Anticipation and preparation are the keys to an effective monthly budget. Those who can calculate a reasonable estimate of their upcoming gas bill will be able to budget their money accurately. Add all applicable fees to the usage rate for the calculations. Take into account weather changes and unusual occurrences, such as houseguests, that may cause utility bills to fluctuate from one usage period to the next.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Review your most recent gas bill. Find the meter reading and highlight it. Identify the type of heating unit measured. Your gas company may measure units by cubic feet, therms or British thermal units (Btu).
Locate the gas meter on your property. Write down the current number displayed.
Subtract the meter reading on your most recent bill from the current meter reading. This is the number of heating units used so far in this billing cycle.
Find the beginning date of the previous billing period; for example, the 16th day of the month. Subtract this date from today's date. Divide the number of heating units used so far in this billing cycle by the number of days that have elapsed in this billing cycle. This is your approximate daily usage rate.
Locate the end date of the previous billing period; for example, the 30th day of the month. Subtract today's date from the end date. This is the number of days remaining in the billing cycle. Multiply the approximate daily usage rate by the number of days remaining in this billing cycle. Add this number to the number of heating units used so far in this billing cycle.
Find the amount charged per unit listed on your previous bill. Multiply this figure by the total number of heating units used this billing cycle and the projected number of units that will be used in the remainder of the billing cycle. This is your estimated usage charge for the upcoming gas bill.
Highlight any additional regularly occuring fees and charges listed on your bill. These may include a distribution charge, commodity charge or delivery tax. Add these charges to the estimated usage charge for a realistic estimate of your next gas bill.
Tips and warnings
- Call your gas company to confirm unit charges are the same and fee amounts have not changed to ensure accuracy of your estimates.
- Be sure the heating unit matches the unit listed on your bill; otherwise, you may need to convert units for an accurate billing estimate.
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