605 East Walnut Street Dickson, Tennessee 37055615-441-2830 or EMERGENCY - 24 Hours: 615-441-2830 and press 1Monday thru Friday 7:30am – 4:30pm

Billing Basics

Many of our natural gas customers keep a close watch on their monthly usage. When a gas bill appears excessive a re-read is requested. The information below on how to read your meter (dial type) will help you verify the accuracy of the meter reading.

dialmeter copy

Dial Type Meter
Your gas meter is read from the row of four to six dials appearing in the index window (dials in the other row are for testing). Notice how each dial rotates in the opposite direction from the dial next to it. Read each dial in the direction shown by the arrows. If the dial hand is between the numbers, use the lower one (if between 9 and 0, read 9). If the dial hand is exactly on a number, look at the dial to the immediate right. If its dial hand is not passed zero, record the lower number for the dial in question. While the number of dials on your meter may vary, the procedure for reading them is the same.


Digital Type Meter
Digital type meters have no dial hands such as shown above. They have reading indicators somewhat similar to an automobile odometer, and are read the same as you would read your automobile odometer from left to right.

We Need Your Help

Although every attempt is made to obtain correct meter reads, sometimes incorrect reads do occur.  You can help ensure correct meter readings by:

checkmarkMaking a key available to meter readers if inside a fenced or within a enclosed location!

checkmarkBeing sure the meter dials can be seen through shrubs. Always keep the gas meter visible.

checkmarkSeeing that the “welcoming committee” (any dogs or pets) are kept indoors, or on a leash.

Cubic Foot (cf)     

A measurement of gas volume One cubic foot is equal to the amount of gas required to fill one cubic foot under standard temperature and pressure (60 degrees Fahrenheit and 14.7 pounds atmospheric pressure)


100 cubic feet


1,000 cubic feet

BTU (British Themal Unit)    

A measurement of heat One BTU is equal to the amount of heat required to raise a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit

Therm (th)    

A unit of heat equivalent to 100,000 BTUs

Dekatherm (Dth)    

Equal to 10 therms, 1,000,000 BTUs, or 1 MMBTU

The heating value of gas (or its calorific value) is an important factor in its purchase and sale.  This “heat content” of the fuel is the principle measure of its ability to perform a heating service.

Gas is usually sold on a “therm” basis, which necessitates an accurate handling of its calorific value.  So basically, a therm is a quantity of gas with the heating value factored in.  The Interstate Pipelines from which Greater Dickson Gas Authority receives its gas determines this calorific value, or BTU factor and passes the value on to us.  This value is then used in buying and selling natural gas.

GDGA’s BTU factor ranges from 1.030 to 1.040.  Its average value is 1.032.  A higher BTU factor results in fewer cubic feet of natural gas required to produce a given amount of heat; a lower BTU factor results in more cubic feet of natural gas requried to produce the same amount of heat.

Our Billing Procedure:

checkmarkWe multiply the reading in hundred cubic feet by the monthly BTU factor given to us by the Pipeline to determine the amount of therms used.

checkmarkWe then bill using the cost as given in the appropriate rate sheet.

Sample Bill Calculation:

For example, a customer has a natural gas hot water heater.  This customer would be in the Rate 22 Class.  The meter shows that 12 hundred cubic feet (or 12ccf) of natural gas had been used during November.  The interstate pipeline has determined that the BTU factor is 1.038 for this particular billing period.  What will be this customer’s bill?

Number of therms  = (usage in hundred cubic feet) x (BTU Factor) = (12) x (1.038) = 12 (rounded nearest whole number)

This customer’s bill is calculated as follows:

Customer Charge = $8.00 (October) 12 therms @ $1.18985 per therm  = $12.56  (Rate 22 commodity charge & November 01 PGA adjustments)

Total Amount of Bill = $20.56

*Note that the Purchased Gas Adjustment is a price of GDGA purchased gas from the pipeline that is adjusted on a monthly basis  and is passed onto the customer, whether it rises or falls with each month.