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"Removing the Element of Surprise"
Are you the type of person who doesn't like to take risks? Does wondering about your monthly cents-per-therm for natural gas cause you anxiety? Are you worried that you won't be able to pay other bills because your gas bill is "out of this world?" Remove the element of surprise - enroll in a fixed rate plan with your natural gas marketer.
Q1. What is a fixed rate plan?
A. A fixed rate plan allows you to contract with your marketer for natural gas to be billed at the same cents-per-therm for a specified period of time (usually 12 months) and the same customer service charge. A termination/cancellation fee may be assessed if a consumer breaks the contract before the plan's term expires. This fee does not, generally, exceed $100. Written notification nearing the expiration of the fixed rate plan is provided which includes the price-per-therm for the new period, as well as explain options that may be available, including switching to another marketer.
Q2. Does this mean my gas bill will not change from month-to-month?
A. No, it does not. Please don't confuse a fixed rate plan with budget billing, as many consumers often do. Under a fixed rate plan, your bill may increase or decrease monthly based solely upon the amount of gas you consumed during the billing cycle.
Q3. How can I maintain control over my bill?
A. Reading your meter periodically throughout the course of the month can help you track your usage. Also, conserving the amount of natural gas you use will help keep bills at a manageable level.
Q4. What information should I expect to receive from my marketer when I sign up for a fixed rate plan?
A. Upon enrollment, you will receive a terms and conditions statement accompanied by a disclosure statement. These documents provide details about the plan in which you have enrolled. Read the information immediately and carefully. You have three days from receipt to cancel the request without penalty.
Q5. How would I know whether a fixed rate plan is right for me?
A. If you answered "yes" to the questions posed at the beginning of this advisory or if you don't like being surprised when you receive your natural gas bill, then a fixed rate plan may be right for you. Enrolling in such a plan shields you from unexpected spikes in natural gas prices.
Q6. Who do I contact for further information?
A. If you have questions about any marketer's fixed rate plan, contact that marketer for answers. You may obtain a list of marketers' contact information on our website at www.psc.state.ga.us.
If you require additional assistance after contacting your marketer, please click here to contact the Georgia Public Service Commission's Consumer Affairs Unit.