Billing Definitions

Gas Distribution Service Charge

Distribution Service Charge = Fixed Distribution (Base) Charge + Variable Distribution (Base) Energy Charge + Demand Charge (where applicable)

Together, the Fixed Distribution (Base) Charge, Variable Distribution (Base) Energy Charge, and where applicable, Demand Charge permit the utility to recover the cost of distributing natural gas to your residence or business. These costs include the cost of building, operating, and maintaining the gas distribution system.

These charges do not include the costs of providing default gas supply (see Fixed Default Supply Provider Charge), transporting gas through others' pipeline systems (see Third Party Transportation Charge) or the gas (see Gas Cost Recovery Charge).


Fixed Distribution (Base) Charge

The Fixed Distribution (Base) Charge is a daily fee to recover a portion of the cost of providing you gas distribution service regardless of the amount of energy used. This includes the cost of building, operating, and maintaining the system.


Variable Distribution (Base) Energy Charge

This fee is calculated based on a per unit rate times the amount of energy consumed. The Variable Distribution (Base) Energy Charge includes the balance of gas distribution service costs not covered by the Fixed Distribution (Base) Charge and Demand Charge.


Demand Charge

This fee applies only to our largest consumption customers using the Optional Demand General Service - Rate Nos. 3 or 13.

The determination of billing demand is shown in our Optional General Service - Demand rate description. However, in basic terms, billing demand is the amount of capacity over a 24-hour period that must be reserved for a customer's consumption requirements.

As a result, there is a charge based on the amount of capacity that must be reserved.


Other Gas Service Charges

Fixed Default Supply Provider Charge (Administration Fee)
The Fixed Default Supply Provider Charge is a daily fee to recover the cost incurred by AltaGas Utilities to be your default gas supply provider. This includes costs associated with customer service, billing, and collections, which do not vary with the amount of energy used.

Third Party Transportation Charge - Rider G
The variable energy charge referred to as the Third Party Transportation Charge permits the utility to recover the costs of transporting natural gas for our customers through pipelines owned by other companies.

Gas Cost Recovery Charge - Rider D
Gas Cost Recovery Rate History

The variable energy charge referred to as the Gas Cost Recovery Charge on your Statement permits the utility to recover the costs of acquiring gas supply for our customers, mainly the cost of gas itself. In Alberta, the utility is not permitted to earn any profit and is not permitted to apply any mark-up on the gas supplied to its customers. The utility's profit is restricted to the service of distributing the gas to its customers and is included as part of the Gas Distribution Service Charge (discussed above).

When natural gas wholesale prices were deregulated, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) recognized that natural gas prices were determined by a free market and that the utility companies had no control over natural gas prices or price changes. Accordingly, they established a deferred gas accounting (DGA) mechanism to ensure that customers pay neither more nor less than the actual costs incurred to purchase the natural gas they use. The DGA process and the Gas Cost Recovery rate, which is a product of this process, continue to be regulated by the AUC.

The Gas Cost Recovery Rate is based on an estimate of the price we expect to pay natural gas producers for gas supply each month.
Of course, the amount we spend on a day-to-day basis will not exactly match what we are collecting from our customers, since the amount we are collecting is based on a forecast price. Depending on actual market prices, we could be over or under collecting enough funds required to cover the costs of supplying the gas used by our customers. Any difference will be used to adjust the Gas Cost Recovery Rate in the following month.

If you are interested in our Budget Payment Plan to smooth out month-to-month fluctuations in your gas bills, please contact us toll-free at 1-866-222-2067.

Property and Franchise Fee - Riders A and B

Taxes levied against AltaGas Utilities’ land and buildings, linear property, machinery, and equipment are collected and paid in full to municipalities. Additional fees may also be collected and paid directly to your municipality in consideration of the exclusive grant of franchise and for the ability to put gas distribution facilities on land owned by your municipality.


Other Billing Definitions

Account No.
Your Account Number is a unique number that identifies your account with AltaGas Utilities Inc. Your account maintains information on charges and payments related to the services you receive.

Site ID/Premise
Your Site ID/Premise is a unique number that identifies your service site (the building or thing we provide natural gas distribution service to).

Customer Name
This is your name or the name of your business.

Service Address
This is the address where natural gas service is being provided to you. It may or may not be the same as the Mailing Address.

Statement Date
The Statement Date is the date the statement is printed and mailed to the mailing address.

Amount Due
The Amount Now Due includes both Current Charges and any Balance Forward from previous statements. Any unpaid Balance Forward from previous statements is past due and should be paid immediately. To avoid late payment charges, any balance forward must be paid in full and your payment for Current Charges must reach us by the Due Date. For customers on the Budget Payment Plan, the Amount Now Due is the Budget Due amount that includes all unpaid changes incurred under the Budget Payment Plan.

We allow 21 days from the statement date before applying any charges for late payment. Please allow enough time for your payment to reach us and be entered into our billing system. Payment made by mail or through a bank may not guarantee a timely payment if it does not reach us withinthe 21-day period.

AltaGas Utilities accepts Electronic Funds Transfer (Automated Bank Withdrawal)payments which should guarantee timely payment through your local financial institution.

Amount Paid
You can write in the amount you are going to pay to your account in this box.

Due Date
The Due Date is the date we expect to receive full payment of the Current Charges on your statement. Any unpaid Balance Forward from previous statements is past due and should be paid immediately. Any unpaid balance remaining after the Due Date is subject to a Late Payment Charge. Since the Late Payment Charge applies only to unpaid balances, partial payments are preferable rather than no payment at all.

Meter No.
The Meter Number is a unique identifier for the meter that is measuring the amount of gas being consumed at the service site. With routine meter maintenance, you may see this number change (usually once every seven years or so) when the meter is exchanged for inspection.

Usage From and To Dates
The Usage From and Usage To dates identify the period for which gas usage occurred and billing is being applied. These dates are used to calculate the number of Days covered by the current billing period.

Days
Days are the number of days for which gas usage occurred and billing is being applied.

Meter Reading
The Meter Reading From is the reading of the meter at the beginning of the billing period. It should be the same as the Meter Reading To of your previous month's bill.

The Meter Reading To is the reading of the meter at the end of the billing period. The difference between the Meter Reading From and Meter Reading To is the number of hundred cubic feet (ccf) of natural gas used during the billing period.

The Meter Reading Type indicates whether an Actual or Estimate meter reading was used this billing period. Typically, we do not estimate a meter reading more than two times in a row. Usually, we try to alternate with Actual and Estimate meter readings.
More information on estimation.

Actual or Estimate Meter Reading Type
An Actual meter reading means that we have determined the measured usage by making a visit to your service site.

An Estimate meter reading means that we have allowed the billing system to estimate the amount of gas you have used for the billing period at hand.

The estimate is based on:
- ACTUAL usage history for your service site,
- ACTUAL current temperature data, and
- ACTUAL number of days of usage.

Volume (ccf)
The Volume is measured in units of hundreds of cubic feet. It is calculated by taking the difference between the Meter Reading To and From numbers.

The Volume is one of the numbers used in calculating the Billing Units or amount of energy used during the billing period.

Conversion Factors
Our meters record gas volume. The Pressure Factor adjusts the metered volume to standard volume.

The Energy Factor is the number of gigajoules in one standard volume unit. We multiply the standard volume by the energy factor to calculate the total gigajoules to bill.

Billing Units - gigajoule (GJ)
A gigajoule (GJ) is the standard unit of energy in the SI (metric) system of measurement. Your bill is for the number of units of energy, or gigajoules, that you used.

Previous Amount Due
The Previous Amount Due shows any unpaid amounts prior to the current billing. If the account is overpaid, it will display as a credit balance.

Payment - Thank you - Date
This line item identifies any payment that has been made to your account and the date it was received by our billing system. A valid payment should appear as a credit to your account.

If you have made a payment and it does not appear on your current statement, due to the timing of the payment and processing, it may not appear until your following statement.

Balance Forward
The Balance Forward is the net difference between total charges and total payments up to the current billing period. Any unpaid Balance Forward from previous statements is past due and should be paid immediately. To avoid late payment charges, your payment for Current Charges must reach us by the Due Date.

Current Charges - From and To Dates
The Current Charges are charges that apply to your account for the current billing period.

Basic charges will include:
- Fixed Charges:- Fixed Distribution (Base) Charge- Fixed Default Supply Provider Charge
- Third Party Transportation Charge
- Variable Distribution (Base) Energy Charge
- Gas Cost Recovery Charge
- Property and Franchise Fee
- Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Current Charges can also include other miscellaneous or Special charges.

Your Consumption History Graph
This is a graphical representation of the Billing Units recorded for your account over the past thirteen months.

Special Messages Box
The Special Messages Box located in the lower left-hand corner of your statement may contain:
- special messages pertaining to changes in rates,
- notices about late payments,
- notices about refunds or rebates to customers, or
- other important billing-related matters.

Please pay special attention to messages that appear in this box.

Area/Cycle
The Area number is our way of identifying what region of Alberta your service is located in. The Cycle number identifies the billing cycle within which your account is billed.

Mailing Address
The mailing address information that appears on the remittance portion of your statement (the part that is torn off and returned with your payment) should be current and exactly match your correct mailing information. If it is incorrect, please notify us and we will update our records.

Last updated 2013/05/14