money, the make it simply.  You just pay the same amount per month all year.  Of course this means overall, you pay a much higher rate.  Good for alcoholics, people with drug and gambling addictions and others who spend every penny they get compulsively
  • Prepaid plans - These are really not a good deal; they are intended for people with poor credit who cannot qualify for one of the other plans.

Note: Beware of "Introductory Rates" - those are usually only low for ONE MONTH - then you pay a very high rate for the rest of the year.

Natural Gas Bills and Charges

In addition to a charge for the amount of gas you actually use,all of the gas companies hit you with a bunch of other confusing fgeees.  Here they are:

  • Customer service fee: a base fee every month (usually $5 to $20) to maintain and serve your account as a consumer. Yeah, another fee, "because they can"
  • DDDC charge: A fee based on consumer demand on the system on the coldest day of the year. It allows the natural gas provider the ability to recoup losses.
  • Atlanta Gas Light Company base charge: This is a charge that Atlanta Gas Light Company bills through all natural gas providers to consumers. The base charge rate is  for the following month, which means you will be billed on the 20th of the current month for this base charge regardless of how many days you used the service.
  • More Joy:  federal, state and local taxes.

Best Georgia Natural Gas Rates and Deals

Every Autumn,  some of the natural gas providers in Georgia send out mailers, usually a large stiff postcard, with a promotional rate. Here are the best ones I've found this year 

More comparisons:

Links to Georgia Natural Gas Providers

With some November 2017 rates

Complaints with your gas service?

If you have a problem with your current natural gas service or have a billing issue, obviously, your first stepo is to contact your natural gas company.

But if you are not satisfied with their response, you may contact the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) or file an Online Consumer Complaint. The PSC assists natural gas customers with service quality issues. They work with you to resolve complaints and investigate violations.

PSC Contact Information

Georgia Public Service Commission
244 Washington Street, SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

Toll-free in Georgia: (800) 282-5813
Metro Atlanta: (404) 656-4501
Fax: (404) 656-2341
Email: gapsc@psc.state.ga.us

Filing a Complaint Online
Fill out the Georgia Public Service Commission Consumer Complaint Form or send your comments to gapsc@psc.state.ga.us.

I am working on a new website, which will be called www.ReviewPriceAndBuy.com .  It is based on my own frustration trying to find:

  • Objective, factual product specifications and comparisons, like those on Consumer's Reports; together with
  • Actual consumer's reviews and appraisals like those on Epinions and Amazon.com, and with
  • Price comparisons and a competitive place to buy the product

All images and text Copyright J Slemmer 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
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