How Often Do You Pay Gas Bill

How Often Do You Pay Your Gas Bill? A Complete Guide

Paying your gas bill is an essential aspect of homeownership and an important recurring expense to budget for. But how often you actually pay this bill can vary depending on your gas company, location, and plan. Getting familiar with the billing cycles and payment frequencies in your area empowers you to better manage this cost.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore common gas bill payment schedules, average costs, and tips to save Read on for everything you need to know about how often you can expect to pay your gas bill

Key Takeaways:

  • Most gas companies bill customers every month or every other month,

  • The average monthly gas bill in the U.S. is around $80.

  • You can lower your gas bill by taking steps like turning down your thermostat, sealing drafts, and upgrading appliances.

  • Budget billing plans even out payments, while prepay lets you pay-as-you-go.

How Frequently Are Gas Bills Issued?

Generally, you’ll receive a gas bill either monthly or bimonthly from your local gas utility company. Here’s an overview of common gas bill frequencies:

  • Monthly billing: Get a bill every month based on that period’s usage. This is the most common.

  • Bimonthly billing: Receive a bill every other month. Usage from both months is combined.

  • Quarterly billing: Get a bill once per quarter, lumping 3 months together. Less common.

  • Prepay: Load money to your account in advance and draw down as you use gas.

  • Budget billing: Pay a flat rate each month based on past average usage.

Monthly billing tends to be the most widespread, allowing customers to regularly monitor their gas usage. However, bimonthly plans let you stretch out payments, while budget plans help even out seasonal spikes in gas use.

Some companies also give you the flexibility to choose your preferred billing frequency. Compare all the options to pick the best gas bill schedule for your household.

What’s the Average Monthly Cost of Gas Bills?

According to the American Gas Association, the average American household spent $964 on natural gas in 2021. That breaks down to about $80 per month. However, your individual gas bill can vary based on usage, gas market prices, and your location.

Here are some key factors that influence the amount of your monthly gas bill:

  • House size – Larger homes typically use more gas.

  • Climate – Colder regions have higher gas bills, especially in winter.

  • Gas appliances – More gas-powered devices mean higher consumption.

  • Energy efficiency – Poor insulation and outdated appliances can drive up use.

  • Thermostat habits – Setting temperatures higher in winter boosts gas use.

  • Number of occupants – Large families use more hot water, heat, etc.

  • Billing days – Bills covering more days may be more expensive.

  • Rate changes – Market conditions impact cost per unit of gas.

  • Estimated reads – Actual meter readings give a more precise cost.

Understanding what goes into your gas costs helps you make informed choices about reducing your bill.

5 Tips to Save Money on Your Gas Bill

If your gas bills seem higher than you’d like, there are several ways you can save:

  1. Improve insulation and seal drafts – Preventing heat loss around doors, windows, attics, and basements means you don’t have to use as much gas for heating.

  2. Adjust thermostat settings – Keeping temperatures moderate can significantly cut gas consumption for heating and hot water.

  3. Upgrade appliances – Replace older furnaces, water heaters, stoves, etc. with more efficient ENERGY STAR models.

  4. Lower the temperature on your water heater – You can typically dial it down to 120°F.

  5. Inspect for leaks – Detect and repair any leaks in gas lines, which waste money.

Taking even small steps to use gas more efficiently provides big savings over time. And staying on top of your usage each billing cycle helps you pinpoint new ways to reduce waste.

What Are the Different Gas Bill Payment Options?

When it comes time to pay your gas bill, you’ll typically have several options:

  • Mail a check – Write a check payable to your gas company and mail it with your remittance stub.

  • Pay online – Most gas companies allow online payments through their website. E-checks or card payments are accepted.

  • Pay by phone – Many providers have an automated phone system for paying with a card or bank account.

  • Automatic bank draft – You can authorize recurring withdrawals from your bank account each month.

  • Budget billing – Make level monthly payments based on past average usage. Your account is reconciled periodically.

  • Prepaid – Add money to your account in advance, then it deducts as you use gas. Requires keeping a positive balance.

  • Pay in person – Take cash, check, or money order to an authorized payment location.

  • Debit/credit card – Some local utilities accept card payments through their office. Fees may apply.

Go paperless with e-billing and set up recurring payments or bank drafts for convenience. Just be sure to log in and review charges so unexpected spikes don’t go unnoticed.

How Do I Pay My Gas Bill If I Run Out of Money?

Having trouble covering an unusually high gas bill? You have options, but prompt payment helps avoid fees or service disruption.

  • Request an extension – Explain your situation and ask for a few more days to pay. One-time extensions are often allowed.

  • Enroll in budget billing – Making consistent payments can help you plan ahead.

  • Apply for aid – Federal, state, or local programs may offer bill assistance if you qualify.

  • Arrange a payment plan – Some utilities let you divide the balance into multiple installments.

  • Borrow from family or friends – They may be willing to loan you money just for the gas bill.

  • Use a credit card – This delays payment but incurs interest fees over time.

  • Take out a personal loan – Lenders like Payoff offer fixed-rate loans starting around 5.99% APR.

If you ultimately can’t pay, know that your service could be disconnected. But gas companies must follow certain rules before shutting off your gas, and service is restored once the past due amount is paid. Avoid the hassle by staying on budget with your gas costs.

How Do I Switch Gas Companies or Service Plans?

If you want to change local gas utility providers, that may not be possible depending on your area. Gas supply is regulated, so households generally can’t select alternate companies.

But you may be able to:

  • Compare rate plans – Some utilities offer different pricing structures or service options.

  • Choose an alternate fuel source – Switch to electric heat or a dual-fuel heating system.

  • Move residences – Relocating to a home served by a different gas company.

  • Go off the grid – Disconnect gas service and find alternate sources for heating, cooking, etc.

Before making big changes, calculate the costs. Eliminating gas may mean higher electric bills. And disconnecting gas service typically involves a fee.

Key Takeaways About Paying Your Gas Bill

  • Expect to receive a gas bill every month or every other month in general. Review it promptly.

  • Budget about $80 monthly for the average residential gas bill. Check for excess use.

  • Use payment options like autopay and budget billing to manage costs smoothly.

  • Explore discounts, financial assistance, payment plans, or loans if you can’t cover your bill.

  • Compare service plans or providers when available to potentially lower costs.

Understanding the billing and payment process for your gas service allows you to take control of this regular expense. Carefully monitoring your consumption and costs each cycle also ensures you catch billing errors or usage spikes before they become major budget issues. Reach out early if you ever struggle to pay your gas bill on time.

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How Often Do You Pay Gas Bill

Making Sense of Your Gas Bill

Your natural gas bill is generally divided into three categories: delivery charges, supply charges and taxes.

Delivery fees, such as the customer and distribution charges, cover the cost of getting gas to homes—plus a profit for the utility—and are set by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). The supply charge covers the cost of the actual gas. It varies monthly and is set by the market.

Natural gas usage is billed by the therm. One therm is roughly the amount of natural gas needed to run a typical residential furnace for one hour. Your gas meter measures the volume of gas in cubic feet, which is converted to therms on your bill.

A customer’s previous and current meter readings are listed on the bill, and the difference between the two is the gas usage for the current billing period.

Utilities should read a customer’s meter at least once every other month. But in the months your gas utility doesn’t visit your home, it will estimate your usage, based on last year’s usage for the same month, adjusted for weather.

Check your bill to make sure your usage is not being estimated more than two months in a row. If it is, call the utility, ask why it’s not reading the meter, and request an actual reading.

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Distribution charge The ICC sets the rate your utility charges you for delivering gas through its pipes. Gas usage is converted to therms and multiplied by the rate to come up with the charge. It’s also sometimes called the energy charge or the delivery charge.

Storage Service Charge Peoples and North Shore Gas bills include a separate line item to recover the cost of storing customers’ yearly supply of gas. Other utilities roll these storage costs into the distribution charge.

Customer charge This fee covers a company’s fixed service costs, such as billing and meter readings, that don’t vary with usage. It’s also called the basic service charge or the account charge.

Purchased gas adjustment charge Under the law, utilities don’t make a profit off this per-therm charge, which is used to pass along the price of gas that utilities pay on the market. The ICC doesn’t approve the charge in advance, but it does review the charge annually and can order a refund for customers if it finds the utilities weren’t using sound business practices to buy gas at a reasonable cost. Also called the cost of gas charge, natural gas cost, gas charge adjustment or gas supply charge.

Efficiency Program Covers the costs of energy efficiency and on-bill financing programs mandated by the Illinois General Assembly to help homes and businesses save money. Also called Gas Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery and Natural gas Savings Program.

Qualified Infrastructure Charge This legislatively approved fee (also known as Rider QIP) covers the costs of natural gas pipe improvements. Also called the “Qualifying Infrastructure Plant Surchg” or “Qual Infrastructure Charge.”

Volume Balancing Adjustment This ICC-approved per-therm adjustment provides the gas utility with a set amount of revenue to cover its delivery costs, regardless of usage. The formula for this adjustment ensures that weather extremes and other factors don’t result in an over- or under collection of gas revenue. As a result, the amount can be either a charge (if gas consumption is lower than expected) or a credit (if gas consumption is higher than expected).

State utility tax This charge is 5 percent of current charges before taxes or 2.4 cents per therm, whatever is lower. The tax also is called the public utility tax or the Illinois gas revenue tax.

Municipal tax Municipalities can impose their own utility taxes, but state law caps the amount they can collect. It’s also called a franchise tax.

Regulatory tax This tenth-of-a-cent tax helps fund the ICC, which regulates Illinois utilities. It’s also called the Illinois CC assessment, the Illinois gross revenue tax or the utility fund tax.

Environmental adjustment charge The ICC allows companies to charge customers for the cost of cleaning up toxic waste at old gas manufacturing sites. This per-therm charge also is called the environmental charge, the environmental activities adjustment, the environmental activities charge and the environmental recovery charge. Consumers with questions about their gas bills can call CUB’s Consumer Hotline at

Your Monthly Gas Bill: Understand Your Charges


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What if I need more time to pay my natural gas bill?

Need more time to pay your bill? Request a payment extension. We walk you through common terms and charges you might see on your monthly SoCalGas bill. Save time and money while helping the environment by paying through My Account. Learn about factors behind higher natural gas bills and how we can help you save.

How much to budget for gas a month?

One way to determine how much to budget for gas each month is to track your spending, then calculate the average monthly amount based on past bills. You may want to budget an amount that’s a bit higher than in the past, just in case the winter is especially cold or gas rates go up.

What is the average cost of a utility bill?

On average, electric utility bills are the highest, with an average cost of $131.35. On average, water bills are the lowest, with an average cost of $39.16. The average U.S. household spends $643.67 on utility bills monthly. While these states top the list for the highest utility bills, the impact of these costs goes beyond the raw numbers.

How long does a utility bill last?

While most utilities do budget billing for a year, where they have 11 months of you paying the same amount of money and then instituting a “settlement month,” your provider may readjust your budget billing in a shorter amount of time. Maliga says that some utility companies review their consumers’ usage quarterly.

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