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Understanding Your Natural Gas Bill

If you would like to see explanations of the different parts of your natural gas bill, the following links will take you to your local distribution company’s Web page explaining your bill.

Duke Energy Ohio

Columbia Gas of Ohio

Dominion East Ohio Gas

Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio

The following definitions explain the charges and terms that appear on your natural gas bill.

General Natural Gas Terms

Ccf: One hundred cubic feet; a unit used to measure natural gas usage.

Expected Gas Cost (EGC): A component of the GCR rate, the EGC is the price the local utility expects to pay for natural gas in the upcoming GCR rate period. For example, if the GCR rate is filed on a monthly basis, the local utility will calculate the EGC for the following month. Gas costs recoverable through the EGC include the cost of purchasing the gas itself as well as the cost of transporting the gas from the producing region to the local utility’s service territory through the interstate pipeline system.

Gas Cost Recovery (GCR) Rate (Duke Energy Ohio): A mechanism that provides a dollar-for-dollar recovery of costs incurred by a local utility to purchase and deliver natural gas to its system. The GCR rate enables the local utility to correct any over or under collections of natural gas costs in previous periods.

Gas Usage Charge (Duke Energy Ohio): Comprised of a residential firm transportation charge (base residential service usage charge), Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) rider, and a gross receipts tax that is applied to all Duke Energy Ohio customer bills.

Gross Receipts Tax: When natural gas is purchased from a local utility, it is not subject to Ohio sales or use tax. The local utility must pay a gross receipts tax, which is included in the GCR rate charged for the natural gas based on the volume of gas consumed (per Ccf or Mcf), as well as their Transportation rates.

Mcf: One thousand cubic feet; a unit used to measure natural gas usage.

Standard Choice Offer (SCO) Rate (Columbia Gas of Ohio, Dominion East Ohio, Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio): The SCO rate varies each month and represents costs associated with securing natural gas for customers.These customers are assigned to an alternative supplier at the SCO rate, and the supplier’s name appears on their bill.The rate is based on the New York Mercantile Exchange month-end settlement price, plus a Retail Price Adjustment. The current Retail Price Adjustment for the listed companies is:

Company Retail Price Adustment Effective Dates
Columbia Gas $0.129 per ccf April 1, 2013 thru March 31, 2014
DEO $0.60 per mcf April 1, 2013 thru March 31, 2014
Vectren $0.105 per ccf April 1, 2013 thru March 31, 2014

 

Surcredit Rider (Dominion East Ohio): An adjustment used to reimburse customers for charges attributable to natural gas commodity sales service for customers that no longer purchase their natural gas from the local utility. The surcredit rider remains in effect until the local utility establishes new base rates and recalculates the surcredit rider for CHOICE customers, who no longer purchase natural gas from their local utility.

Transportation Rate Charge:  The transportation rate charge, which can fluctuate quarterly, is comprised of a base rate, PUCO approved and tariffed riders, and a Gross Receipts Tax.

Usage History: This portion of your bill shows a 13-month comparison of natural gas usage.

Competitive Retail Natural Gas Service Terms

Competitive Retail Natural Gas Service Surcredit Rider (Dominion East Ohio): An adjustment used to reimburse customers for charges attributable to natural gas commodity sales service for customers that no longer purchase their natural gas from the local utility. The surcredit rider will remain in effect until the local utility establishes new base rates and recalculates the surcredit rider for CHOICE customers, who no longer purchase natural gas from their local utility.

Contract Term: The length or duration of the contract (i.e. monthly, yearly, multiple-year).

County Sales Tax:  When natural gas is purchased from another supplier or as part of the utilitie's Standard Choice Offer (SCO) program , the natural gas is subject to Ohio sales or use tax. Because county sales tax rates vary throughout Ohio, the county sales tax is not included in the supplier’s total rate.

Current Offer: Comprised of suppliers’ current commodity options and base rates, exclusive of sales tax, the local utility transportation charge, and customer service charges. Commodity options may be a fixed, variable, or stable rate plan.

Fixed Rate Plan: A constant rate for the contracted period.

Supplier Name: PUCO-certified suppliers that are actively enrolling new customers.

Total Rate: Comprised of the supplier’s natural gas commodity prices, plus the transportation rate charge.

Variable Rate Plan: A fluctuating rate within the contracted period.