When you shop for natural gas in Ohio, you are exercising your right to Choice! And 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 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.
Most consumers shop to find a Fixed Rate natural gas plan. These are prices that protect your price for natural gas every month. (The standard service offer is a variable rate plan.)
Shop Fixed Rate Natural Gas Plans in Ohio
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 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!
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 gas plans and shop.
Time needed: 10 minutes.
How to Shop for Ohio Natural Gas
- Review your current natural gas bill.
Make note of your current supplier, contract expiration date and rate per ccf. You’ll find this information on the back of your utility bill.
- Enter your zip code on NaturalGasPlans.com/Ohio.
- View Ohio Natural Gas Plans
After you enter your zip code, you’ll see a list of natural gas suppliers and natural gas offers near you, specific to your utility and zip code.
- Select your Natural Gas Plan
Select the plan that’s right for you based on the price and based on any features you want, like veterans discount or charity donations.
- Complete your enrollment
Once you’ve made your selection, click to enroll. You’ll be redirected to the supplier’s 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.
Shop Natural Gas Plans in Ohio
How to Find the Cheapest Natural Gas and Electricity Prices in Your Area (Ohio)
In most of Ohio you can choose both your electricity supplier and your natural gas supplier.
And to find the cheapest natural gas prices in your area of Ohio, use NaturalGasPlans.com. Just search by zip code to find the cheapest natural gas prices in your area.
One warning: avoid low-priced variable rate natural gas and electricity offers. These are gimmicky prices that give you a low price for one, two or three months. But read the fine print. After that introductory rate, you’re price can change “at the sole discretion of” your supplier. So they can charge anything they want. They’re betting on you forgetting to shop and switch to a new plan.
And that’s why we always feature fixed rate plans. Because if you want your rate to change every month for your electricity and natural gas, you might as well stay with the utility company!
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 high gas bill.
Shop For Fixed Rate Natural Gas in Ohio
Will I get Two Bills when I Switch?
Nope. Your Ohio 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 Change My Mind After I Switch Natural Gas Suppliers?
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!