About Your Bill
Mobile Gas customers are billed once a month following monthly meter readings. The time of month your meter is read depends on where you live, but your meter reading is taken about the same time every month. The information from these readings is computed by our office and used to compile your bill, which you will receive just a few days after the meter reading. If you don’t receive a bill at your usual time, please call our Customer Service Center at 251-476-8052.
How Mobile Gas Calculates Your Bill
In calculating your monthly gas bill, we measure two things: the volume of natural gas you use and the amount of energy in that gas. The volume of gas used is measured in hundreds of cubic feet, while the energy in that gas is calculated in scientifically exact units known as British Thermal Units or BTU’s (a BTU is the amount of heat it takes to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit at standard temperature and pressure). This is roughly equivalent to the amount of heat produced by completely burning a wooden match; however, because a BTU is a small unit of measurement, we base your bill on Therms used. A Therm is equal to 100,000 BTU’s.
Why Are Therms Used in Preparing Your Bill?
It’s because the BTU content of natural gas coming into our pipelines differs. So each cubic foot of gas does not contain exactly the same number of BTU’s. For this reason, our measurement stations measure the BTU content of the gas coming in from our suppliers daily. Using these measurements, we determine the average BTU content of the gas you receive each month. Then after we read your meter for the number of hundreds of cubic feet of gas you have used, it’s a simple computation to convert this figure to Therms. And this assures that you are billed only for the amount of energy used. For example, let’s assume the average BTU content of the gas supplied to you was determined to be 1.030 Therms per hundred cubic feet (or 1,030 BTU’s per cubic foot). Your meter showed consumption of 40 hundred of cubic feet. So multiplying the volume of consumption (40) by the BTU factor (1.030), we find you used 41 Therms. That is the amount of energy you would be billed for.
What Makes Your Gas Bill Vary?
• Outside temperature: Changes in the outside temperature will affect your gas bill more than any other factor. As the outside temperature goes down, gas used for heating goes up. During the cold winter months, you will naturally require more gas to heat your home.
• Water temperature: Cold weather also affects water temperature, so more gas is required to heat water for household use. Water temperature is usually about 25 degrees lower in January than in July, and your water heater needs more energy to keep the water temperature constant.
• Home insulation and construction: The quality of insulation in your home as well as your family’s size and lifestyle can also contribute to fluctuations in the amount of gas used in the home.
Average Monthly Billing
Balanced Billing is a free service offered by Mobile Gas to assist customers in managing payment of monthly gas bills. This payment method helps smooth out the monthly fluctuations in the gas bill by spreading the annual cost of gas service over a 12 month period. To sign up for this service please call 251-476-8052, or stop by either of the Mobile Gas office locations.
What is the Facilities Charge?
It is the monthly fee that covers the costs related to safely and consistently delivering natural gas to your home or business and maintaining the equipment and pipelines that carry the natural gas throughout the city. It should be noted that this is not a new charge; it has been a long standing component of the monthly bill.
Who has to pay the Facilities Charge?
All customers. Since the costs related to the facilities charge are incurred regardless of customer consumption, the facilities charge is charged to all customers as a set fee and does not vary with the amount of gas used by the customer. This allows all customers to share in the basic costs of maintaining a safe and reliable natural gas system within their city.
Why do we have a Facilities Charge?
The facilities charge is in place to cover the fixed cost of providing service to the customer’s home or business, such as:
- Mobile Gas Service Corporation plant investment – pipelines, meter stations, vehicles, etc.
- Operation and maintenance cost – maintenance and repair costs, service personnel, etc.
- Administration and general costs – customer support, billing, training, accounting, property tax, etc.
Why is it important to have a Facilities Charge?
- Reliability – The facilities charge ensures that the customer’s expectations for continuous gas and outstanding customer service are met.
- Demand – It ensures that the infrastructure can handle customer demand during peak heating season.
- Safety – It ensures that leaks/3rd party damage are repaired in a timely manner.
Who authorized this Facilities Charge?
Mobile Gas is regulated utility by the Alabama Public Service Commission and the facilities charge is reviewed annually to ensure that only just and reasonable costs are being recovered from customers.
Common Bill Fees Explained
|Fee Name||Description||Typical Fee Amount|
|Service Establishment Fee||The connection fee for providing service to a new customer or to transfer a customer’s account shall be twenty dollars ($20.00).||$20.00|
|Re-Connect Fee||The reconnection fee for restoring service to a customer who had been disconnected at his or her request or for nonpayment of a utility bill shall be fifty dollars ($50.00)||$50.00|
|After Hours Fee||An administrative fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) shall be charged for services scheduled for a time after 5:00pm for the convenience of the customer.||$25.00|
|NSF/Insufficient Funds Fee||An administrative charge of twenty dollars ($20.00) will be applied to the customer’s account for any payment returned for reason of insufficient funds.||$20.00|
|Meter Tampering Fee/ Illegal Consumption Fee||If a customer obtains gas illegally by tampering with a meter, using a jumper or using a lost or stolen meter, the customer will be charged for the estimated gas consumption plus the actual materials and labor costs of any repairs and/or preventive measures or related actions taken by the company to address the illegal consumption of gas by the customer.||Variable|
|Cut Service Charge (as defined within Restoration Fee)||In addition to the Reconnection Fee, a Restoration Fee for restoring service terminated by cutting and capping the service line because of action by customer as described in Rule 13 of the General Rules of the Alabama Public Service Commission shall be based upon the materials and labor costs incurred by the company to cut and reconnect the service line.||Variable|
|Restoring Service Charge (as defined within the Restoration Fee)||In addition to the Reconnection Fee, a Restoration Fee for restoring service terminated by cutting and capping the service line because of action by customer as described in Rule 13 of the General Rules of the Alabama Public Service Commission shall be based upon the materials and labor costs incurred by the company to cut and reconnect the service line.||Variable|