Understanding Your Home Heating Bill When It Looks Like It’s In Another Language

These days, just about everybody is looking for ways to control energy costs. If you’re one of those people — and you probably are — a good look at your energy bill is a smart way to start. Whether your heating system is powered by natural gas or electricity, understanding the charges that appear on your heating bill will help you understand consumption — and ways to save.

Some utility companies in the San Antonio area, including CPS Energy, provide both gas and electric service. Home heating bills typically include these types of charges for both electricity and natural gas:

  • Service availability: This charge covers costs associated with metering and billing. It’s typically a set amount, which means it doesn’t change, despite how much or how little energy your home consumes every month.
  • Energy charge: This covers costs incurred by the utility that are related to fuel-plant operation, electricity distribution, fuel lines, payroll and so forth.
  • Fuel adjustment: This charge helps the utility recover costs associated with any rise in energy prices, which can fluctuate greatly from month to month.
  • Cost: The lowest price utility companies can charge for baseline usage in the average home is called the baseline charge. When your household consumes energy over this amount, you’ll be charged at a higher rate.

Saving energy

Over several billing cycles, paying attention to energy consumption can help you identify seasonal changes and requirements for home heating. Effective ways to save include:

  • Identifying ways to stay within your baseline usage amount.
  • Scheduling a home energy audit to identify areas that are subject to energy loss.
  • Upgrading your heating system when it becomes inefficient.
  • Sealing your home’s air leaks to prevent heat loss.
  • Installing insulation in areas where heat movement occurs through your home’s envelope.
  • Installing a programmable thermostat to limit how much the furnace runs and maintain comfortable but energy-saving settings.

For expert advice when it comes to saving energy, contact Beyer Boys. We’ve served greater San Antonio homeowners since 1990. Give us call, or visit our website for more information.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, visit our website.