[Bldg-sim] gas: Btus to cost via pricing scheme

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Hello everyone,

I'm trying to take my gas use output numbers (Btus) and calculate the
cost of the gas using the pricing scheme from the local utility (Keyspan
in Boston) for a LEED certification. However, I can't figure out what
the scheme means. Can someone tell me what these numbers mean, in terms
of how to write an equation to take my hourly outputs of gas use (from
Trnsys, but I'm doing this in Excel) and calculate final (monthly) cost?

"Customer Charge (fixed): $550.41": I'm assuming this is the monthly
base fee.
"Distribution Charge: $1.0322": Dollars per ...?
"Cost of Gas Adjustment CGA (mdcq): $0.8432": Again, no idea
"Cost of Gas Adjustment CGA (Therm): 0.8651": ...
"Local Distrib. Adjustment Charge LDAC: $0.0491": ...

(These numbers are under the heading "High Load Factor General Service
Rate - Extra Large," this is for a rather large commercial building

I've gone to the utility's website and found this data, but nothing to
explain it, nor anywhere else on the web. I called them, and just get
passed around their service department because no one seems to be able
to understand how I can have gas numbers without having a building!

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

J. Cramer Silkworth

Cramer Silkworth's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 0

Hello Cramer,

An colleage of mine and I did some recently did some research on Natural Gas
prices for New York State, and we banged our heads against the wall for a
fair bit before figuring out how these rate structures fit together. The
two of us just took a look at what you listed below and here's our best

Customer charge is the monthly base
Distribution charge is likely the "delivery" component charged on a "per
therm" or "per ccf" basis
Cost of Gas Adjustment is likely the "supply" component charged on a "per
therm" or "mdcq" basis (not sure what mdcq is, but it seems to me that only
one of these two lines applies to the actual bill, depending which unit you
are billed in (therms vs. mdcq)
Local Distribution Adjustment Charge is likely another fee they tack on per
therm, ccf, or mdcq.

So.... if you were billed in therms, I believe your total bill would be
550.41+(1.0322+0.8651+0.0491) * Therms usage.

Hope that helps!


Andrew McNamara, LEED AP

Andrew McNamara's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 0

In CO, the customer charge is per day per meter station at $6.136, not related to Therm or CCF. Distribution charge is per MCF per day, GCA is determined by a complicated equation of projected cost over projected sales plus something minus something. This is not helping you, but the point is that different utility company has different rate structure.

This is part of reason I want to use EIA data to avoid these confusing terms.

Zeng, Ming's picture
Joined: 2011-10-02
Reputation: 0

MDCQ = Maximum Daily Contract Quantity. It should probably be included
as a peak demand charge for natural gas.

Mike Dillon E.I.T., LEED A.P., MBA

Dillon, Mike's picture
Joined: 2011-10-02
Reputation: 0