Natural gas factors

What factors influence natural gas use?

Several factors, such as those listed below, can influence monthly natural gas use. Some of these factors, such as billing days and average daily usage, can be measured by Minnesota Energy Resources, and we summarize them on your monthly bill.

Billing days
Minnesota Energy Resources makes every effort to read your meter once a month. The number of days between monthly meter readings may vary slightly — it won't be exactly 30 or 31 days each time. Your bill shows the number of billing days.
Average daily usage
Your bill shows the average daily usage for this bill compared with last year.
Seasonal changes
Cold weather and reduced sunlight mean more energy is needed for heating, not only for the furnace but also for the water heater.
Efficiency of appliances
Older, less efficient appliances use more energy. Replacing them with high-efficiency units can significantly reduce your natural gas costs.
Changes in living habits
Keeping guests comfortable during an extended winter stay can mean turning up the thermostat. Have you been washing more clothes or taking more baths or showers lately? Did that new gourmet cooking show prompt you to cook more often? These kinds of lifestyle changes can increase your natural gas use.
Gas cost recovery
Natural gas rates are adjusted monthly because of increases and decreases in the prices charged by the companies that supply the gas we deliver to you. We do not mark up the prices we pay these suppliers for the gas. Minnesota Energy Resources is authorized to charge a base cost of gas, and that charge is reflected as Base Cost of Gas on your bill. The monthly increases or decreases in gas price are reflected on your bill as Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA). Additionally, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission authorized natural gas utilities to recover a portion of the costs related to the historic natural gas price spike caused by the February 2021 polar vortex. That charge is reflected on your bill as Severe Weather Cost Recovery Charge.