Monday, December 07, 2009

I hate natural gas

Or maybe I hate Atlanta Gas Light Company or the Georgia Public Service Commission, or a combination thereof.

I had natural gas years ago and have had it again for a little over a year. Back when, AGLC had a monopoly and made the most of it, gas was expensive. Sometime back, Georgia decided to open up the gas market with "competition." So we have a host of "marketers."

I got my monthly bill today and had the same reaction I have every month. Grimacing and sotto voce swearing.

I only use gas for hot water and heat. So far the winter is very mild. Showers and a couple of loads in the dishwasher a week are it for hot water (clothes get washed in cold water).

Bills over the summer months averaged $33-34.00. Today's bill is $39.00 reflecting furnace usage. How much of that is gas? I used 17.3 therms of gas in November at 83.29 cents a therm for a total of $14.41. The rest of the bill is for "Customer Service Fees" and "AGLC Base Charges," the latter of which exceeds the gas cost.

So, you say, vote with your feet, move to one of the other marketers. But, they all market the the same gas, supplied by AGLC, merely adding their overhead and profit to the passed on overhead and profit charged by AGLC. The only competition is in the therm rate, pennies on the dollar.

At least I only have to look at it once a month.

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