Last month my meter/delivery charges were MORE than the cost of fuel. I expect this in in the summer, but now it's happening in winter also.

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I'd check with your state's utility commission.  If the utility is investor owned,  nearly of the utilities will have provided rate/tariff information and will have requested approval for the delivery fee.

Keystone is not the issue for NG,  and I would assume that Oklahoma has natural gas wells that can provide for most of the in state consumption.  That probably means that the fee have jumped in anticipation of some kind of major distribution system upgrade / replacement.   Remember that the gas lines don't last forever.  I've seen  downtown city blocks (Bozeman MT about five years ago) leveled by natural gas leak the resulting explosion when restaurant owner turned on a light.   If the lines are 70+ years old, they may be starting the process to replace and refresh the distribution system.

I have similar problem in Seattle area - but with sewer.  Water rate is peanuts,  the sewer is almost 3X the water bill.  The big difference is the sewer system upgrades.  The sewer system also handles the water run off from streets.  If you live in an urban area, work in an urban area or drive through an urban area - the infrastructure (roads) - are one of the contributors to the sewer system... especially in a part of the country with lots of rain.

Many areas of the country will also see jumps in their electric service fees also as a result of the need to replace and upgrade equipment.  Again, remember much of our energy infrastructure was built out in the 30's through 50's,  and now the lines are nearing end of life.

The gas itself does in fact come from Oklahoma, that's the reason it's so cheap. It's getting the NG from the wells to your house that's expensive. With NG deliverly fees becoming so expensive some are switching to all-electric homes and using heat pumps. For high performance homes the NG deliver fees are a large portion of the homes overall utility costs.

Yes we are dealing with sewer charges higher than water also. Fortunately summer sewer charges are based on winter water use. The city assumes the rest of summer consumption is for watering lawns/filling pools/etc.

We are in the central valley of CA. Just moved to a different, older house and got the first urility bills.

Water 20.00
Garbage 22.00
Sewer 50.00 expensive town to take a dump in!

Gas, PGE


Dont use t he old gas floor furnace. Dont trust it to be safe or efficient at all. We use 3 radiant heaters for heat. Gas clothes dryer, gas stove and gas water heater.

The electric bill had a "Customer vharge"" of 50.00 on it. They said that was a stansard charge everyone paid tyhat covered the companies staff, vehicles, repairs to thge lines, oprtating costs. Actual energy usage, 103.00

That's my first months bills on a 1940s house, stucco and plaster and I suspect no in in the walls.

SInce you have other gas appliances in the house,  multiple CO detectors is a good idea and a must.  Gas fired furnaces pretty much keep their original efficiency (it can vary a little) through most of their lives.  So long as they were properly installed.   High efficiency (condensing) furnaces may have a somewhat higher drop off near their end-of-life.. and when it happens it happens pretty quickly.

With a 1940's house,  stucco and plaster,  the building envelop has got to be pretty leaky.  

Condensing furnaces are somewhat "forced" to be at least 90%, otherwise the flue gasses will melt the inducer and PVC venting. If flue gasses do get that hot, I guess it's "end of life" for the furnace...

The point of a condensing furnace is to EXTRACT as much heat as you can from the fuel.   The flue temperatures at the inducer stays below about 80F.  The failure modes for the condensing furnaces, are part wear out of the motors (fan and blower),  control board failure, in some cases exchanger rust through  or in my 27 year old furnace... the condensate finally started to eat through the metal interfaces between the internal condensate drip pan and the piping for the condensate air block.   I have great pictures of the failure... engineers like to take apart things when they die.

If the inducer fan fails,  the differential pressure between the top of the furnace where the flame enters the chamber and the bottom by  the inducer -- reverses.. All the furnaces have a differential switch that will disable the furnace until repaired when that occurs.

I've seen more combustion box/flue problems with old furnaces that depended only on draft then the more modern condensing furnaces.

Rust or corrosion of the heat exchangers was a problem for some manufacturers - and resulted in warranty claims.  Condensing furnaces should be able to make 20+ years.

Below 80F? Maybe on some of the newer 95%+ condensing furnaces. Older 90% models are still 100f-120f. None can be over 140f because that's the temp the flue gasses condense at. Agreed, corrosion is there worst enemy. Let the condenser drain properly after each cycle and they will last a LONG time.

I routinely measured the flue temps of my old furnace multiple times over the years before it was replaced.  It was a Payne Plus 90,  the flue temps never were above 100F,  they were down in the 80-90's... and it was perhaps 92% efficient... if that.

The inducer motor ran hotter than the flue gas temps!

Our delivery fee in the Seattle area is effectively $4.06/Dth,  the basic service charge is $10.29,  the fuel cost is $5.90/Dth.  

Utilities generally sign longer term contracts for the natural gas supplies,  the supply line cost are spread over large areas such that the price region across the Western US is fairly close.   The northwest receives NG from Canada,  California produce natural gas and also receives gas from the midwest (OK) and TX. The mountain states can receive their gas supplies from the south, midwest,  Canada, MT and ND.

The delivery fee is likely to represent the cost of profit for the utility, their capital recovery (distribution system), and operation maintenance.  OM would include piping, pumps, meters, etc... much of that is the same across the country..

Again,  the utility would have filed their rates and tariffs, the justification for the charges,  with your utility commission.

You would think there would be more than 33 cents difference in the delivery fee since the NG only travels about 100 miles to get from NW Oklahoma (most of the drilling is done there) to OKC.

The big gas lines are pretty high pressure and serve a lot of different industries.  The cost of moving the gas through the high pressure lines is actually pretty low... and it is generally a different company than your local gas company.  The fuel fee may include some of the recovery costs for the big gas supplier in it.   Remember those are two different fees, with two different companies involved.  (The parent company may be the same - but it is probable the delivery and high pressure portions of the gas network are at very least different operating units).

Sort version:  The price of gas is market driven -- there are many suppliers competing for your utility's business.  The local distribution network is a monopoly.  Do you have a choice among local distribution networks?


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