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GAS EMERGENCIES

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Effective March 1, 2018, Unitil’s Maine Gas Division is reducing natural gas distribution rates following a rate proceeding filed in May 2017. These rates reflect the costs to provide safe and reliable gas service, while also accounting for decreases in costs, such as the recent federal tax cut. The net effect of the March 1 changes will result in a decrease of 0.2 percent for typical residential heating customers, though impacts will vary by class and usage. 

Customers will also now be billed in therms used rather than ccf’s of gas used. This will allow customers to be billed on the energy they are consuming rather than volume of gas used, which can vary depending on the BTU content of the gas provided.  

Note that in your March statement, usage prior to March 1 is still billed in ccfs at the previous rate, while usage after March 1 will be billed at the new reduced rate in therms:

Future energy statements, beginning in April, will display usage charges in therms moving forward. Sample bills will be provided on our website as that date approaches. 

If you would like more information, please contact our Customer Service Team toll-free at 866-933-3821.


Frequently Asked Questions

Answer:

Unitil is improving the way you are billed. Natural gas can have differing heat values depending on from where it is sourced.  Gas from one supply source may have more or less heat value than from another source. Customers will now be billed for the amount of energy (therms) provided by the natural gas you consume instead of the volume (ccf) of natural gas consumed.

Answer:

Currently, all other gas distribution companies in Maine bill on a per therm basis.  In addition, all natural gas customers in New Hampshire, including those in Unitil’s New Hampshire and Massachusetts gas divisions, also are billed on a per therm basis.  The conversion from ccfs to therms will make Unitil’s Maine gas division billing consistent with all other gas distributors in the region.

Answer:

Ccf: A volumetric measure of natural gas. It represents the amount of gas contained in a space equal to one hundred cubic feet.

Therm: A measurement of energy, or heat, equal to 100,000 BTU (British thermal units). The same volume of gas may contain different amounts of energy.

BTU: The amount of heat it takes to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

Answer:

March 1, 2018.

Answer:

Rates were recalculated in order to assure that this unit change from ccf to therms is accurately reflected in bills. At the same time, Unitil’s distribution rates also changed effective March 1, 2018. The overall result of this change in distribution rates is a small decrease in customer bills.  

Answer:

For residential heating customers, the customer charge will decrease from $25.11 to $25.06.  The distribution rate will change from $0.4599 for the first 40 ccf to $0.4555 for the first 40 therms. For usage over 40 therms, the distribution rate will change from $0.3520 per ccf to $0.3343 per therm.  The impact of this rate change on a typical residential customer’s annual bill is a decrease of about $1.20 or 0.2 percent. This change in distribution rates reflects the cost to provide service to customers while also accounting for decreases to those costs, like the recent federal tax cut.  

Answer:

Your March bill will show usage and rates in both ccfs and therms.  This is because the conversion to therms takes place on March 1st whereas most March bills will also include some February usage.  For instance, if your bill cycle ends on the 15th of March, then only those 15 days will appear on your bill as being in therms.  For all other days of that billing cycle, which occurred in February, the units and charges will be in ccfs. After March, all monthly invoices will be solely in therms.

Answer:

No. Meters will continue to measure customer’s natural gas consumption in ccfs. The conversion from ccfs to therms will be reflected on customers' bills, not the meter.

Answer:

There are several benefits to converting to therms.  First, therm billing assures customers are being billed for the energy they are using rather than the volume. Second, therm billing aligns the way customers are billed with the same way Unitil purchases gas in the marketplace, in therms. Third, the EnergyGuide and Energy Star labels appearing on household gas appliances are based in therms so this change will make it easier for customers to compare appliances.

Answer:

To convert your usage to therms, Unitil will multiply the BTU value of the gas by the volume of gas (ccf) consumed that month. Example: 1.05 BTU x 100 ccf/month = 105 therms. As another example, if the BTU value was 0.95, your bill would reflect 0.95 BTU x 100 ccf/month = 95 therms.

Answer:

The BTU value of the natural gas that the Company purchases is measured using tools such as a chromatograph or calorimeter. These devices are calibrated on a monthly basis to ensure that they are accurately measuring the BTU content of the gas.

Answer:

BTU values can change. The BTU conversion factor will be updated every month with the most recent BTU values of our gas supply.

Answer:

The heat content of natural gas does not change while being distributed to your home.

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