Facts About Natural Gas
What makes up the Natural Gas industry?
The natural gas industry is made up of three parts: supply, transmission and distribution. Supply refers to the natural gas producers who drill for gas. Transportation is the process of moving the supply through pipelines to utility companies. And, the final stage, distribution, is the utility company providing natural gas to you.
What is Deregulation?
Deregulation is the lessening of government restraint on private businesses. This process leads to more competitive programs and pricing for consumers.
What is choice program?
Natural Gas Choice gives customers the opportunity to purchase gas from suppliers, also known as Marketers, other than their current utility company. This is a direct result of deregulation. Choice Program allows you to view all available service packages and potentially “unbundle,” allowing you to choose amongst the phases: supply, transmission and distribution. You, the customer, are able to make better economical natural gas purchases.
Is everyone eligible for Choice Program?
No, each individual must meet their Utility’s credit standards.
What states have Choice Program?
**Currently, 22 States and the District of Columbia have legislation or existing programs that let residential consumers and other small-volume gas users purchase natural gas from someone other than their traditional utility company. The number of States offering choice has remained the same since 2003, but the availability and characteristics of the different State programs vary widely. Seven of the 22 States and the District of Columbia allow all residential consumers to choose their Natural Gas Suppliers, but a lack of marketer participation has precluded the development of competitive retail markets in three of these States. Six of the 22 States are in the process of implementing choice statewide, with programs available to more than half their residential customers, and another eight States have pilot or partial unbundling programs in place or awaiting development. Two other States discontinued their pilot programs several years ago, although a utility in one of these States remains committed to expanding its small-volume transportation program in the future, with a goal of eventually exiting the merchant function over several phases. The remaining 26 States are not considering choice programs at this time. Large commercial and industrial consumers have had the option of purchasing the natural gas commodity separately from natural gas services for many years.
**Data according to the US Energy Information Administration
Are the regulations for natural gas usage the same for every state?
Regulations are set by each states regulatory
Will I be charged for leaving my current natural gas supplier?
Normally there is no charge so long as you change at the end of your contract. Each state sets it own rules for what suppliers can charge for an early termination.
Will I be charged for enrolling with a new supplier?
Enrollment is generally free of charge.
Will my utility company change if I switch suppliers?
No, you will continue to be billed by your current utility company. The distribution of natural gas in your home or small business will continue with your utility company, but the gas will come from a different supplier.
Who will bill me if I change suppliers?
Billing will still come from your utility company. The only change that will take place is the location of where your natural gas comes from. The natural gas industry three stages are supply, transportation and distribution. The only change will be your supplier.
Who will do my meter readings if I change suppliers?
Again, your utility company will remain responsible. They will do all readings and bill you accordingly.
If my natural gas supplier is different from my utility company, whom should I contact in case of an emergency?
At any time there is a natural gas emergency, contact your utility company immediately.
Have more questions that need answered? Email NaturalGasSuppliers.org at our contact page - CONTACT US
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