Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Joys of Budget Billing

For years Dominion East Ohio, previous East Ohio Gas, offered budget billing to its customers. This allows us to average the $300+ bill in January with the $20 in July. Although some complain about the $1000+ bill at the end of the year, I & my family have never had a problem with it. Dominion has also gotten better at estimating, and adjusts the budget quarterly instead of annually as the did.

One downside though is it takes awhile for them to figure out things have changed. I had my furnace replaced a few years back. I went from what was estimated at an 80,000 BTU gravity furnace to a 20,000 (as I recall) BTU high-efficiency forced air furnace. The first winter my budget as $125/month, in part because of expected high energy cost from hurricane Katrina. The spike in price never happened. Add in a mild winter & my keeping the house on the cool side (65 while I am there, 60 while I'm not) and I built up a bit of a credit.

In fact since I have yet to get a replacement dryer my current bill is < $20. I just checked and I still have a $300+ credit on my bill. And that is after NOT paying anything for at least 4 months, and only paying $25 on my budget before that. I'm guessing I will finally catch up this winter, unless they do something wild with my budget again.

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