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Columbia Gas to offer flat-rate payment plan ahead of winter heating costs

The Ohio-based utility company will allow any customer to spread the cost of gas over a 12-month period.

TOLEDO, Ohio — With autumn just around the corner, outdoor temperatures will drop and indoor temperatures will increase as consumers crank up the thermostat.

Heating a building among chilly and often freezing Ohio temperatures can get costly, making it difficult for families to budget month-to-month in the winter months when the cost of heating is not only higher, but dependent on the severity of the weather. To counteract this uncertainty, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Ohio's largest natural gas utility, is offering a "budget plan."

The plan, which is open to all Columbia customers, distributes the cost of gas over a 12-month period so that each month's total is the same. According to a press release from Columbia, the plan will eliminate the month-to-month guesswork that comes with winter gas bills. This comes at a time when inflation continues to increase the cost of everyday living. 

"We're pleased to offer our customers alternative ways to manage their home energy costs," Columbia Gas of Ohio President Vince Parisi said in a press release. "The budget plan lets our customers know exactly what they will pay each month, making it easier to balance personal budgets."

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In order to calculate each month's flat rate, several factors will be considered, including the customer's previous level of gas usage, 30-year typical weather and the present and estimated cost of natural gas. Each account is reviewed an adjusted, if needed, in March. 

The budge plan is free and does not require the customer to meet any minimum or maximum income level. There are three ways to enroll: 

  • Pay the "budget payment" listed on the August bill
  • Register online here
  • Call 1-800-244-4077 to speak with a customer service representative 

RELATED: City of Toledo ending water shutoff moratorium; local programs offer help paying water bills

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