Understanding Your Home Heating Bill and All Its Jargon
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Understanding Your Home Heating Bill and All Its Jargon


Many home heating bills are replete with confusing abbreviations and acronyms, which can make it difficult to pinpoint areas where you can cut back to save some money. If the bottom line of your home heating bill is giving you sticker shock and you’re struggling to make sense of all the itemized entries, it’s time to brush up on your bill reading skills.

Here are some essential terms for you to understand on your home heating bill:

  • BTUs and therms: BTUs are British thermal units, a fuel usage metric which expresses how much gas you used during a billing period. Therms, sometimes abbreviated as “thms” are equivalent to 100,000 BTUs; your gas bill may be measured in BTUs, thms or both.
  • CCM/MCF: These are alternative methods of measuring your consumption. Regardless of whether your utility company uses BTUs, thms, CCM or MCF, your consumption will be listed on the bill along with a unit price.
  • Procurement charges/commodity charges: This represents the amount of money it cost the gas company to procure the gas you used during the billing period. In most cases, utility companies do not resell you the gas at a profit.
  • Transmission/delivery services: Transmission or delivery services refer to the infrastructure and methods used to get the gas from the company’s facilities to your home.
  • Baseline gas allowance: This refers to the amount of gas required to meet your basic heating needs. If you don’t go over the baseline gas allowance, you may be charged optimal rates.
  • Cost adjustments: This is where the gas company hedges against market fluctuations in the price of gas. If they anticipate a rise, you’ll be charged. If they anticipate a drop, you’ll be credited.

The only aspect of your home heating bill which is under your control is your consumption. Reduce your consumption rates and try to stay within the baseline gas allowance, and watch your gas bill shrink.

If you’d like further advice on how to reduce your home heating bill, contact us here at Roth Heating & Cooling. We offer a wide range of energy-efficient home comfort technologies designed to save you money.

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