Utility gas customers pay for a lot more than gas, according to a recent article posted by the WWLP News I-Team, in Springfield, Mass.

The I-Team took a close look at utility bills for electricity and natural gas and found that some utilities assess customers as many as 17 separate charges beyond the energy cost itself. These charges cover a wide variety of the utilities' costs, such as employee pensions, expert consultants used for rate cases, storm costs, and energy efficiency programs.

"From electricity to natural gas, utilities have gotten more expensive in the last few months for most people," the I-Team reported. "Only you're not just paying for what you use; look at your bill closer, and you'll also see a list of charges and fees every month you may or may not understand."

Most utilities assess a distribution charge that covers transmission line maintenance; a federally mandated transmission charge to get the power from a generation plant to utility; and a transition charge to cover past investment costs. "Then there are more fees," the I-Team reported.

To read about he 17 different fee types highlighted in the WWLP I-Team report, click here.