Gas South offers heating bill program for those in need - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Gas South offers heating bill program for those in need

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ATLANTA -

The chill in the air may have many running to the thermostat to turn up the heat. Gas South is providing some relief with a program that helps credit-challenged customers turn things around.

Metro Atlanta resident Gregory Richards tries to pinch pennies where he can, especially when it comes to his gas utility.

"I even installed my own thermostat so I can set temperatures rather than the regular menu they had when I moved in the apartment. So that saves me a lot of money," said Richards

Saint Vincent de Paul is an agency that serves people in need. Its executive director, John Berry, says there are thousands of Georgians who have a tough time. Some have had their gas cut off in their homes.

"If you go in there and maybe you don't have the best credit in the world or you've had a situation in the past where you've had your utilities cut off, a lot of them are requiring pretty hefty deposits. And by the time you have to put a big deposit down, and the cost of utilities itself, it's impossible," said Berry.

Gas South, a locally owned and operated natural gas company, has a program that makes it possible. It's called Pay as You Go.

"The way it works is we bill customers in advance for the gas we expect them to use over a thirty day period. And that bill goes out before the customer has used all the gas. And then each month subsequent to that, we true up the amount that actually should have been charged to that customer, based on whether they used more or less than we expected," said Kevin Greiner of Gas South.

Customers in the program pay no deposit and receive locked in rates. Gas South also reports on-time payments to credit bureaus.

"And what that positive effect has of doing is allowing folks to rehabilitate their credit simply by paying their gas bill on time," said Greiner.

It's a welcome feature for customers like Richards who says having some control is comforting.

"Just the fact that at least you have a choice. May have had them before, didn't have a good experience, now I can go with a newer company and I might have a much better experience," said Richards.

There are other gas companies that offer locked in rates. There is a website that compares the rates for your area, and you can visit it by click here!

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