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Choosing a Natural Gas Supplier

Under customer choice programs for Duke Energy, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Dominion East Ohio, and Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio, you may choose your natural gas supplier. Your local natural gas utility will continue to deliver the gas to your home or business. If you are considering switching natural gas suppliers, take a moment to read the following information. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is committed to ensuring that you have the needed information to make an informed decision about choosing a new supplier.

Governmental Buying Groups or “Aggregations”

Before learning about how to choose your supplier on your own, you should also know about governmental aggregation in case your area chooses to aggregate. In Ohio, local communities are allowed, by law, to join their citizens together to buy natural gas as a group and on the group’s behalf, negotiate the terms, conditions, and price of the natural gas supply. Most governmental aggregation programs are “opt-out” programs which automatically enroll all local residents, unless they individually and actively opt-out of the program (choose not to be included). A local government can only do this if a majority of the voters approved the issue in a previous election. If your community is aggregating, you will want to learn more about how this program affects you and your choices. For more information, call the PUCO at (800) 686-PUCO (7826).

Apples to Apples comparison charts

The PUCO regularly updates a comparison chart of the certified suppliers' offers. The chart includes: a list of PUCO-certified suppliers that are actively enrolling customers, suppliers' phone numbers and websites, price options, total rate, average annual cost of each plan, and basic terms of the contracts offered. For your free copy of the most recent comparison chart, call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826).

Safety and Reliability

Whether you stay with your local natural gas utility or switch to another company for your gas supply, your local utility will continue to respond to your natural gas safety concerns and provide the same reliable natural gas service as always. The PUCO is committed to ensuring that customers will continue to receive safe, reliable and adequate natural gas service.

PUCO-Certified Suppliers

Before entering into an agreement with a potential supplier, make sure that the company is on the certified supplier list. You can obtain a current list of suppliers by calling the PUCO at (800) 686-PUCO (7826). Certified suppliers have met the PUCO's tough managerial, technical, and financial standards. Further, the PUCO may take certain actions against suppliers who violate customer protections and rules.

4 simple steps to choosing a supplier

1. Compare offers

Get a PUCO Apples to Apples comparison chart.

2. Contact suppliers

Contact the suppliers that you are most interested in and ask the questions provided in this pamphlet. To sign up, simply call that supplier. The supplier will contact your local natural gas utility for you.

3. Read and understand the supply contract

Make sure you carefully read and understand all of the terms and conditions of your supply contract. The supplier should be able to answer any questions you have.

4. Receive Confirmation

Your local natural gas utility will send you a letter confirming the supplier you have chosen. If the information is correct, you do not have to do anything. If the information is not correct, contact the utility and request that the switch be stopped.

Questions to Ask a Supplier

  • Are you a PUCO-certified supplier?
  • What is the price per hundred cubic feet (ccf) or thousand cubic feet (mcf)?
  • Is the price fixed or does it change?
  • If it changes, how does it change?
  • Does the price depend on how much I use or when I use natural gas?
  • Will there be a switching fee?
  • Is there a fee if I cancel the contract early?
  • Are there any built-in price increases or decreases?
  • Is there a customer incentive for signing up?
  • Are there any special add-on services?
  • How long will the rate remain in effect?
  • What happens when my contract expires?
  • Will I receive one or two bills a month?
  • Who provides the billing?
  • Is there a budget plan?
  • Are current budget plan customers eligible to participate with the supplier?

 

Inquiries, Disputes, and Complaints

If you have a gas emergency (e.g. you smell gas) or a complaint or inquiry regarding your bill, meter, gas pipeline or safety concerns, call your local natural gas utility.

If you have a complaint or inquiry regarding your natural gas supply contract, call your supplier.

If your complaint or inquiry is not resolved, call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) or TTY/TDD (800) 686-1570.