The Georgia natural gas market has evolved quite a bit over the last twenty years. It has gone from being regulated in 1997, to a deregulated market that allows for customers to select their own natural gas provider. But there is much more nuanced than just that admittedly big change. Customers suddenly had options for different providers, each with different prices, different customer service policies, and more. Over time, those options began to include different term lengths for plans. Georgia has flirted with “green” natural gas too. As time passed, the plan options became as varied as the different companies offering natural gas to customers. Over time, the number of different options for consumers and their different value propositions to customers has dramatically increased, and that is a wonderful thing for the average Georgia natural gas consumer.
Then again, the number of options can also be confusing to customers as well. Recently, there have been a rash of different kinds of plans gaining popularity in Georgia, and while they all might sound similar, they can mean drastically different things to customers. Anyone paying attention to different gas plans or advertising in Georgia recently might have heard some the following terms: Budget Billing or Flat Bill. These things may sound similar, but they’re hardly the same at all.
Budget Billing is set around the idea that you will pay the same amount for your gas bill each month. As the name says, this is to allow consumers the dependability and peace of mind of being able to know what their natural gas bill is going to look like each month. It’s a great concept, and it allows customers to not have to sweat what their utilities might cost each month when they have other bills that will always be variable, like electricity bills, or gasoline, or groceries. There is a catch, however. Specifically, as it relates to Budget Billing, it isn’t just a free ticket to be able to spend whatever you want on natural gas. The concept is to give customers a baseline, but not a license to spend. At the end of a customer’s budget billing term, depending on the usage, there is a chance that they might have to pay their gas provider a “true up.” A true up is essentially an industry term for “paying the difference of their bills.” In other words, if their budget bill expected to pay for approximately 500 therms a month, and instead the customer used double that amount, the gas company could come back and say, “you owe us money.” So, Budget Billing can be a great tool for planning, and for people who control their natural gas usage and don’t often run into too many surprises.
So, with all that out of the way, what is a Flat Bill? A Flat Bill is similar in that a customer pays the exact same monthly flat bill amount every month, so there are no monthly surprises. The difference between a flat plan and budget billing, however, is that flat plans don’t come with any true ups at the end of the contract term. If a customer’s flat bill rate is $40, and they use $100 worth of natural gas, they pay $40. However, if their bill rate is $40 and they’re out of the country for a month and only use $5 of natural gas, well, their bill is still $40. But at the end of their contract, they don’t have to worry about writing a potentially big check to their natural gas provider because they used too much energy heating their home during the winter. That’s the advantage of a flat bill; there are no surprises and no outstanding balances at the end of the term.
Georgia Natural Gas, the #1 provider as rated by Georgia Gas Savings for 2020, is offering a flat bill plan called the Guaranteed BillSM Plan. With the Guaranteed Bill Plan, your monthly bill amount won’t change, regardless of changes in natural gas prices or weather for a year. Yes, even in the winter!
With this plan, there are no settlements or deferred amounts at the end of the plan term, ever. It’s truly a locked in plan with a bill amount that doesn’t change. With the Guaranteed Bill Plan you “lock-in” a flat monthly amount and there is no true up. Similar to locking in a fixed rate, you are taking one step further toward certainty and locking in your bill amount instead. GNG offers a 12-month plan year-round and a 6-month plan during the winter.
If this is something that sounds interesting to shoppers, they might want to investigate further and check out GNG’s Guaranteed Bill plans for themselves. According to them, 77,000 customers have already selected the Guaranteed Bill plan, so it appears there is certainly interest in the AGL market for a flat plan offering like the one they’re offering.
Get your free estimate today at https://www.georgiagassavings.com/plans/georgia-natural-gas/details/guaranteed-bill .