Gas Meter

Natural Gas

The Laurens CPW began construction on a natural gas transmission and distribution system in the 1950s. Today, we have 84 regulator stations, 250 square miles of service territory and over 398 miles of natural gas pipeline.

Natural Gas Rates

A customer’s electric rate is determined by the size and type of gas service required. We have residential, commercial and industrial natural gas rates. Natural gas prices are determined by trading on the open market, much like the stock market, so the price may vary from the CPW's base price. The CPW uses what's called a Purchased Gas Adjustment, or a PGA. A Purchased Gas Adjustment is a way to recover costs and protects both the CPW and our customers from fluctuations in the market. The PGA may result in a charge or a credit, depending on the market. Instead of adjusting our rates on a monthly basis, we maintain the same base rate and use the PGA to reflect changes in the market price of gas. For all current rates, fees and other charges, please contact a customer service representative at 864.681.4300.


How to read your Natural Gas meter

For most of our natural gas customers, a digital meter is supplied to measure the amount of gas used. The digital reading on the display is read left to right.

In the photo above, the current reading is 1766. To calculate the monthly usage, subtract the current reading from the previous months reading displayed on your bill. If your previous reading was 1700 for example, 66 ccf (hundred cubic feet) of gas was used between monthly meter readings. This usage is then applied to the applicable rate to determine the cost of your monthly bill.

What Determines Natural Gas Rates?
The CPW’s natural gas rates are made up of two components – our fixed operational costs to deliver the gas to our customers and the actual cost of natural gas. The actual cost of natural gas fluctuates throughout the year based on market trading conditions and other factors. Our operational costs include construction, metering, maintenance and other support services. This is a fixed cost recovered in our rates and it does not change based on natural gas market conditions.

Our rates are designed so that the actual gas cost is paid by the customer. We build the anticipated cost of natural gas in our base rate and recover market fluctuations through the PGA.

How do we measure natural gas use?
A CCF is a volumetric measure of natural gas. It represents the amount of gas contained in a space equal to one hundred cubic feet. A therm is a measurement of energy, or heat, equal to 100,000 BTU (British Thermal Units). Here at CPW, we measure in CCF.

For example: If the CPW's rate is $1.047 per CCF, about 45 cents of this is the estimated cost of gas. If the market drives the national gas price, say, 20 cents higher or lower, a PGA will be added as a 20 cent charge or credit accordingly.

Why Natural Gas?
At the CPW, we believe that natural gas represents a tremendous benefit to our community. Natural gas helps create a sustainable energy future both regionally and nationally. According to the Gas Technology Institute, natural gas offers “efficient, safe and reliable delivery and its use as an abundant, domestic, affordable, low-carbon energy source for all segments of the economy.” Research indicates that natural gas is a key component of our economy, environmental protection, and national security.

The Laurens CPW is also a publicly owned utility. Being publicly owned means our customers and citizens own our system. We work to keep rates competitive, and we are dedicated to contributing to the community’s well-being. A public owned utility can provide high levels of customer service, and it means that our staff and our Board are directly invested in Greater Laurens’ progress and success.


 Excess Flow Valve (EFV)

Effective April 1, 2017, Federal natural gas safety regulations require the installation of an Excess Flow Valve (EFV) on all new natural gas service lines to residential and small commercial customers.  The regulations also allow certain existing residential and small commercial customers to request the installation of an EFV on their natural gas service lines.

An EFV is a safety device designed to significantly reduce the flow of natural gas in a service line that has been broken between the gas main and gas meter.  The decreased flow of natural gas reduces the risk of personal injury and property damage that could occur if the escaping gas ignites.  However, an EFV is not designed to protect against minor gas leaks on the service line or gas meter, or any leak on customer piping inside a home or business.

The illustration above shows some typical causes of broken service lines, including excavation damage.  Remember – the best prevention against damaging your service line is to have all below ground utility lines marked before digging.  This free service is available by calling South Carolina One Call at 811.

Residential and small commercial customers whose total appliance load is no greater than 1,000 cubic feet per hour (approximately 1,000,000 BTU per hour) may request the Laurens CPW to install an EFV in their service line if one does not already exist.  Other technical requirements must also be evaluated to determine whether an EFV will properly function on any given service line.

Because the service line must be excavated to install an EFV, you will be charged $150.00 to cover the cost of installation should you request one.  The Laurens CPW will be responsible for EFV maintenance costs after installation.

If you are interested in considering an EFV installation in the service to your home or business or would like more information, please contact the Laurens CPW at 864.681.4300.  A Lauren CPW representative will research the technical requirements of the EFV for your service line, answer any questions you may have regarding EFVs, and can work with you to establish a mutually agreeable date for installation. 

 The Benefits of Public Natural Gas Utilities

 To learn more about the benefits of a public owned utility, watch this short video from the American Public Gas Association.