Your community can set up a natural gas aggregation program as long as your local natural gas utility is an “open access” natural gas utility. To view an up-to-date listing of open access natural gas utilities, look for the websites of your state’s Consumers' Counsel or the Public Utilities Commission.
Once the program is in place, residential customers are included in natural gas aggregation. To be eligible individually, you must be current on your account with your local natural gas utility, you must live within the boundaries of the municipality and you can’t be a participant of the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus). Non-profit organizations or commercial customers and municipal facilities with annual natural gas consumption of not more than 500 Mcf, and not more than three locations in Ohio may also participate.
There is typically no cost to enroll in a natural gas aggregation program. However, if you are already using an alternative natural gas supplier under an existing CHOICE program, you may have to pay a switching fee or a cancellation fee to your existing supplier or local utility if you cancel your existing supply contract early.
If your community passes opt-out legislation, information will be mailed to all eligible customers, and they are automatically enrolled (unless they choose to opt out of the program).
If your community chooses an opt-in program, then there are several ways to enroll, including:
- Complete and return an enrollment form by mail.
- Call a toll free number that is provided with the program enrollment materials.
- Complete an enrollment form online at the website provided with the program enrollment materials.
Normally the alternate natural gas supply company will complete the transfer of natural gas service with the local natural gas utility. You will see no change in service, delivery or billing, all of which continue to be handled by your local natural gas utility.
The initial term of the agreement with the alternate supplier can vary between communities, but is typically two years or more. At the end of the initial term, you can usually continue in the program under the terms and conditions offered at that time. After the initial term, if you are dissatisfied for any reason, you may return to your local natural gas utility’s standard choice offer or select another approved natural gas supplier.
Enrollment periods will vary with each community.
Since the local natural gas utility still issues the entire bill, you may continue on the budget payment plan of your existing company.
Yes, because your local natural gas utility still issues the entire bill, you can continue to use their automatic bill payment service.
For more information regarding natural gas aggregation, please contact Terry Leach, vice president of risk and chief risk officer, at 614.540.1111 or [email protected].