Rights and Responsibilities as a Natural Gas Customer

Rights and Responsibilities as a Natural Gas Customer

At National Fuel, it’s important to us that all of our customers know about our policies and many helpful programs.

Billing Information

Each month, you will receive a bill detailing the amount of gas used during the service period, meter reading dates and a breakdown of your current charges. These charges consist of two parts:

  1. Gas supply charges—This includes the price of the gas itself plus interstate pipeline costs.
  2. Delivery service—Charges reflect our cost of providing service to you. Gas supply charges cannot, by law, be marked up, as they represent the cost of buying and transporting natural gas from regions in the U.S. to this area.

Your bill is due upon receipt and is considered overdue if not paid by the late-payment date indicated. You can pay your bills by mail, in person or electronically.

To avoid writing checks each month, consider enrolling in our direct payment plan. This program makes it easy for customers to pay their bills automatically by deducting the amount due from their checking or savings account. This is a free service. We also offer online customer services for bill payments, submitting meter readings or account information, and paperless bill options.

Meter Reading and Access

We make every effort to read our meters once every other month on or around the date indicated on your bill. Whenever we are unable to gain access to read the meter, we leave a door hanger that provides you with the number for our automated meter reading reporting system.

To safely provide service, National Fuel may need access inside your home to inspect gas piping. If you fail to provide access at a reasonable time, you may be subject to a $100 fee for nonaccess and your gas service could be shut off.

Disconnection Procedures

Disconnecting gas service for nonpayment or non-access is a last resort. Before your service is disconnected, we will make every effort to assist you in finding a program or service to help you pay your bill. Many times, we can direct you to sources of financial assistance to help keep your service on. If you believe there is a mistake on your bill, we will postpone disconnection and investigate your account. To avoid shutoff for non-access, you must allow National Fuel inside your home to perform an inspection or complete necessary work. If you have a serious health or safety concern, it is important that you contact us upon receiving a disconnection notice.

Your service will NOT be disconnected before you receive a final disconnection notice, which gives you an opportunity to contact us to work on resolving the situation. If your service has been disconnected and you have been unable to reach an agreement to have it restored, you may call the New York State Public Service Commission’s emergency hotline:

1-800-342-3355
Between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Access will be required to restore service.

Because the safety of our customers is important to us, we will NOT disconnect service between November 1 and April 15 (the winter months) UNLESS we have made an effort to personally contact you.

Security Deposits

Customers who apply for service on a short-term basis (more than three months, but less than a year) or seasonal basis (fewer than three months) may be asked to pay a security deposit. If you are required to pay a deposit, it will be held for one year and, following a good payment record during that time, it will be refunded to you, plus interest (at a rate set by the New York State Public Service Commission). If your payments are untimely, the deposit will be held and the interest earned on the deposit will be credited to you on a yearly basis. If a customer is delinquent in making payments or files for bankruptcy protection, we may request payment of a security deposit.

Alternate Service Providers and Your Rights

As a National Fuel customer, you may purchase your natural gas supplies from us or an alternate, non-utility provider (called a marketer). In all cases, we will continue to deliver gas to your home safely and reliably. Marketers are required by the New York State Public Service Commission to provide you with the same rights and protections you are offered from National Fuel regarding disconnection of service due to nonpayment. For those customers who receive a National Fuel bill that includes charges from both the marketer and National Fuel, service may be disconnected and the gas supply terminated for nonpayment of the gas delivery and commodity charges.

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