Georgia Natural Gas Rates: A Look at What You are Paying For
We all know that natural gas is a safer, cleaner alternative to other fossil fuels such as oil or coal. When burned, natural gas actually releases up to 60% less CO2 than coal and up to 30% less CO2 than oil. As the use of natural gas increases, it actually offers a significant contribution to improved air quality and public health.
When you consider those numbers, it's no wonder that natural gas continues to grow in popularity in the Georgia area. With the convenience of having a consistent, reliable supply due to its delivery method of a network of underground piping, it's versatility, and it's reputation as one of the world's safest sources of energy, natural gas has become the go-to energy source for businesses all across the state.
However, it is essential to pay attention to your gas rates and make sure you are receiving the best price possible for your natural gas. Gas rates can fluctuate daily, and it's important to make sure you have a reliable supplier in order to maximize your savings and keep your business' expenditures under budget.
Getting the Best Natural Gas Rates in Georgia
Most of Georgia has their natural gas delivered by Atlanta Gas Light. What you may not know is that natural gas has been deregulated in the Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) service area since 1998. What does this mean for you as a consumer? It means that you can purchase your natural gas supply completely separate from your natural gas delivery. If you switch suppliers, AGL will continue to send your monthly bill, respond to any emergencies you may have and deliver gas to your home. The Certified Natural Gas Marketer that you choose then becomes your supplier, and is a line item on your bill.
Having multiple, privately owned companies with the ability to supply your business with natural gas means that you can get the best rates possible and top of the line customer service (depending on the company of course). Your supplier also purchases natural gas at a fixed price that often does not fluctuate much, but we will get further into that soon.
What is a Certified Natural Gas Marketer?
The Georgia Public Service Commission or PSC is the regulatory body which oversees certification of natural gas suppliers, as well as the overall utility distribution framework. To become certified, a potential supplier must demonstrate that it has the financial and technical capability to sell natural gas within the state. Only then does the PSC certify them, making them a Certified Natural Gas Marketer.
Am I Eligible to Switch Natural Gas Suppliers?
Because natural gas has only been deregulated in the Atlanta Gas Light service area, you must live within that to be able to switch your natural gas supplier. This AGL service area includes:
If you are in doubt as to whether you live in an area serviced by Atlanta Gas Light, you can always reach out to them and ask.
What are the Benefits of Switching Natural Gas Suppliers in GA?
There are really three main benefits that come from switching your natural gas supplier in Georgia:
- Stability - If you simply rely on Atlanta Gas Light for your natural gas, then your rate will continuously fluctuate, based on the price of natural gas in the market. This can leave you vulnerable to fluctuations in price. If you choose a Certified Natural Gas Supplier, prices are typically fixed so you will be less likely to be affected by volatile pricing spikes.
- Cost - As we said, with a Certified Natural Gas Supplier you'll be guaranteed a fixed natural gas rate. This is due to the supplier purchasing fixed price, wholesale gas contracts in advance, unlike AGL who uses whatever price is in the current market. Locking in a fixed natural gas price with a certified supplier means that you can typically save money and stay within your budget.
- Level of service - If you decide to use a private supplier instead of AGL to provide your business with natural gas, chances are the level of service you receive will be better if anything goes wrong.
Benefits of Comparing Georgia Natural Gas Rates
As a business owner, you need to save money and cut costs where you can; therefore you should make sure you are getting the best price possible for your natural gas. If you don't take the time to find a supplier that provides the best price, your natural gas could be provided at the market rate. This can make it extremely hard to budget for your natural gas expenses.
That is why it is to your advantage to compare natural gas rates and know exactly how the process of charging for natural gas works.
Understanding Your Gas Bill
Now that we've explained how important it is to make sure you're getting the best rate possible from your natural gas supplier. Let's take a look at your gas bill so that you can better understand your rates and what goes into your bill.
Find out how your utility measures gas - Natural gas can be measured using a variety of units. Examine your current bill to see if your utility uses Ccf (volume), Mcf (volume) or Therm (heat equivalent).
Do they take actual readings or estimated readings - Many gas companies use estimated readings. Estimations are made using a sophisticated formula to calculate the usage by looking at key factors such as outside temperature and previous usage. Then your actual meter reading verifies the estimated usage. Many utility companies are now using Automated Meter Reading, which is a computerized, radio transmitted meter reading system. With this new system, there is no need for estimated meter readings as it provides the utility with accurate monthly electronic readings of your meter.
What the graphs tell you - Included in your monthly bill is a small graph that shows the gas usage over the past year. The graph is one of the most important parts of your bill because it shows both your estimated and actual reading numbers. This graph can point out important seasonal patterns. Some utility bills even go so far as to calculate your monthly average, which helps when planning a budget.
Your natural gas rate - Knowing your rate and what goes into that number allows you to know whether you're getting the best deal for your natural gas. It's important to check the rate against other suppliers, or at least make sure you're getting a fixed rate price, instead of paying market price. You can generally find your rate with your natural gas supplier on your bill.
It Pays to Educate Yourself On Georgia Natural Gas Rates
As you can see, a lot goes into your natural gas rates, and it pays to be proactive and educate yourself on what you're getting and from whom. Doing so allows you to save money and get the best rate possible for your natural gas needs. These savings just add up to one more reason why natural gas is a popular choice among businesses and consumers alike.
If you are interested in having your business run on natural gas or switching your supplier, our team of dedicated industry experts are here to help. They are always conscious of your bottom line and will ensure that the switch is as easy as possible. Contact Fireside Natural Gas today for more information.