Are Gas and Electric Bills the Same?

When it comes to household utilities, two of the most common expenses are electricity and natural gas. Many homeowners receive separate statements for electricity and gas each month. However, some may get a combined bill that includes charges for both in one place. This often leads to the question – are gas and electric bills the same thing?

The short answer is no. While gas and electricity are sometimes bundled onto the same bill for convenience, they represent separate utility services with distinct rate structures. Understanding the key differences between gas and electric can help you better manage these critical home energy costs.

The Purpose of Gas vs. Electricity

First, it’s important to understand what natural gas and electricity are used for in the home.

Electricity powers:

  • Lighting
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Appliances (refrigerators, dishwashers, etc.)
  • Electronics (TVs, computers, etc.)
  • And more

Natural gas powers:

  • Furnaces
  • Water heaters
  • Stoves/ovens
  • Clothes dryers
  • And in some cases, barbecues and fireplaces

So while electricity provides energy for a wide range of uses, natural gas is mostly dedicated to heat, hot water, and cooking.

How Gas and Electricity Get to Your Home

Natural gas and electricity also differ in how they are delivered to your home:

  • Electricity is generated at power plants and distributed through above-ground transmission lines and below-ground power lines. Complex systems balance electric supply and demand across regions.

  • Natural gas is extracted from underground reservoirs and distributed through an extensive system of pipelines directly to homes and businesses. Local gas utilities manage the gas delivery infrastructure.

So electricity relies on a broader network of power generators and grids, while gas distribution is facilitated by local pipeline networks tapped into gas deposits underground.

How Gas and Electricity Are Metered and Billed

The metering and billing processes for natural gas and electricity work as follows:


  • A meter tracks your kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage, which is a measure of electric energy consumption over time.

  • Your electric bill calculates costs based on the kWh rate your provider charges. This rate may vary by:

    • Time of day (higher afternoon/evening peak rates vs. lower nighttime rates)
    • Season (higher summer rates when AC use peaks vs. lower winter rates)
    • Total usage amount (higher kWh unit costs as you use more)
  • Many providers also bill a basic service fee and other fixed charges.

Natural Gas

  • Your gas meter tracks usage in cubic feet (cf) or therms. A therm is a unit of heat equal to 100,000 BTU.

  • Your gas bill is based on the therm or cf rate your gas provider charges along with any fixed fees.

  • Rates may be higher in winter when heating use rises.

  • Electricity is metered and billed based on kWh consumption over time.

  • Gas is metered and billed based on cf or therm usage, which measures volume and heat energy.

  • Rates for both can vary based on use, season, and other factors.

Why Electricity and Gas Bills May Be Combined

While gas and electric services are distinct, many utility providers consolidate them onto a single statement for customer convenience.

Benefits of combined billing can include:

  • Only having to pay one bill each month instead of two separate ones.

  • Potential for bundled pricing discounts. Some providers offer lower rates if you get gas and electric service together.

  • Easier budgeting and payment tracking with all charges in one place.

  • Single point of contact for managing both accounts.

However, it’s important to note that even with combined billing:

  • Electricity and natural gas charges are itemized separately on the statements.

  • Each service has distinct rates and fees.

  • You can analyze gas and electric costs and usage independently.

So a bundled bill offers simpler billing management, but does not indicate that gas and electricity expenses are interchangeable.

Tips for Managing Gas and Electric Bills

Whether you receive separate statements or a combined utility bill, here are some tips for controlling these key household costs:

  • Review usage and rates monthly – Analyze kWh and therm/cf usage over time to identity spikes. Compare current rates to historic rates to see if they’ve changed.

  • Leverage online accounts – Many providers have online accounts to track real-time usage and get custom alerts for high use.

  • Enroll in budget billing – This averages costs over the year to even out seasonal spikes from heating/cooling.

  • Use less energy – Simple conservation steps like LED bulbs, thermostat adjustments, and caulking drafts can reduce usage.

  • Shop plans – See if you can get lower kWh or therm rates by comparing providers annually.

  • Look into assistance programs – If struggling with bills, see if you qualify for local utility financial assistance.

The Bottom Line

While gas and electricity are distinct services, they may be bundled onto one statement for simplicity. But it’s important to understand they have different purposes, delivery infrastructure, metering, rates, and more. Analyze your electric and gas usage and costs separately to maximize savings. And utilize conservation and shopping strategies to control these major household utility expenses. With smart management, you can help tame your utility bills over time.


Is gas and electricity the same thing?


Gas Can’t Do It All Electricity, on the other hand, is a must-have for most households. A home with gas energy can use it to power the furnace, water heater, oven, range and clothes dryer. It can’t power the lights, electronics, air conditioner or other appliances — you’ll need electricity for that.

What is the average gas bill in NYC?


New York was also found to have the following average monthly electricity bills: Monthly electricity cost: $102. Monthly natural-gas cost: $68. Monthly motor-fuel cost: $105.

How to calculate gas bill?


Multiply the m3 figure by a conversion factor of 1.02264, then by the calorific value. Calorific values vary; you should find this on your bill. Divide this figure by 3.6 to show your usage in kWh. Multiply your usage in kWh by your unit prices to work out your gas charge.

Does heat use electricity?


Even if your home is heated by gas, electricity is still needed to make the system work. While it takes more energy to heat than cool your home, there are some steps you can take to reduce energy and save on your electric bill: Install a programable thermostat. Lower your thermostat setting.

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