The gas bill. What? How? Why?

 

by Dumitru Chisalita, expert in the gas industry

The legal connection between the gas consumer and the gas supplier is the Supply Contract. However, the consumer sees the gas bill as being the one linking it to the gas supplier. Given this perception, I will clarify its content. The Regulation on gas supply to end-customers sets the general principles on invoicing, how to determine the natural gas consumption for the billing period, the billing period, how to pay, how to issue, send and pay bills, and other information of interest to the customer. Even if the gas bills currently don’t have a unique approach, they cover two pages, the first page including elements specific to consumption, price, value and due date and the second page including modalities of payment, accounts and other information about the gas market.

Components of the gas bill:

  1. Barcode and the amount of the current bill, written in the higher part of the bill, allowing the customer to pay via bank or PrePay systems, only the value of the current bill and not all debts registered by the customer with the supplier (bills prior to the current one, unpaid, or penalties for bills unpaid within the determined deadline – the due date indicated in the bill).
  2. Barcode and the amount of the total balance (all the debt that the customer has to pay to the supplier, written in the lower left of the bill, which allows the customer to pay through the bank or PrePay systems all debt that the customers owes to the supplier ( the current bill, previous bills or penalties for unpaid bills in due time).
  3. Mailing address – is the address to which the bill is sent to be paid it can be different than the address of the place of consumption, if the customer requested it (the example of the situation where the customer has several properties). It is important to verify that data on the bill are in line with the specific data of the place of consumption. The address of the place of consumption is written at the middle of the bill.
  4. The place of consumption is characterized by a code of the place of consumption and series of the meter found at the place of consumption. It is important to verify the series of the meter at the place of consumption and the series written in the bill. They have to be identical to avoid the payment of gas consumption of neighbors.
  5. The contract number and subscriber code are elements that also define the relationship between the customer and the supplier. Market liberalization and/or changing the supplier requires to track these identification elements to allow the customer to monitor the elements negotiated with the supplier (price, payment terms, penalties charged etc.).
  6. The category of consumption, which is a conventional separation made by ANRE, into 6 homogenous groups, to which the same distribution tariff and the same price apply (as long as the price is regulated).
  7. The old and the new index written in the bill allows the customer to verify, by comparing it with the indexes of the meter (read by the customer), if the gas amount written in the bill is consistent with reality. It is important to check whether the indexes from bills are read or if they are estimated by the supplier. If the index read by the customer is different (with large differences), the customer is entitled to notify the gas supplier and request a correction of the bill including in it the real indexes. If the index is estimated in the bill and the customer finds that it has important deviations from the actual index of the meter, the customer is entitled to notify the supplier and request the correction of the bill.
  8. The area of quality written in the bill shows the customer that it is in an area characterized by the same level of higher heating value, at the level of all customers supplied from the same source, respectively gas reaching that locality comes from a single source or mixture of sources for which the higher heating value was determined with an error of maximum +/- 2%. Thus, there are daily determinations of the Higher Heating Value (HHV) at the level of gas source/sources from which the city where the consumer is located is supplied (quality area written in the bill), which can be verified:

– in terms of locality, on the website of the gas transmission operator (SNTGN TRANSGAZ SA), where the HHVs of all cities with exclusive supply from the transmission system are found http://www.transgaz.ro/ro/informa%C8%9Bii-clien%C8%9Bi/puteri-calorifice-superioare-puncte-fizice-de-iesire-anexa-3

– in terms of quality area, city, street, on the website of the gas distribution operator in the city where the consumer is located:

* E.ON Distributie Romania – https://eon-acces.eon-moldova-distributie.ro/pcs

* Distrigaz Sud Retele – https://www.distrigazsud-retele.ro/pcs/pcs/index/ (https://www.distrigazsud-retele.ro/pcs/pcs/getPcsPod/ – using the subscriber code)

If the HCP in the bill does not match the HCP on website, the supplier can be notified about this situation and a correction of the bill can be requested.

  1. Determining energy consumed by the customer is made by multiplying the amount of gas (determined as difference between the old and new index of the meter for the billing period) and the Higher Heating Value, written in the bill and which can be verified on websites of operators.
  2. Bill payment by bank transfer, in its absence (of the barcode) requires to know the supplier’s account, the number of the bill and the receipt code, all written in the bill in the right part.
  3. The way in which the customer can request information and lodge complaints is presented on the back of the bill (or the second page), indicating the e-mail address, postal address or phone numbers to contact the supplier. It should be mentioned that the bill includes both normal rate phone numbers and free toll numbers. Also, for emergency situations (gas leaks, accidents etc.) there are normal rate numbers and free toll numbers.
  4. Payment deadline is explained in the bill and is different from the due date of the bill. It is important to know that the payment deadline is 45 days and the due date is within 30 days. Thus, after 30 days from the issue date of the bill (not from the receipt by mail of the bill), the customer starts paying penalties of 0.02% for each day of delay (for example, for a bill of RON 1,000, a payment delay of 15 days – after the 30 days – means a penalty of RON 3). After 45 days from the issue date of the bill (not from the date of receipt of the bill), gas supply is cut and in order to resume gas supply it is necessary to pay two tariffs: for supply disruption and for supply resumption (together, they amount up to RON 300). It is important to mention that disconnection is also made for a debt of RON 0.01, value which may appear at any time from a one day penalty, an error or an adjustment. Reconnection is made within 24 hours from the submission of proof of payment to the supplier. Banks have developed utility payment services from the customers’ accounts, empowering them by the customer, method through which you may avoid the possible discomfort of disconnection of gas supply.

ANRE plans to impose (as it has happened in the electricity market) a single type of bill, at the level of all suppliers, which will have on the first page the elements necessary to understand how gas consumption is billed, what the price is and how much the end-customer must pay for that consumption. Additionally, there will also be data allowing the customer to predict consumption and adjust consumption, as well as information about the rights of customers, information about modalities for lodging complaints by end-customers and on options they have if they are not pleased with the settlement of complaint by the supplier, information about the right of the end-customer to change the supplier etc.

Read more on www.dumitruchisalita.ro.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 
 
 

2 Comments

  1. Asdfgh says:

    PCS – GCV (gross calorific value)
    PCI – NCV(net calorific value)
    Nu am auzit pana acum de termenii definiti de dvoastra in limba engleza.

  2. marianastan says:

    Multumesc frumos pentru observatie. Era vorba de Gross Calorific Value sau Higher Heating Value. Am facut modificarile.