Understanding your gas and electric bills.

Need a little help with the details on your gas and electric bill? Check out our utility bill breakdown below.

A guide to utility bills

Energy bill breakdown

Whether you’re looking to switch energy suppliers, or just want to understand your spending a little better, we’ve created a full breakdown of the average utility bill to help you make the smartest energy decisions possible.

1. Billing summary

Your billing or account summary is the simplest breakdown of your bill: how much you owe for the energy you’ve used this month (or, if you have a budget plan, how much of your estimated annual usage you owe for the month).

This summary may come with a snapshot displaying your energy usage over time in graph format.

2. Account information

At the top of most bills, you’ll find your personal account information, including your name, address and your customer account number.

In order to switch energy suppliers, you’ll need to submit this customer account number; your new supplier will need it to connect and activate your new plan with your utility account.

3. Delivery charges

Delivery charges are the rate that you pay for the transportation of electricity or natural gas into your home. They are set and charged by your utility company, and cover the cost of the wires, pipes, other infrastructure and maintenance required to safely transport energy into your home.

  • Customer charges
  • Distribution charges
  • Transition charges
  • Transmission charges
  • Generation riders

Because delivery charges come from your utility company, you cannot change or shop around for this rate.

4. Supply or usage charges

Supply charges are the rate that you pay for your natural gas and electricity’s generation. Multiplying your supplier rate by your usage will give you your energy usage spending for the month; adding this total to your distribution charges will give you your total energy spend for the month.

Your supplier rate is the rate that you can shop around for, if you live in a deregulated state.

Finding your price to compare

You may see a section outlining your price to compare for your energy. Your price to compare is the rate that your utility company charges you for electricity or natural gas if you do not choose your own supplier. If you’ve never shopped for energy, this is the rate that you can use to compare to other available rates.

Your price to compare may be found:

  • Under the 'Due Date' section
  • In the 'Important messages' section
  • In the 'Account Summary' section

Key usage terms

When it comes to determining the cost of your electricity or natural gas, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the units used to price and measure the energy.

Key usage terms on your electric bill

Kilowatt-hour (kWh)

A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a unit used on your electric bill to measure the amount of electrical energy your home uses each month.

One kWh is the amount of energy required to run a 1,000-watt appliance for one hour, or a 100-watt lightbulb for 10 hours.

Thankfully, the kWh is a fairly standard unit of measure, used across the board with all electric suppliers. However, natural gas usage terms aren’t as straightforward.

Key usage terms on your natural gas bill

When shopping for natural gas rates, it’s important to keep in mind that the units used to measure and price natural gas can differ from supplier to supplier. Below, we’ll dive into the different terms you may run into, and how to convert them, if needed.

Btu

British Thermal Units are used to measure natural gas. One Btu is defined as the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

One MBtu equals 1,000 Btus, and one MMBtu equals 1,000,000 Btus.

Therms

Another unit of measure used on natural gas bills, one therm is equal to 100,000 Btus.

One therm is also equal to one Ccf of natural gas.

Ccf/Mcf

Both measures of cubic feet, one Ccf is equal to 100 cubic feet of gas, and one Mcf is equal to 1,000 cubic feet. One Mcf is equal to 10 Ccf.

Natural gas cost conversion chart

Dollars per Ccf÷ 1.037 =Dollars per therm
Dollars per thermx 1.037 =Dollars per Ccf
Dollars per Mcf÷ 1.037 =Dollars per MMBtu
Dollars per Mcf÷ 10.37 =Dollars per therm
Dollars per MMBtux 1.037 =Dollars per Mcf
Dollars per thermx 10.37 =Dollars per Mcf

Source: www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=45&t=8


Need help switching suppliers?
Contact us.

If you’re having trouble finding the right information on your energy bill to make the switch, our team is happy to help. Simply email us at energyteam@pricetocompare.com to get started.