This post, how to save money on your natural gas bill in Georgia and other states is sponsored by NaturalGasPlans.com.
After almost a year at home all.the.time, we are realizing we are using everything in our home more, from our kitchen and bathrooms (can we remodel please) to things like our ceiling fans and natural gas and electric via our air conditioning and heater.
So, I decided to look at some things and reassess our utility bills to find ways for us to save money, especially our natural gas this winter.
Hopefully, after reading this, you too will have some new tools for saving on your natural gas bill.
Here are my top tips for saving money on your natural gas bill.
- Dress appropriately for the weather. Yes, even inside your house. If it’s 30ºF outside and you are wearing shorts, but cold, it might be time to put on a sweater and some pants. Put on a pair of socks, too. I don’t subscribe to the notion that you need to be able to see your breath in your house before you can turn on the furnace. However, it also makes sense to warm your body with the clothing you already have.
- HVAC unit.
- Having your HVAC unit serviced annually is very important for the efficiency of the system. An HVAC specialist can make sure everything is running properly and also tune-up the system so there is less waste.
- Also, changing your intake air filters regularly will have a huge impact on the efficiency of your system. It depends on the air filter you have, but we change ours regularly. It’s noted on our calendar and we always bring at least one child into the attic to do it so they can learn home care as well.
- Hot water heater.
- Several years ago, when we had to replace our hot water heater, we learned they need to be emptied regularly. Sediment builds up in the bottom of the hot water heater making it store less water so you are constantly heating the little bit that fits in there.
- If your hot water heater is in the garage or an attic, you’ll want to insulate it. This will keep the water hotter longer and require less use of natural gas.
- Thermostat. Having smart and/or programmable thermostat is really a game changer for heat consumption. Of course, we are home almost all the time right now, so our thermostat is programed for 68ºF during the day and 62ºF when we sleep. On the rare chance we are all out of the house, we bump it down to 60ºF. Allowing a program to run and adjust with a schedule helps us not have to remember to make adjustments before leaving the house or coming home. If you use a smart thermostat, it can be adjusted away from home or even changed based on geolocation.
- Humidifier. Dry winter air makes your skin feel colder because the dry air pulls moisture from your body. Keeping a humidifier running will keep moisture in the air thus helping the air feel warmer.
- Gas Bill. When was the last time you looked at your gas bill?
- Have you locked in a low fixed rate for a set term? In most gas markets, this is an option. Get in touch with your gas company and make sure you are getting the best fixed rate. Also, check to see how long that contract term is and make sure you stay on top of things when your contract is about to renew. I know I want the best natural gas prices in Atlanta for my home.
- Do you live in Georgia, Ohio or Michigan? You are likely in a deregulated energy market. You can shop around and find an alternative supplier for your natural gas needs. Checking for an alternative supplier allows you to shop for a natural gas plan and lock in a new low rate so you can get the best natural gas rates in Atlanta, or your deregulated area. If you are like me, and had no idea you even had an option for your natural gas, make sure you check to see if you can save by switching to an alternative natural gas supplier.
- Check for promotions and rebates. Many natural gas providers offer you a rebate or refund if you purchase a smart thermostat. Some of them offer lower prices if you purchase through your provider as well. If you don’t have a smart thermostat, get in touch with your provider and see if there are any promotions or rebates.
More information about Natural Gas Deregulation in Atlanta (and similar for Georgia, Michigan and Ohio).
Consumers in Atlanta Georgia must choose a supplier for their natural gas. They can’t get supply from the local utility, Atlanta Gas Light. And natural gas is natural gas. It’s not getting an inferior product by shopping around.
You can definitely shop around on your own for the best natural gas prices. However, the Georgia Public Service Commission doesn’t make it easy to shop. They publish an excel sheet with rates, and the consumer then has to call or go to each of the web sites individually.
NaturalGasPlans.com makes it easier to shop for natural gas.
Just enter your zip code and see available offers. The price per unit of gas is shown, and you can see any monthly fee or fine print. You have easy access to all the legal mumbo jumbo for the plan. And when you’ve picked the plan you want, you can link directly through to the provider to sign up.
(Without using naturalgasplans.com, you have to try to make sense of this spreadhseet published by the State of Georgia Public Service Commission.)
Natural Gas Plans also offers a free reminder service to come back to the site and shop for natural gas. That’s helpful so consumers remember to shop — most people look, leave, think about it and then forget to make a change. The reminder helps people avoid going on an off-contract rate.
If you do allow your contract to expire, you’ll pay a higher month to month rate for gas. Of course, like many utilities, your provider will send you a renewal offer at the end of your contract expiration, but it’s usually not their best rate, so it pays to shop.
Atlanta (and surrounding areas) is the only place in the country where you must shop for natural gas. You can’t buy gas supply from the local utility, Atlanta Gas Light. People who move to Atlanta may be confused and just pick the company that their realtor recommends, without shopping.
People who are moving to Atlanta can shop online to find the best prices. The gas supplier handles setting up your natural gas service in your new home.
What will you put into action so that you can save on your natural gas bill this winter and beyond?