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Roughly half of U.S. households use natural gas for space and water heating, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As you review your utility bill, you may wonder what amount others pay and if you’re paying too much.
Here’s how much the average gas bill costs and what you can do to lower yours.
How much is the average gas bill?
The average annual residential gas bill was $670 in 2020, according to the most recent data from the American Gas Association. That’s about $56 per month.
Some people pay natural gas and electricity charges together on a single energy bill. If you pay a combined total, look at the cost breakdown to find out how much you’re spending on gas.
Why is my gas bill so high?
Your bill may seem expensive, regardless of whether it’s higher or lower than average. That’s because the price you pay for natural gas depends on where you live and how much you use.
People all over the country use gas to heat their homes and water, cook, and dry clothes. But gas costs more in certain areas (or at certain times during the year) due to factors like higher taxes, infrastructure costs, supply and demand. For example, Hawaii doesn’t produce natural gas or have any reserves, contributing to a limited supply and high rates. You can view the average monthly price of residential gas per state on the Energy Information Administration website.
If your bill is more expensive than normal, it could be due to inflation or seasonal changes. Consumers typically use more gas during winter, especially in colder climates. Your bill may also be high because your home is large and takes a greater amount of gas to heat, or because it uses energy inefficiently.
How can I lower my gas bill?
Some charges on your bill, such as local taxes, are beyond your control. However, you can save money by watching your gas usage or seeking help with payments. Here are a few ways to reduce your bill:
Replace or repair old or worn-out appliances
Regularly inspect appliances such as water heaters, furnaces, stoves and clothes dryers. If they’re outdated or not functioning properly, they can use more gas and cost you more money. Plus, your utility provider may offer a rebate when you purchase new energy-efficient equipment.
Reduce your consumption
Find ways to cut back. For example, for every degree you lower the thermostat you can save about 2% on your energy bill, according to the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. You can also take shorter showers, avoid over or underloading your dryer to reduce drying time, or air dry clothes.
Do an energy audit
Make sure windows, doors, attics and other areas in the home are properly sealed and insulated to prevent warm air from escaping.
Get help paying your gas bill
You may qualify for a government program that will help you pay less out of pocket. If you’re in need of financial assistance, explore these options:
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program aids low-income households with paying heating bills. Eligibility varies by state, so contact your local office for information.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program offers grants to improve energy efficiency in low-income households. Improvements include things like installing programmable thermostats or insulating water heating pipes. Check your state’s requirements before applying.
Other state programs may also provide support during hardships or emergencies. Reach out to your state public utility or service commission or your utility provider to inquire.
Remember, your gas and electricity charges may appear on the same bill. If that’s the case, your electricity consumption could be driving up the price. Read your statements closely to better understand your usage and check out more tips for lowering your energy bill.