Mar
1

AGL Pass-Through Charges

Have you ever looked at your natural gas bill and wondered what AGL Pass-Through Charges are? AGL Pass-Through Charges are a reflection of Atlanta Gas Light’s costs for maintaining the natural gas pipelines and storage facilities, as well as reading your meter each month. Read on to learn more about AGL and how your Pass-Through charges are calculated.

Who is AGL?

Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGL) is the company that owns the pipeline system that delivers natural gas to your property. Rather than receiving a separate bill from AGL, AGL Pass-Through Charges are applied and are sent to your natural gas marketer (in your case, Gas South) and those charges are “passed through” to you – without any additional cost or mark-up. You’ll see the charges from AGL on your Gas South bill, just like in the sample bill below.

AGL Pass Through Charges on Gas South Bill


When will I get charged the AGL Pass-Through Charges?

AGL Pass-Through Charges are assessed on the 20th of every month for the next month of service. AGL assesses the full monthly pass-through charges each month regardless of the actual number of days you receive service or the amount of gas you use in that particular month. You’ll see the monthly AGL Pass-Through charge on each bill as the AGL charges are spread over an entire year rather than when gas is used.

How are AGL Pass-Through Charges calculated and what exactly do the AGL Pass-Through Charges cover?

Your AGL Pass-Through Charges are exactly the same regardless of which natural gas marketer you choose. These charges are calculated by AGL and regulated by the Georgia Public Service Commission.

AGL Pass-Through Charges vary by month and are independent of your current month’s gas usage. They will vary by month and tend to be higher in the winter months.

What are the factors AGL uses to calculate your monthly charges?

The AGL charges include:

  • Customer Charge: A fixed monthly fee for gas connection to your home or business.
  • Ancillary Service: Covers the cost of AGL to read your meter.
  • Social Responsibility Fee: Covers the cost of funding the Senior Citizens’ Discount Program for low-income customers. (This does not apply to customers who receive the senior citizens’ discount.)
  • Strategic Infrastructure Development and Enhancement (STRIDE): Covers the cost of specific Georgia Public Service Commission-approved programs to maintain the integrity and reliability of the AGL pipeline system.

What charges are based on your DDDC?

  • Dedicated Design Day Capacity (DDDC): A charge that recovers costs associated with delivering gas to your home or business.
  • Peaking Service: Covers the fixed cost of operating company-owned above-ground storage facilities. This ensures an adequate supply of gas on the coldest days of the year. This service is only charged to customers in certain areas of the state.
  • Franchise Recovery Fee (FRF): Recovers fees paid by AGL to local governments for the use of public rights-of-way for natural gas lines and other facilities.
  • Environmental Response Cost (ERC) Recovery Fee: Recovers expenses related to cleanup of former manufactured gas plant sites.

Click here for more information of DDC Charges, and for more on AGL charges you can visit Gas South’s Frequently Asked Questions or AGL’s Guide to Atlanta Gas Light Charges.

 

Jan
7

5 Ways to Lower Your Natural Gas Bill

At the start of the winter season as the temperature starts to drop, many people start to worry about a rising heating bill. Our customers often come to us at this time of year looking for advice on how to keep natural gas costs down. We are prepared every year to provide our customers with tips to do just that. Here are a handful of ways you can potentially cut your natural gas usage during the winter months.

1.) Invest in a programmable or smart thermostat. The majority of programmable thermostats allow you to set multiple time frames and temperatures to fit your lifestyle. We highly recommend smart thermostats, such as The Nest, as they can save you 10 to 12 percent in heating costs. See our top reasons to get a smart thermostat here. Programming your thermostat enables you to lower the temperature when are at work or asleep to conserve energy, and raise the temperature before you return home to maximize comfort.

2.) Avoid large swings in temperature. Avoid raising or lowering the temperature settings more than 5-8 degrees in a daily period to control your natural gas costs. The only exception should be when you are not at home for an extended period of time and you can set it at a lower temperature than normal. Large swings in temperature can cause your unit to work harder to heat your home, resulting in spikes in your heating bill.

3.) Change the filter in your furnace or air handler regularly. A dirty air filter causes your system to work harder to push the air throughout your home, causing increased energy usage. Most HVAC companies recommend inspecting, cleaning, or replacing the filter every month during the summer and winter seasons to ensure the system is running properly and to keep heating costs low.

4.) Keep windows and doors shut. Another easy way to cut heating costs is to make sure that all windows and doors remain closed. If you feel a draft near a door or window even when it is closed, check for leaks and seal them with weather stripping or caulk. Allowing the sun to come through sealed windows can help warm your home naturally, but once it is dark out, close blinds or drapes to further insulate your windows.

5.) Wear warm clothes. This is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to lower your gas bills during the winter. Most energy efficiency websites recommend a maximum heating temperature setting of less than 70 degrees. For those of you who feel cold at temperatures below 70 degrees, a light jacket, sweat shirt, long sleeve shirt, or sweater can help keep you warm without having to raise your thermostat temperature and therefore your natural gas usage.

Bonus Tip – Don’t Forget Water and Electric
Electrical outlets in exterior walls are an extremely common cause of heat loss in your home, as are the gaps around water pipes where they pass through walls. Make sure you inspect these areas of your home and seal up any cracks to further reduce heating costs.

Though heating bills are ultimately dependent on how cold the winter is, these tips should allow you to reduce your natural gas usage and cut your heating costs. What are some ways you try to save during the colder months?

Dec
21

Happy Holidays!

As we move further into the Holiday Season, we just wanted to take a moment to wish you and yours a safe and enjoyable Holiday. Thank you for choosing Gas South as your natural gas provider, we look forward to serving you in 2013.

Dec
20

PJ Follows the CNG Revolution to DC

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the American Trucking Association Summit on Natural Gas in Trucking in Washington D.C. Topics ranged from Natural Gas 101 to The Politics of Natural Gas. This particular conference was focused on the trucking industry and it was a packed house, full of regional and national truckers, natural gas companies such as ConocoPhillips and other companies that service the industry.

We heard from gas station owners and developers such as Frank Love of Love’s Travel Stops and James A. Haslam III, the Chairman of Pilot Flying J. They spoke about the benefits and challenges of natural gas from an infrastructure standpoint.  Gas station owners are actively looking at natural gas in LNG(Liquefied Natural Gas) and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) forms as a viable fuel ,but believe that demand and economics will drive the change.

The clear star of the show was Mr. T. Boone Pickens. Mr. Pickens, or as he asked me to call him later, T. Boone, spoke at the conference and gave a brilliant and candid perspective on the natural gas revolution. T. Boone has championed the effort behind the natural gas boom with the Pickens Plan and has invested millions of dollars in Clean Energy. Clean Energy is the leading provider of CNG and LNG in the United States.

It took diesel fuel 30 years to be adopted by this industry after WWII. So as the CNG Revolution continues, how long do you think it will take this industry to adopt natural gas?

 

Nov
21

Thanksgiving at Gas South!

Manon, Dmitriy, Melanie and Rony gathered around the table for some great food!

 

Gas South employees celebrated an early Thanksgiving as a family with a festive potluck lunch. The celebration was filled with lots of food, lots of fun and lots of thanks!

We also took some time to reflect on what we are thankful for as a company and we want you to know, we are thankful for you. To all of our loyal customers, thank you for your business. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

So, what are you thankful for this year?

Stephanie, Kevin and Kamden gathered round for the feast.

 

Lots of food, lots of fun and lots of thanks!

Oct
31

What Is the DDDC Factor?

The DDDC Factor is a calculation done by Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGL) that indicates how much natural gas deliverability is reserved (or ‘dedicated’) for your home or business if Atlanta were to reach an average daily temperature of 10oF (a ‘design day’), making it unique to each home or business. You’ll see the DDDC Factor, or Dedicated Design Day Capacity, on your bill because it is used to calculate a customer’s AGL Pass-Through Charges.

DDDC Factor Calculation Bill Example from Gas South

How is the DDDC Factor Calculated?

The DDDC covers the cost of operating the system on the coldest day of the year, and it recalculated every year. AGL is responsible for having enough pipe and storage capacity to meet every customer’s need during extreme cold weather conditions. For most residential customers and small businesses, natural gas is used for heat. And when it’s cold outside, you’ll want enough natural gas to keep your home or business warm. Therefore, your DDDC Factor is calculated using past usage history, the number of gas appliances and additional factors that determine the location’s demand on the system.

If you are a new customer and Atlanta Gas Light does not have 12 months of consumption history, then the DDDC is calculated based on the gas equipment used, the footage and type of structure.

Why did my DDDC change?

AGL recalculates and updates the DDDC at your location annually, so each September you will see an updated DDDC on your bill. During this yearly calculation, AGL reviews the past gas consumption and usage pattern at your home or business. The most important influence on your DDDC calculation is how much gas was used last year during the coldest period of the year compared to your typical summer usage (if any). A calculation is done to determine how sensitive your consumption is to cold weather and then used to set your DDDC indicating how much capacity should be reserved for your home or business. Because your DDDC affects the AGL Pass-Through Charges, you may see a change in the amount of your bills year to year if your DDDC is adjusted.

Remember, your DDDC Factor is tied to your location as opposed to you. So, if you move, your DDDC will be changed to the DDDC of your new location and then will be reset, as usual, in September.

For more information, visit Gas South’s Frequently Asked Questions or AGL’s Guide to Atlanta Gas Light Charges.

Oct
18

Clean Energy Fuels the CNG Revolution

Exciting news in the CNG world this week as Clean Energy and Honda are teaming up to bring natural gas vehicles to the market in our home state of Georgia. Last week, the two companies announced they will be offering a $3,000 fuel card at any of Clean Energy’s compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations for anyone who purchases a 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas Vehicle. With CNG prices hovering around $2.30 a gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE), $3,000 dollars will provide enough CNG to drive 40,000 miles, based on Honda’s 27 miles / GGE City and 38 miles / GGE HWY fuel economy ratings.

On October 17th, Clean Energy, PS Energy and Clean Cities Atlanta opened Georgia’s 7th CNG facility, located on Whitehall Street in the heart of downtown Atlanta. Clean Energy is continuing to help fuel the CNG Revolution. The recent improvements in CNG infrastructure in Georgia, along with incentives from companies like Honda, will continue to make CNG attractive and viable.

Gas South is excited about these opportunities around Georgia and will continue to keep you informed of developments in the promising CNG Revolution. If you have any questions regarding this program or other questions on CNG in general, please comment below or email me at CNG@gas-south.com.

Does a $3,000 fuel card make purchasing a natural gas vehicle more practical for you?

Sep
26

Customer Service Contest Winners Announced

In our last quarterly newsletter, I invited our customers to send in suggestions to our Facebook page, on Twitter and through email to help us improve our customer service. The top three ideas would each be awarded $100 of natural gas for free. We received lots of great entries and we thank all of you that participated in this contest. I’m very pleased to announce that, after much deliberation, we have chosen our three winners!

Congratulations to Vera Clark, Jo-Ellen Catto and Brian Genter on their excellent suggestions!

– Vera suggested we offer the opportunity to donate to those in need through our monthly bills.

– Jo-Ellen would like us to extend more offers and promotions to areas outside Metro Atlanta.

– Brian wants to see more energy saving tips in our customer communications.

We will be taking their ideas and putting them into action over the next few months so keep an eye out! So what’s your favorite suggestion?  Let us know in the comments!

Sep
20

How to Prepare for Heating Season

Ensure your gas service is turned on. If you are a seasonal natural gas customer, schedule to have your gas service connected. For most residents and businesses who only use gas for heating, seasonal accounts allow service to be turned off during the summer months to prevent being charged taxes and fees when the gas isn’t being used.

Have your home heating system professionally inspected and serviced before the cold months to ensure its functioning properly. Its recommended to have natural gas furnace systems serviced at least every other year. A properly functioning furnace is one of many ways to save on heating bills.

How to Save on Home Heating Bills

  1. Check your gas rate plan. Natural gas prices usually rise in the fall and winter months as demand increases. If you are on a variable rate, you may save money by switching to a fixed rate. Learn more about our gas rate plans.
  2. Seal leaks around windows and doors. Sealing up openings and replacing worn weather stripping is one of the best ways to save on heating bill, an estimated 5 to 10 percent in savings on your energy bill.
  3. Install a programmable thermostat. You can save up to 20 percent of heating cost by lowering the thermostat 10 degrees when the house is unoccupied and at night. Smart thermostats allow you to pre-set when your heating turns on.
  4. Replace air filters monthly. Dirty filters slow down airflow and cause your heating system to use more energy, slowing down the heating process.
  5. Adjust airflow. Closing the vents to unused rooms will help focus the home heating efforts to the important portions.

It can take up to five days for Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) to turn on your gas service, especially during heating season.  If you need your natural gas service turned on, the sooner you call, the less likely you will have to wait. AGL is the company who owns the pipelines that natural gas flows through in Georgia and is responsible for turning the gas on or off for customers.

We hope these home heating tips help. Call us or visit us online to check on your account or turn on gas service before it gets too cold.

Sep
12

Things Are Cooling Down, So We’re Heating Up

Fall is here and it’s time for back to school, football season and colder temperatures! The coming of the chillier weather also brings Gas South’s busiest time, the heating season. We want to make sure that we are fully prepared to provide you with the best customer service, so we’ve made a few changes which we think will make things easier:

-We have extended our Customer Care Center hours and you can now reach us anytime between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

-We’ve hired additional employees to our local customer care team to handle the increased call volumes we experience around this time of year.

-We’ve updated our online options to help us respond to your emails within 4 business hours.

-We will start offering a live chat option on our website for customers who do not want to call, but have a question on their account.

We hope that these changes will help ease you through the heating season. Don’t forget to make sure your natural gas service is prepared for the coming months. When the temperatures start dropping, we are ready to BRING THE HEAT™!

What’s your favorite part about the changing of the season?