Dominion East Ohio Standard Choice Offer and Standard Service Offer
Each February, Dominion East Ohio conducts an auction to secure natural gas supplies for customers who do not participate in the Energy Choice program. The auction establishes a Standard Choice Offer (SCO) rate for choice-eligible customers and a Standard Service Offer (SSO) rate for Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) customers and other customers who are not eligible to participate in Energy Choice.
Do the auctions result in SCO customers having a different gas supplier?
In April, each SCO customer is assigned to a supplier based on the auction results, and that supplier’s name will appear on their bill. The supplier may or may not be different than the supplier that previously appeared on their bill. However, each customer pays the same monthly rate as other SCO customers no matter who their SCO supplier is.
How are the SCO and SSO rates set?
The SCO and SSO rates are identical and change monthly based on the NYMEX month-end settlement price for natural gas, plus a retail price adjustment that is determined in the auctions. The retail price adjustment reflects the winning bidders’ estimate of their cost to deliver natural gas from the production area to Dominion’s service area. In addition, SCO customers pay county sales tax on the supply portion of their bill and SSO customers pay an excise tax.
The NYMEX, or New York Mercantile Exchange, is a “stock market” for energy commodities. It sets a daily national market price for natural gas. Demand for natural gas is seasonal, and the NYMEX price can change dramatically from one month to the next. Variables including supply and demand and the weather can cause prices to fluctuate.
The NYMEX month-end settlement price is set on the third business day from the end of the previous month. Dominion East Ohio customers can take that price and add to it the retail price adjustment to get a preview of the following month’s SCO and SSO rate.
What is Dominion East Ohio’s current retail price adjustment?
Between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015, the retail price adjustment is $0.43 per Mcf.
Can customers still participate in Energy Choice?
SCO customers are assigned to suppliers based on the auction results, but remain free to enroll with an energy choice supplier or join a government aggregation buying group. SSO customers cannot participate in energy choice.
Does the supply auction affect natural gas distribution rates?
No, all customers pay the same distribution rate for the delivery of natural gas supplies to their homes and businesses. Dominion East Ohio continues to deliver natural gas to all customers, offer payment plans, such as budget billing and handle all emergency and customer service calls.