Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is my electric and gas bill so high?
- Does the WMGLD have a discount for senior citizens?
- What happens if I have an emergency after the WMGLD office is closed?
- I cannot be home on the day my meter is scheduled to be read. How can I get an actual bill instead of an estimated bill?
- How do I sign up for service?
- How do I read my electric or gas meter?
Why is my electric and Gas bill so high?
WMGLD bills are higher than in past years because of the higher cost of fuel. Each customer receives a bill which includes a base rate, as well as a separate charge labeled as a Purchased Gas Adjustment Clause and a Purchased Power and Fuel Adjustment Clause. In the case of natural gas, this adjustment is related to the increase or decrease in the cost of gas purchased from the wholesale supplier. The adjustment is based on the difference between the base cost of gas and the cost of gas billed each successive month. The charge is applied to all CCF (hundreds of cubic feet) of natural gas sold in the following month. As a result, customers are billed for the actual cost of the gas used the previous month.
The same is true for the electric Purchased Power and Fuel Adjustment Clause. The cost of the fuel is passed on to the customer based on the kilowatt hours used the previous month.
Does the WMGLD have a discount for senior citizens?
Yes, the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department offers a Special Elderly Supplemental Discount Rate for customers who qualify. To qualify, you must meet all of these requirements:
- You must be 65 years or older
- you must receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – blue check from Social Security
- you must be the head of the household or principal wage earner
- and you must be a customer of the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department, receiving a bill with your name on it.
If you qualify, please call the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department at (781) 246-6363.
What happens if I have an emergency after the WMGLD office is closed?
You should call the main WMGLD telephone line at (781) 246-6363 and leave a message. This number is accessible 24-hours a day. WMGLD staff who are on duty are alerted to your call as soon as it is received and will promptly return your call. Although the business office is closed, WMGLD staff is available 24-hours a day.
During severe weather, WMGLD line and/or gas crews are on duty throughout the duration of storm.
I cannot be home on the day my meter is scheduled to be read. How can I get an actual bill instead of an estimated bill?
There are several things you can do. You can call the Business Office at (781) 246-6363 and make an appointment for the meter to be read. You can fill out the card that is left on your door on the day the meter reader visited your home and return it to the WMGLD at 9 Albion Street. Or you can call in your reading via the automated telephone system that is available 24-hours a day at (781) 246-6363.
How do I sign up for service?
There are several ways to sign up for gas or electric service. Homeowners can stop by the Business Office at 9 Albion Street, Wakefield, MA, during regular business hours (Monday through Wednesday 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursdays, 7:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m, Fridays 7:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.). A Department representative will help you or your representative fill out the new service form.
Renters should also come to the Business Office to fill out a new service form. A deposit will be required at the time of application. This deposit will be deducted from the last WMGLD bill.
Residential service and commercial service forms can be downloaded on the website. You can fill out the forms before going to the WMGLD Business Office.
How do I read my electric or gas meter?
You can monitor your electric or gas energy use by reading your own meters.
The basic unit of measure of electric power is the watt. One thousand watts are called a kilowatt. If you use one thousand watts of power in one hour you have used a kilowatt-hour (kWh). The WMGLD bills you by the kWh.
The WMGLD has two types of electric meters; a standard, clock-like meter with dials, and a digital-read meter.
The standard electric power meter is a clock-like device driven by the electricity moving through it. As you use electricity, current from the power lines triggers a set of small gears inside the meter. The dials that you can see on the face of the meter record the number of revolutions.
When reading the clock-like electric meter, read left to right across the dials and record the smaller of the two figures on either side of the pointer. When the pointer is directly on a number, look at the dial to the right. If it has passed zero, use the next higher number. If it has not passed zero, use the lower number. Should the hand of a dial fall between two numbers, use the smaller of the two numbers.
Natural Gas Meters
Natural gas is commonly measured by the cubic foot, and you are billed by the hundreds of cubic feet (CCF). A gas meter is driven by the force of the moving gas in the pipe. Each time the dial with the lower value makes one complete revolution, the pointer on the next higher value dial moves ahead one digit.
When reading a gas meter, read and write down the numbers as shown on the dials from left to right. It is important to note that on both types of meters, the hands of adjacent dials turn in opposite directions to each other.