GREENSBORO, N.C. — Did your recent Piedmont Natural Gas bill seem higher than usual?
Several people have reached out to 2 Wants to Know wondering about what seemed like a higher bill for the month of December. We reached out to Piedmont Natural Gas to find out.
A representative told us "the most significant factor in bill fluctuation is very often usage, and cold weather typically increases the amount of natural gas that a residential customer consumes."
The weather change between the months of November and December is a key factor, according to PNG.
"November of 2020 was significantly warmer than normal - about 30% warmer," wrote a company rep. "And December was much closer to average for the month – about 3% colder than normal, so we saw much higher usage from our customers across the board in December, often two to three times higher than the month before."
The statement went on to read, "If customers did not run their furnace much in November, the abrupt switch to normal December temperatures would be quite noticeable as they compared bills."
"For a long-term perspective, in a comparison of December 2017 to December 2020, residential customer costs increased a modest 0.3% over the three-year period."
You might also notice a bump in your bill because a previous credit expired.
Piedmont Natural Gas wrote, "For the past 13 months, Piedmont has been crediting customers in their monthly bills for an over-collection of funds due to federal tax reform. The refund is complete, and that credit is no longer being applied to customer bills.
PNG said it investigates cases where customers ask for their meter to be checked. In the majority of cases, they found nothing wrong that would significantly impact a customer’s bill," said a statement. "No issues with incorrect meter readings."
PNG said on-site inspections are generally scheduled for the next available day, usually within 2-3 days.
What can help?
- Registering for Piedmont’s Equal Payment Plan can help customers by spreading their payments out evenly for the entire year, meaning they will not be surprised by a high bill in the winter.
- Customers also can lower their bills by monitoring and managing their energy usage. Piedmont offers helpful tips for ways customers can manage their usage.
We want to ensure our customers know about available assistance:
- Piedmont encourages customers to take advantage of the company’s payment programs to help manage natural gas bills.
- Piedmont offers payment arrangements to allow customers to pay off their outstanding balance over time.
- Customers can set up payment arrangements by logging into their account at piedmontng.com at any time or by calling 800.752.7504 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Piedmont urges eligible customers to take advantage of available financial support through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Crisis Intervention Program and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds available through statewide community action agencies.