Frequently asked questions about Covington's natural gas service.
1. Where do I apply for service or inquire about a bill?
Apply at the Covington City Hall at 2194 Emory Street (Hwy. 81). For more information about establishing accounts and questions about your bill, click here for customer service or call them at 770-385- 2000.
2. Why does the City have an "adjustment" (PCA) added to our bill?
The PCA is a means by which the price charged for natural gas is adjusted to correspond with the costs that the City incurs to acquire natural gas from gas providers located in places that have accessible supplies of gas in the ground or under bodies of water and to transport it via a natural gas pipeline to our area. Our rates contain an allowance for a portion of this cost but the remainder is recovered through the PCA. Just the same as the price of gasoline or other commodities can change, so can the wellhead price of natural gas, resulting in the ups and downs in the PCA charge.
3. What is a "therm" and an "MCF"?
They are both representative of gas consumption. Typically there are approximately 10.3 therms in an MCF of gas. This can vary slightly each month depending upon the BTU content of gas received from the pipeline. An "MCF" is 1000 cubic feet, which is what is displayed on your gas meter.
A meter reading of 3000 cubic feet indicates that 3.0 MCF have been used. This is equal to approximately (3.0) X (10.3) = 30.9 therms.
4. Where are some of the places where the natural gas used locally is found?
There are a number of locations with active gas wells or proven reserves for future use. For example, significant gas is found in parts of Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas or in Mobile Bay, Alabama. Large reserves also exist off the coast of Florida but these are unavailable for use in this country because of a lack of congressional action and environmental fears.
Call 770-385-2000 or 770-385-2049 for 24/7 emergency service.
Yes. Some authorities say that you save about 1% for each degree of upward change for each 8 hours. Using this rule of thumb, setting the temperature up by 4 degrees for 24 hours could save 12% of the energy used for cooling in a day. 78 degrees is a frequently recommended summer setting. Just be sure you're still comfortable.
7. There are several types of water heaters available. Which ones are more economical?
Generally and historically natural gas heaters have been less expensive to operate.
A type of gas water heater that's relatively new in our country, though not elsewhere, is the natural gas tankless water heater. It saves energy, typically 40-50%, because it only operates when heated water is being used. This unit is sometimes called an "on-demand" water heater. It costs more initially but saves money and energy over time. Rinnai is a popular brand but there are others.
8. Why is natural gas service from the City often lower in cost than service from the marketers that sell gas on the Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) system?
In addition to the price for the gas itself, marketers charge a base charge for themselves plus a delivery charge from AGL that varies monthly for the use of their pipes. The combination of these charges often exceed the total of the City's charges.
9. I would like to know more about energy-efficient products and appliances for my home. Is there a website with information?
Yes. Actually there are several. Try www.energystar.gov and click on "products".
Click on new services. If you need more information or need to request the installation of a service line, call Customer Service at 770-385-2000.
11. I have buried utility lines on my property and I want to dig a small pond? How do I find where these lines are located?
Call 811, the new national one-call locate number. All such calls in Georgia will go directly to the Utility Protection Center in Duluth which will issue locate "tickets" to the area utility providers. Note that there is a waiting period of several days as specified by state law. Also, please note that lines that do not belong to a utility, such as the water line between the meter and the house or a sprinkler line, are not covered by the law and must be located, if possible, by the owner.
12. My firm needs information related to a new industrial project. Where can I get it?
There are several sources depending upon what you need. The City and Newton County both participate in the Newton County Chamber of Commerce, 770-786-7510, which can provide considerable information on available sites, rail access, applicable incentives, state-sponsored "Quick Start" training, etc. The City's electric system is represented by the marketing and economic development divisions of Electric Cities of Georgia, 770-661-2889 as well as our own marketing coordinator at 770-385-2027. Natural gas information is available through the Municipal Gas Authority (MGAG) at 770-590-1000.
13. How can I contact the major personnel in the department?
Natural Gas Director: Mike Jewell
14. Large utility companies are regulated by their state public service or public utility commissions? Who controls Covington's utility systems?
Unlike large companies which may be managed by boards of directors and utility commissions that may be located miles away or out of state, Covington's electric, gas and water systems are controlled by the Covington City Council, all of whom live in the local community. While many of our utility customers live outside the city limits, the Council represents their interest on utility matters and is far easier to contact. All official meetings are held in Covington and are open to the public.
15. How can I find out about the green benefits of natural gas and calculate my carbon footprint?
Go to the Council for Responsible Energy website at www.comfortableresponsible.org/index.php.
Please note that questions on many other subjects are answered under the Customer Service FAQ section.