How to choose a natural gas provider in 4 steps
If you live in a state where the natural gas market has been deregulated, you have the ability to choose from certified natural gas providers to supply your energy. There are a lot of options, so selecting the best one for you can feel a bit challenging. Follow these simple steps to determine your priorities and narrow down your list of natural gas suppliers.
Step 1: Set your priorities
Choosing a natural gas supplier is just like making any other decision – you should have your priorities in order before weighing your options. Similarly to choosing an electricity plan, finding the right natural gas provider starts with identifying what’s most important to you. Do you want to have predictable rates on your energy? Do you need the best customer service? Do you want a company that’s been around a long time and is an expert provider? Or do you prioritize clean energy? Rank your priorities from most important to least important, and be ready to apply them when comparing the natural gas suppliers on your list.
Step 2: Know your usage
If you’ve just moved to a new residence, be sure to request utility bills from the previous owner or renter. This will help you compare gas prices and understand the residence’s natural gas usage levels.
If you’ve lived in your residence for a while, you can easily and accurately calculate your average gas usage. You can also request from your utility, your residence’s natural gas usage on the coldest day of the last year.
When shopping for a natural gas provider, have these usage statistics in hand so that the supplier can accurately help you estimate what your monthly payments might be.
Step 3: Find the natural gas supplier that offers the best plan for you
Gas providers usually offer more than one pricing plan. Ask about the following to ensure you learn about all of the options available to you:
- What is the ccf (cost per hundred cubic feet) or mcf (cost per thousand cubic feet) or Therm?
- Do you offer fixed-rate and/or variable pricing plans?
- What affects any changes to the price?
- Are there any additional fees?
- What are the terms and conditions?
- Are there any discounts or incentives?
- Is there a budget plan?
- Is there an opportunity to bundle with other products and save?
- What plan is best for you?
Step 4: Make sure your top-choice provider is on your state’s list of certified suppliers
Call your city to ask if the natural gas provider you’ve selected is certified. You may also double check with your state government to review the state-wide list of certified natural gas providers.
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Once you’ve selected your natural gas supplier, you’re well on your way to taking control of your monthly energy budget. Contact your utility, supplier, or your state’s public utility commission for questions.