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Washington Gas Price Protection?

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by Dawne, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. Dawne

    Dawne HOA VP/Tech Comm

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    We probably all got this in the mail. Washington Gas Energy Service ("A Washington Gas Affiliated Company") mailing offering a fixed gas rate for 1-2 years of $1.14 per therm (plus 2.2¢ per therm for "utility balancing").

    I've just been perusing my WaGas bill and I can only guess that this would be the "PGC" portion - which it currently lists at $1.0477 per therm.

    There's no mention of a charge by WGES for "locking in" your therm cost. But really, why would I want to pay an extra 12¢ per therm right now? That adds up to about $90 a year for us (we use 745 therms per year). Of course, that's assuming rates don't rise.

    If my math is right [1.0477/(1.162-1.0477)], rates would have to rise 10.9% before I reach their "price protection" rate of $1.162 per therm.

    Okay, am I being naive thinking that NatGas prices WON'T be up by 11% or more in the next 2 years? If I look back at my bill from 6/30/06, PGC was only $.7545 per therm. That's a 38.9% increase in 2 years/3 months. From that perspective, it looks like a baaaaagain.

    So - anyone else signing on to this, thinking rates will only go higher, and soon?
     
  2. marianne

    marianne Puppy Mommy

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    Been trying to figure out the same thing. In addition I am trying to find out if we can get electricity from somewhere other than VA Power and what the cost difference is ... we never paid attention to this before, just got our power hooked up and paid the bill. However, with everything that is going on we are planning on trying to just curb our spending a little ... just in case, which means I am looking at our bills to see where there are savings opportunities.

    So any advise here?

    Marianne
    (learning to be more frugal again) :eww:
     
  3. Dawne

    Dawne HOA VP/Tech Comm

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    Mariannne - I think you can opt to use Northern Virginia Electric Coop (http://www.novec.com/) instead of Dominion Power. However, my Dominion stock (D) is already down a bit, so I'd appreciate it if you stayed with Dominion (kidding of course).

    I don't know how they compare - price-wise.
     
  4. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    The price per therm will increase when the cold weather hits. The cost per therm is always lower when the weather is warmer. If the country gets hit with a long cold period, the price per therm will probably increase dramatically.
     
  5. snoopy

    snoopy Senior Member

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    Vacliff is 100% correct. That is the kicker when you use the most, price per therms goes up.

    Look at your bill from last year's winter and see how much the price per therm was. I bet it is higher than 1.0477. And you use 77% of your total heating during the month of Nov - March. (Those months are the months your really care about the price of gas per therms )

    Hope this help :)
     
  6. Suttonan

    Suttonan New Member

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    In addition to seasonal increases, the Energy Department is predicting a ~20% increase in Natural Gas costs as compared to last year driven by higher oil prices and the impact of hurricanes on production in the gulf region. Even though oil has been dropping, natural gas providers made their purchases for the winter when prices were higher. I would say anything we can do to "fix" a cost in this environment would be attractive as long as it is reasonable. Things are so crazy these days it is hard to thread the needle as margins of error are pretty wide.
     
  7. Dawne

    Dawne HOA VP/Tech Comm

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    Unfortunately, I can't seem to get to last year's bill. I have online billing/payment and the WaGas site only seems to show me my current bill. Even "history" gives me nothing. I'll dig around some more or (ack!) call them.

    So...is anyone signing up for this Price Protection bit from WGES? (www.wges.com)
     
  8. tyger31

    tyger31 Member

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    Not signing up - plan to layer..... :) It never really gets that cold around here, but then I'm from Buffalo....that's cold
     
  9. technosapien

    technosapien New Member

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    When I moved here, I called NOVEC first and they told me I had to go with Dominion, that NOVEC was not an option in Broadlands.

    Has that changed? would love to know.
     
  10. Ozgood

    Ozgood Not a space alien

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    They do cold good up in Buffalo. I was from Rotten-chester and people from Buffalo used to come over to warm up. Brrrrrrr
     
  11. klewis

    klewis New Member

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    We're passing on it. I took all my paper bills for the past 2 years and put the rates/volume in a spreadsheet to calculate the average rate. This price protection would have us paying about $150 more per year. Interesting thing for us was that though our usage went down, rates went up just slightly last year so that we paid within a $1 between the two.

    If rates seem to get too high, I'll just crank the heat down some. Sweaters, sweatshirts, blankets. And the benefits of digital thermostats.
     
  12. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Unfortunately that's not an option in my household!
     
  13. methodt

    methodt New Member

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    I have been signed up with WGES for a couple of years now with their flat rate. When I first considered the flat rate I did the same as another poster and put the usage and price per them in a spreadsheet and it was going to save me quite a bit. The first year I did save a good amount. The 2nd year Washington Gas's prices didn't spike as high in the winter and I think I actually ended up paying more. My renewal is coming up so I will definitely re-evaluate this year. One nice thing to keep checking is on my bill it shows me both my flat rate as well as what the current Washington Gas variable rate is.
     

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