What is a Budget Payment Plan?
The Budget Payment Plan is a free service designed to help reduce the impact of winter heating bills by spreading your heating costs more evenly throughout the year (see an example). And, to make paying your gas bill truly hassle-free, you can opt to pay your budget amount through our ZipCheck automatic payment service.Using a budget payment plan will:
- Reduce the impact of unstable natural gas prices.
- Spread your winter heating costs over a full year.
- Let you know how much you can expect to pay each month.
- Ensure that you have more money available during the winter holidays.
Here's How it Works
The budget year runs from May through April. If you choose to enroll after the beginning of the budget year, we'll simply spread your projected costs throughout fewer months.
We calculate your budget payment amount by reviewing the gas usage history at your address, 20-year normal weather, and the present and estimated cost of natural gas. 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 in December, and will adjust your payment, if necessary, to keep you on track with your actual balance as much as possible.
- 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 how much to expect to pay each month.
- Convenience – The budget payment plan is a free customer service that spreads the cost of winter heating bills more evenly throughout 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 May bill. Get a headstart on winter bills by paying the budget amount at this time.
- 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 account account balance as closely as possible.
Three Easy Ways to Enroll
- To join at the beginning of the budget year, simply pay the budget amount shown on your May bill and you'll be automatically enrolled in the program.
- You can also enroll online anytime. Just log in to your account to find out what your budget amount will be and follow the easy steps to enroll.
- You also can enroll by phone anytime by calling our automated self-service phone system, Columbia Gas DirectLink, at 1-800-432-9345. Select option 1 from the main menu and follow the appropriate prompts for information on the Budget Payment Plan.