Common utility bills come in all shapes and sizes. It may be water, sewer, electricity, telephone or gas. Each one will read differently, and the amount spent on each utility will vary based upon multiple factors, including where someone lives. Sometimes it is hard to really look over the bill and know what one is reading and understand it. One big question that many consumers have is where their money is going when they make their payment and how those funds are dispersed.
Gas and electric are two very common utility bills. Most people encounter both at some point in their lives. Understanding how the companies charge for their services better enables the customer to make choices when it comes to conserving energy. It may mean using different appliances during off peak hours, being more conscience about electronics that are left on, or just choosing to raise or lower the thermostat appropriately during the winter and summer months.
Even though the amount of payment required on common utility bills may vary from city to city or state to state, there are some similarities. Here is an average breakdown of how one’s payment may be dispersed to the gas company. The customer’s payment covers the cost to make available, install, and maintain the gas meter. It covers the cost of reading the meter, billing, and administrative expenditures. There is a gas distribution charge which is the rate to run the gas to the property. The payment also includes the cost of maintaining the gas pipeline, and equipment necessary for the maintenance. In some cities and states, there are additional taxes for gas usage, as well as environmental charges. There may also be an energy efficiency charge for companies investing in alternative energy production. There are also some miscellaneous charges as well.
In terms of common electric utility bills, the payment is broken down in several ways too. The payment covers the provision, installation, and maintenance of the electric meter. It also includes the fees for billing and administrative work, as well as reading the meter. An electric distribution charge is for distributing the electricity to the residence. There is also the cost of installing and maintaining poles, wires, and transformers. In addition to these charges, there may also be taxes from the city and state. Many energy efficiency programs require a small charge to the customer. There may also be additional taxes or fees depending on the energy provider.
Customers need to remember the environmental factor when looking over their common utility bills. They need to keep in mind the seasonal effect. During the winter months, gas tends to be more expensive due to gas being a major source of heat for many businesses and families. During the summer months, electricity is in high demand, and therefore companies charge a greater fee due to the increased demand. This is because a greater demand on the grid means more man hours across the board. These all greatly contribute to the cost that the customer pays each month. Having a better awareness of these factors gives the customer a better understanding to where their payment goes each month.