A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Friday, September 12, 2014

NJNG Budget Reconciliation Gives Me Gas

My New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) bill arrived in the mail today. Despite a major effort by NJNG to brace their customers for budget plan adjustments that come in the September bill every year, the bill is poorly executed and seemingly skewed to the benefit of the company.

NJNG merged the August charges into the September bill by crediting the August amounts. In principal, it would make no difference to me whether I paid July 7th to August 6th and then August 7th to September 4th, or one consolidated bill covering the whole period. But I noticed that the price for gas is higher in September and they applied the higher rate for the whole period. That's an overcharge.

Also, NJNG managed to charge me so much for my budget plan last year that I had a small credit balance, even though I withheld budget payments for several months to keep from building up a huge balance. But that hasn't kept NJNG from raising my monthly budget plan amount by about 10%.

In order to understand the new balance on my September bill, I had to go back to my August bill and check the Annual Budget Review in the bottom right corner of that paperwork. Based on that reconciliation, I had a difference in my budget versus actual to the tune of about a $100 owed to NJNG. It is perfectly reasonable that the amount owed should be paid, but nowhere on my bill does it show that transaction. My September bill simply shows a New Balance, with no calculations on either the August or September bill.

NJNG provided two statements in today's billing envelope. The two statements carried the same Previous Balance but one presented a new Starting Balance. They credited the August charges and my August payment back to me, then recharged me for two months of use at the new, higher September rate. And they failed to document the payment for the budget plan shortfall.

This billing is the biggest mess I've seen from a utility since JCP&L left me without power for two weeks after Superstorm Sandy.You might want to check your bill.


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