As temperatures cool and economic struggles continue, consumers across Georgia are looking for savings and value during home heating season. This trend is evident in the continued growth of Gas South’s pay-as-you-go program, which has a three-year track record of providing affordable residential natural gas service to credit-challenged consumers in Georgia.
The program was introduced in 2008 and is the first of its kind in Georgia. It is designed for credit-challenged customers and does not require customers to make a deposit or other prepayment before being accepted for service.
It also is ideal for customers who may lack a credit history or are dealing with financial challenges that prevent them from enrolling with other natural gas providers. More than 11,000 households currently receive natural gas service through the pay-as-you-go program.
In addition, program customers who establish a good payment record for 12 consecutive months become eligible to switch to one of Gas South’s standard rate plans for even more savings.
Since the program began, more than 6,200 customers have been able to transition to Gas South’s standard rate plans.
“We are very pleased to be able to provide natural gas service to many customers that other natural gas providers might require to pay huge deposits or refuse to provide service to at all,” said Kevin Greiner, president and CEO of Gas South.
“The pay-as-you-go program has proven to be a very important option for people who are credit-challenged or facing financial difficulties because there is no prepayment required and our rates are very affordable.”
Although the state’s regulated provider is required to provide natural gas service to anyone regardless of credit history or ability to pay, the regulated provider can require large deposits for customers with poor credit histories.
Customers also may be affected by rate volatility or required to pay rates that often are higher than those offered by other natural gas marketers.
By contrast, customers who qualify for the pay-as-you-go program are not required to pay a deposit or other prepayment in order to begin receiving natural gas service through Gas South, and they receive the benefit of more stable rates.
Potential customers who want to learn more can go to the Gas South website at www.gas-south.com/payasyougo to watch a short informational video about the program that features actual customers.
Greiner said the value of the program is recognized by local community service agencies because it allows them to maximize their home utility assistance dollars while also helping to lower the out-of-pocket costs for consumers.
Agencies including CredAbility (formerly Consumer Credit Counseling Service), the Salvation Army, United Way, Society of St. Vincent DePaul, MUST Ministries and the Atlanta Community Food Bank have partnered with Gas South to raise awareness of the pay-as-you-go program among the communities they serve.
For more information about Gas South’s pay-as-you-go program, go to www.gas-south.com/payasyougo or call 1-877-347-7243.