From the early days, gas utilities measured and sold gas by volume. Most gas meters have 4 digits, the smallest of which shows 100 cubic feet, or one CCF.
All fuel prices increased dramatically in the 1970's. Utilities switched to selling gas on the basis of heating value. One British Thermal Unit (or BTU) is the amount of heat needed to raise one pound (pint) of water by 1°F. One BTU is about the energy produced by burning a wooden match.
- Residential Service for use in a living unit.
- Commercial Service for use in commerce, industry or enterprise
- Large Commercial Service for users with meters larger than 500 cfh
There isn't a practical way to directly measure the potential energy of gas like an electrical meter shows kilowatt-hours. Gas utilities measure volume and calculate heating value. Most gas meters read in CCF, and 1 ccf of natural gas at sea level will burn to produce about 100,000 BTU. Today, the most common utility sales unit is now a THERM, or 100k BTU.
Pinedale is at 7200 ft elevation, where the atmospheric pressure is only 11.3 psi, or 77% of sea level (14.73 psi). The pressure in your meter is 1/4 psi above atmospheric pressure. The gas pressure is lower, so there are fewer gas molecules packed into the meter, as compared with a meter at sea level.
Gas supplied to Pinedale has small amounts of propane and butane, and is "hotter" than normal gas. With 23% lower density but 10% higher heating value, the gas averages about 85,000 BTU per CCF. The metered volume of gas is adjusted with a "Heating Factor" for correct pressure and BTU value, so that PNG sells all gas by the Therm.
A Sample PNG bill and a calculation breakdown:
Service from / to
Last 2 meter reading dates
1.5% interest on previous unpaid balance
For any unpaid balance more than 30 days delinquent, PNG is authorized to charge 1.5% interest per month and can start the disconnection process. There is a re-connection fee if your gas has been disconnected or turned off at your request.
The State of Wyoming has a Low Income Energy Assistance and Weatherization Program (LIEAP) to provide help with energy costs:
- Heating Assistance for the months of November through May.
- Crisis Assistance to eligible clients who are facing an emergency situation in paying utility bills.
- Weatherization Assistance also funded by the Department of Energy, to make your home more energy efficient. Weatherization includes monitoring for unsafe conditions such as carbon monoxide, poor ventilation and wiring; tuning the heating system, sealing air leaks and insulating buildings and pipes.
Contact the local County Dept of Family Services at 367-4124 or go to http://dfsweb.wyo.gov/economic-assistance/lieap for more information, or call 307-472-4221 or 800-246-4221.
PNG cannot sign you up for LIEAP.
Other utility information is available from the Wyoming Public Service Commission.