Bill averaging will prevent large spikes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bill averaging will prevent large spikes

September 25, 2006

Albany -- Saturday was the first day of fall. Although we haven't seen a lot of relief from the heat yet, we will soon.   But as the temperature gets lower,  your utility bill could get higher as you warm your home.

How can you plan ahead to pay that bill? What if it was the exact same every month?

It was a hot sultry summer, and it could be a cold, frigid winter. To keep warm, you'll keep that heater or furnace running. A new billing plan through Water, Gas and light will let you pay the same price every month, regardless of how much energy you use.

"For the first time, you'll get a flat fee that you'll pay each month so that you can put it in your monthly budget, just like you would do your car payment, or your mortgage or your rent," says WG&L's Lori Farkas. 

If you've been a Water, gas and light customer for 12 months at the same residence, your bills for the past year will be averaged out. The average is what you'll pay for the next 12 months. "During the winter months, when other people are paying $300-$400, and they're still paying $100, $150, and then in the summer when people are paying very high bills they're still paying that flat fee," said Farkas.

That doesn't mean you won't have to pay the difference, if there is one, but you won't be hit with it in one bill at the end of the year either. "Let's just pretend you owed us $100, we would spread that amount over the 12 months, so there's no true up at the end of the 12 months like other utility companies do."

The new program begins November 1st, but you can call today to find out what you'll have to pay.

The only requirement for you to be enrolled in budget billing is that you have been a customer of WG&L at the same residence for the past twelve months.

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