How to Read the Natural Gas Bill

What should you do when you get your natural gas bill?

First, open the envelope and read the bill. Don't let it lie around. You have only a limited time to pay the bill. In Illinois, the payment due date cannot be less than 21 days after the date of the postmark of the bill. You pay more if you pay late. Look on your bill. Sometimes the utility company lists what the late payment charge will be if you pay after the due date.

It pays to pay promptly! When you look at your bill, it will look similar to the one below:

Service Location (address)
Phone Number
Issue Date

Customer Service:1 -toll-free number

Account Number
Type: Residential -x

Meter Reading      

Current Reading
Previous Reading



Conversion to Therms: 174 x 1.023 Btu factor+ = 178.0 Therms
Delivery Charges     $19.23
Monthly Customer Charge   = $6.45  

First 20 Therms
21-50 Therms
51 + Therms
Environmental Recovery Cost

20.00 @.2012
30.00 @ .1117
128.00 @.0374
178.00 @ .0035

= $4.02
= $3.35
= $4.79
= $ .62

Taxes     $ 4.28

State Tax
Utility Fund Tax

178 @.024
178 @.10%
= $4.27
= $ .01
Natural Gas Cost     $43.57

178 Therms x.2448

  = $43.57  
Payment Information      

One Month Total
Previous account balance
Payment rec'd, thank you

Total     $67.08

Terms on Your Bill

Meter Reader means a meter reader took your reading.

Estimated Meter Reading (EST) is an estimate of usage. It occurs when an actual meter reading cannot be made. It is based on the customer's previous usage.

Conversion to Therms is the basic unit for the amount of natural gas you use. The amount of therms you use is multiplied by the BTU factor. The BTU factor describes the actual heat value of the gas the company supplies.

Delivery Charges cover the company fixed and variable operating and distribution costs.

Monthly Customer Charge is a fixed charge that covers a portion of the company cost to make service available.

Environment Cost covers the company cost for the environmental monitoring. The cost covers clean up of former gas plants in your service area.

Natural Gas Cost is the price the company pays their suppliers for the natural gas delivered to your home. The price changes every month. It is filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission.

State Utility Gas Revenue Tax is not a sales tax. The State of Illinois mandates to fund the Illinois Commerce Commission, which regulates all utilities. Municipal Utility Tax is a charge some municipalities levied based on utility revenue. Municipality charge Gas Use Tax based on your gas use. Your local municipality collects this tax.

Energy Profile - Degree-Day are an estimate of the amount of natural gas used for heating on days when the average of the day's high and low temperatures drop below 65 degrees.

Payment Plans

Convenient Payment Plan allows customers to build up credit balance in the warmer months. The earned interest can cushion the impact of the winter heating bills.

Automatic Payment Plan allows customers to use an automatic payment plan that electronically withdrawn from either a checking or savings account on a fixed day.

Written by Susan Taylor, Consumer and Family Economics Educator, University of Illinois Extension, Manteno Extension Center.

Edited by Katherine J. Reuter, Consumer and Family Economics Educator, Countryside Extension Center.

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