Once you learn the basics of how to shop for natural gas supply in OH, it’s easy to switch. In this article, you’ll learn how to make an apples to apples comparison of OH natural gas rates and plans.
You’ll learn how to make the switch, and how switching to a competitive natural gas supplier can save money and give you price certainty. You’ll also learn how how the price to compare gas rates are set by the utility.
Natural Gas Deregulation in OH
Natural Gas has been deregulated in OH since 1996. This means that you can buy your natural gas supply separate from your natural gas delivery. Your local gas utility company continues to deliver the natural gas to your home, maintain the gas pipelines, respond to emergencies, and issue your bill. The only change you’ll notice is a new line item on the bill from your utility that indicates the new competitive natural gas supplier. You’ll pay the fixed natural gas rate that you have selected from the new competitive supplier instead of the Standard Choice Offer rate from the local utility.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) oversees deregulated natural gas suppliers, and the utilities. Their role is to ensure that competition is fair, approve delivery and supply rates from the utility, and work with consumers to resolve any issues.
Can I choose a Competitive Natural Gas Supplier?
Any Ohio Citizen that lives in a deregulated OH natural gas utility can switch to a Certified Natural Gas Supplier. You can shop for natural gas supply if any of the following are your utility:
There is one exception to shopping eligibility. Customers who are qualified as low income are served on the Percentage of Income Payment Plan, or PIPP. PIPP is a subsidized rate that is only available directly through your local natural gas utility. Because of this, Ohio Citizens on PIPP are not eligible to select a competitive gas supplier.
Benefits of Switching Natural Gas Supplier in OH
There are two big benefits to switching your natural gas supplier in OH:
- Savings — Competitive natural gas suppliers purchase gas differently than the utility, and, as a result, can typically offer lower rates than the utility. Suppliers purchase fixed price gas contracts on the wholesale trading markets.
- Security — With the utility, your natural gas rate changes constantly, based on the price of natural gas in the market. With a Certified Natural Gas Supplier, you’ll typically lock in a fixed price contract, guaranteeing a fixed gas price for the term of the contract that you select.
OH Gas Price to Compare — Standard Choice Offer Rate
If you do not shop for natural gas in OH, your service is provided by your local utility, on the Standard Choice Offer Rate (also called the Gas Cost Recovery rate in Duke Energy area). This offer rate is made up of two components:
- The actual cost of natural gas, purchased through an auction process, and priced based on the NYMEX or New York Mercantile Exchange (more on that below).
- A Retail Price Adjustment (RPA), set through an annual auction process. The RPA reflects the cost to get the natural gas supply from the production area to the service area.
The NYMEX is a stock market for energy commodities. Trading in this commodity market determines the daily national market price for natural gas, and the cost for natural gas at each delivery point. Supply, demand and weather (think, “2016 Polar Vortex) all impact the price for natural gas.
If you take the Standard Choice Offer rate and don’t shop for Natural Gas in OH, your price will vary each month based on current market conditions.
Your price for gas each month under the SCO is based on the NYMEX month end settlement point price the prior month. For example, your January gas price is based on the market price on the 3rd business day from the end of December.
There are enough uncertainties in life. Why take the risk for one more unknown? That’s why we recommend comparing OH natural gas rates and shopping for a fixed rate plan for your natural gas supply. It gives you price certainty, so you can budget and avoid a nasty gas bill.
How to Choose A Gas Supplier in Ohio
The PUCO apples to apples gas rate comparison charts offer information to compare natural gas suppliers. They also list the current Price to Compare for your natural gas supply. To see how much you can save in the current month, just compare the offer rates from the certified natural gas providers to the utility’s price to compare.
However there are a lot of plans to pick from. A search under Columbia Gas of Ohio shows in May 2018 shows 63 plans, from multiple providers. That’s a lot of plans and providers to search through and research, and can be time consuming.
NaturalGasPlans.com takes the guesswork out of shopping for natural gas. We work with a select number of high quality suppliers. We sort through the fine print, make sure that the offers are fair, and only show a limited number of plans — the plans that we would pick for ourselves!
We also sort plans into different categories, so you can compare apples to apples gas plans. There are basic plans, veteran and active military discounted natural gas rates, and plans that offer extra stuff, like home automation gadgets. There are even charity plans, so your heart can feel warm while you heat your home!
The first thing to do is grab a copy of your natural gas bill from your local utility. You’ll need that for 2 things:
- Your current natural gas price (so you can tell if you are going to save money by switching your natural gas supply)
- Your account information
Once you have that, it’s easy to compare electric plans and shop.
- Visit the NaturalGasPlans.com/Ohio site
- Enter your zip code
- View Plans and select the one that meets your needs. You can easily select from all plans, or sort into categories like veteran and charity, and the rates are clearly shown.
- Click and connect to the supplier site to complete your enrollment
After that, relax! There’s no need to contact the utility or your current supplier. Your new supplier will become effective in one to two billing cycles, depending on your meter read schedule.
Will I get Two Bills when I Switch?
Nope. Your utility will continue to send your bill. You’ll know that your switch is complete when your new supplier shows up as a line item listed on your bill under Natural Gas Supplier.
What if I Move During my Natural Gas Contract?
No worries! You’re covered. By law, you can’t be charged an early termination fee (ETF) if you move out of your home. You may be asked to provide proof of your move, OR, the supplier may automatically waive the ETF when they get a “move out” notification from the local utility.
When you get to your new home, you’ll set up your gas supply with the local utility to get an account number. Then come on back to NaturalGasPlans.com to select a new competitive natural gas supplier and lock in a fixed rate.
What if I Get Cold Feet?
Change your mind? You’ll get a notification of switch in the mail. Ohio’s Right’s of Rescission grants you seven business days from the postmark date of that letter to cancel a contract. Just contact your local utility to cancel the switch if you change your mind.
Next up: Shop for OH Electricity Supply
Now that you’ve switched your natural gas supply … what about your Ohio electricity supply?
Home lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration, your washing machine. It all adds up, and switching your electricity has the same benefits as shopping for natural gas supply! Compare apples to apples Ohio electric rates to learn more.
Thanks and happy shopping!