In Georgia, we are paying more per therm in natural gas than the suppliers would lead us to believe. The Georgia Public Service Commission reports the gas rates for each supplier every month. The latest report shows a range of $0.77 to $0.97 – however the average is between $0.77 and $0.82.
The Public Service Commission publishes the rates every month.
The reported customer service charges average around $6. The Atlanta Gas Light “base charge” for June is reported to be $17.28. The service charge and the base charges are paid every month, so we should be adding these costs to the total cost of the gas we purchase.
The PSC report shows that the monthly “apples to apples” price per therm for Jun is between $2.67 and $2.10, with the average being around $2.40. The report shows the annual “apples to apples” cost to be around $1.30 per therm.
During the summer months when natural gas usage is low the cost per therm rises because the base charges are sometimes greater than the cost of the gas. During the winter when the gas demand is much higher the base charges add a far smaller percentage markup to the cost of the gas consumed.
From the PSC table, in June a typical Gas South customer would use 16 Therms. The rate per therm is $0.79 which would total $12.64. However, the service charge($5.95) and base fee ($17.28) total $23.27, almost double the cost of the gas! For this reason the PSC’s table lists the monthly “apple to apples” cost at $2.37.
Regardless of the advertised price per therm, these embedded costs are coming out of our pockets every month, so when we calculate the return on investment we cannot disregard these additional fees. Gas prices seemed to have bottomed out in May and are now beginning to creep back up. At the present time electricity is about twice the cost of gas, however it probably won’t remain there for very much longer.