And Why am I Paying It?
Energy prices have already reached eye-watering heights this season. So we know all you natural gas customers are scrutinising your power bills with a real fine-toothed comb. The rate looks good, you’ve locked in the best provider… But wait! What’s this dang AGL pass through charge? Why am I paying it? And who’s AGL anyway? Let’s have a look…
Why This Charge if I’m not Using Gas?
The thing to remember as a natural gas customer is that you’re not just paying for the gas you use. You’re also paying to get the darn stuff to your house! And that’s the job of Atlanta Gas Light (AGL), who owns and operates the natural gas pipeline network. Subsequently, they pass on some of their operational costs between the people who benefit from their infrastructure. That includes you, the customer!
Now for efficiency’s sake, AGL doesn’t send that cost to you in a whole separate bill. Instead they send it to your provider, who ‘passes it through’ to you by tacking it onto your monthly bill. Hence, ‘pass through charge’ – although you might see it referred to as a base charge, or an AGL charge.
But you won’t see a detailed breakdown of these operational costs in your bill. So let’s take a look at them here.
AGL Pass Through Charge Breakdown
Here’s what goes into your pass through charge:
- Customer Charge: this is a fixed monthly cost that pays for your home’s gas connection
- Ancillary Service: this covers the cost of meter readings
- Firm Distribution Charge*: the cost of getting gas delivered to your home
- Peaking Service*: this covers the cost of operating AGL’s storage facilities above ground on the coldest day of winter (and only applies if you’re in the Valdosta, Macon, or Atlanta delivery areas)
- Social responsibility fee: this is a contribution towards the cost of funding AGL’s senior citizen discount program (it doesn’t apply if you receive this discount yourself!)
- Environmental Response Cost Charge*: this is your contribution towards any costs incurred by environmental clean-ups carried out by gas plant sites
- Franchise Recovery Fee*: this covers the fees AGL has to pay to your local governments if they want to put facilities and gas lines on public rights-of-way.
*All these are affected by your home’s Dedicated Design Day Capacity (DDDC). Now, I bet you’re dying to know…
What’s a Dedicated Design Day Capacity (DDDC)?
Your DDDC represents the common cost of getting gas to your home. AGL bases it on the demand your household places on the system on the coldest day of the year.
By having it factor into these four components of the base charge, AGL can ensure that customers putting a greater strain on the system contribute more than those using it less.
And finally, the extent to which your DDDC affects the base charge will change month to month, too. It will cost a little less in summer, and a little more in winter. But that’s just so it aligns better with your seasonal bill patterns.
AGL Pass Through Charge, Explained!
In conclusion, if this all sounds a little dizzying – don’t worry! You can calculate your home’s pass through charge using AGL’s handy spreadsheet, if you like. But what is the AGL pass through charge most importantly? Since AGL has a monopoly on gas delivery, it’s just something you have to budget in.
And you can find more money-saving tips to help you do that at www.GeorgiaGasSavings.com!