Much like the rest of the nation, many Panhandle and South Plains residents are facing record-high energy costs.
Atmos Energy explains why some might have seen an increase in their bill and offers ways to help manage and lower that monthly cost.
“Atmos Energy is committed to delivering safe, reliable, and efficient natural gas to our valued customers, and we want to make you aware that the cost of all energy sources continues to rise,” states a news release from the utility company. “As a regulated utility, Atmos Energy does not earn a profit off the natural gas we deliver to customers, it is simply a pass-through cost on your monthly bill.”
According to the company, the cost of natural gas is a tradeable commodity that is driven by global supply and demand and can fluctuate in monthly cost based on current market conditions. These fluctuations then affect an individual’s monthly bill but do not include any added fees by the company and are not an addition made by the company but by the national supply cost.
“Natural gas is a ‘pass-through’ cost to our customers, meaning Atmos Energy does not add profit to the commodity and transportation costs are charged by suppliers. Oftentimes, the cost is influenced by world issues including the supply chain and demand,” said Michael Gonzales, public affairs manager for Atmos Energy.
Company official stated that billing is mostly configured from three overall costs including the amount of gas used for that billing period and cost of the natural gas, the delivery charge in supplying the natural gas, and taxes. Atmos officials said this breakdown can be seen on each individual’s bill and includes how much natural gas was used for that billing period, the current meter reading, a breakdown of charges and credits, the amount due, and messages from the company.
Some energy saving tips that natural gas customers can utilize this summer include:
- Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees or set your temperature dial to normal or medium. Water heating accounts for as much as 25% of the energy consumed in your home.
- Unplug electronic devices and turn off lights that are not in use.
- Reduce your shower time and take baths only when necessary. Showering and bathing can account for 40% of your home’s hot water use.
- Operate your clothes washer, dryer, and dishwasher only when fully loaded.
- If you have a pool, run your pool pump during the coldest part of the day to circulate the water and save on energy costs.
To help individuals during the fluctuations of current pricing, Atmos encourages consumers to use their budget billing plan to help make predictions of upcoming bills and help create a more even billing option including the winter months when most users see an increase in their monthly bill.
“In the winter, oftentimes costs can be affected by the home or structure’s insulation, so you want to make sure that windows and doors are closed. In order to prevent high usage, try to keep the thermostat at 68 degrees, and make sure that Your water heater is adjusted and not using too many resources and help lower that cost,” Gonzales said.
Atmos also accepts federal assistance funds through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), in addition to Atmos Energy’s Sharing the Warmth funds to help customers who are struggling with past-due balances. Atmos Energy’s Sharing the Warmth is a program that partners with 131 local agencies to offer program funds to eligible customers across the 1,400 communities that it serves.
For more information about the Atmos’s Budget Billing program or Sharing the Warmth visit them online at https://www.atmosenergy.com/