Budget Payment Plan
Budget Payment Plan is a free service designed to help reduce the impact of winter heating bills by spreading your heating costs more evenly over a longer time (see an example). To make paying your gas bill truly hassle-free, you can choose to pay your budget amount through our ZipCheck automatic payment service.
Benefits of Budget Payment Plan
- Reduce the impact of winter heating bills
- Spread your winter heating costs more evenly over a longer time
- Know how much you can expect to pay each month
- Have more money available over the winter holidays
How it Works
We calculate your budget payment amount based on the history of gas usage at your address, 30-year normal weather, the current and estimated cost of natural gas, and current rates for service and delivery. Any additional charges for security deposits or contributions to the HeatShare fuel fund are not included in the calculation and appear as separate line items on your bill.
Sometimes, weather conditions and swings in the price of natural gas can have an unexpected impact on your gas usage and your actual bill amount. We'll review your budget account periodically and might adjust your payment, if necessary, to keep you on track with your actual account balance as closely as possible.
Budget Payment Plan Cycle
The current budget cycle runs from May of one year through April of the following year. Customers receive their new budget payment amounts in May for the new season. Although you'll enjoy the greatest benefits by joining the plan at the start of the cycle, you can join at any time as long as your account is current. If you choose to enroll after the beginning of the budget cycle, we'll simply spread your projected costs over the remaining months, and your budget amount could be higher since there are fewer months in the cycle.
Advantages of Budget Payment Plan
- Easier budgeting
It's hard to budget household expenses when your gas bill goes up and down with seasonal gas use. With the Budget Payment Plan, you'll know what to expect to pay each month.
Budget Payment Plan is a free customer service that spreads the cost of winter heating bills more evenly over the year.
- Plan ahead
We all know that bigger bills are sure to come when cold weather hits, so summer is the time to look ahead and get prepared. The amount of your monthly budget for the coming year is shown on your August bill. Get a head start on winter bills by paying the budget amount when you pay your August bill.
- Accurate billing
We review your account as the year progresses so we can adjust your budget amount, if necessary, to keep you on track with your actual account balance as closely as possible.
Three Easy Ways to Enroll
- To enroll at the start of the budget cycle, simply pay the budget amount shown on your August bill, plus any charges for security deposits or HeatShare contribution, and you'll be automatically enrolled in the program.
- If your account is current, you can also enroll online. Just log in to your account to find out what your budget amount would be and follow the easy steps to enroll.
- You can also enroll by phone by calling Columbia Gas DirectLink, our automated self-service phone system, at 1-800-543-8911. Press option 1 after the greeting, and then follow the appropriate prompts for information on the budget plan.