How Can I Avoid Hidden Charges on my Energy Bill?
So you’ve shopped around on www.georgiagassavings.com. You’ve compared the best natural gas plan and the best incentives. Good. And so now you’re ready to tackle a hot and energy-expensive season… Well, bad news Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) customers: you can’t stop here. Hidden fees and sneaky small-print in provider Terms of Service could see you rack up over $100 a year in additional fees. That’ll cancel out all the careful savings you made, and put unnecessary strain on your wallet.
The good news is, we can help! You just need to know what fees are out there, and how to plan around them. For that reason, we’ve located three main hidden charges that trip up a lot of customers, and ways you can stay away from them.
Customer Service Charges
You’ll notice that the monthly recurring charge on our site (also called ‘customer service charge’ by some providers) is sometimes given as a range – say, $5.95 to $9.95. Now watch out, because $5.95 is great, but pushing $10 is going to add up fast. These heftier service charges are usually levied based on location or credit score. So check in advance with the provider. You might even qualify for a concession!
Late Payment Fees
Even a day’s delay in payment could incur significant penalty charges. You’ll be given a flat cost by your provider, or a percentage of your monthly bill: “whichever is greater.” If it becomes a habit, this can really add up over time. So consider setting up automated payments, or at least schedule memos and prompts in advance so it doesn’t slip your mind.
Gas Plan Roll-Over Rates
By law, at least 60 days your plan expires, even if it’s on a fixed rate, your provider is required to send you notifications about what your options are. Don’t throw out these notifications. Don’t ignore them, either. That’s because if you don’t respond to your provider, they may automatically roll you over into a plan with a variable rate. This could prove costly, especially over winter. This is because variable rates are usually significantly more expensive – and certainly less predictable. Read your provider’s Terms of Service is on this and make a specific plan for what to do when your plan is about to expire.
How to Dodge Hidden Fees
It’d be a shame to see your savings disappear because of a few sneaky gas plan charges. So stay vigilant! Read the Terms of Service and provider websites carefully to avoid hidden surprises. Call your provider’s customer service to verify any ambiguous-sounding charges in advance. Put a system in place to prompt or ensure timely payment. And make sure you plan ahead for your plan’s expiry. Keep in mind these 3 sneaky gas plan things to avoid in GA, and you’ll be protecting your well-saved money for the real important things this summer.