Ohioans use natural gas in their homes as the primary source of heat. The state also has a growing renewable energy market, with about 3% of in-state generation coming from clean sources in 2020.
The supply of cheapest natural gas rates is dependent on the weather, which can cause spikes in demand that can drive up prices. However, consumers can find competitive ohio natural
gas suppliers offering plans that can help them save money during times of high demand. In addition, residents can take advantage of deregulation by comparing rates online and finding the best deal for their needs.
Several different industries produce, transport and distribute natural gas. These include production companies, transmission companies and distribution companies. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) regulates transmission and distribution companies but does not directly oversee the marketing or production segments.
Before deregulation, pipeline companies bought natural gas from producers and sold it bundled with transportation costs to local utility companies that distributed the gas to consumers (known as LDCs). This meant that utility company rates were often higher than the competitive market rate for gas. The FERC order of April 1992 allowed for gas competition and forced pipelines to separate their sales.
Today, there are many competitive natural gas suppliers competing for your business. Four major suppliers participate in the ohio natural choice program, and customers can choose where their gas is purchased from. These include Columbia Gas of Ohio, Dominion East Ohio, Duke Energy Ohio and Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio.
When choosing a natural gas supplier, it’s important to evaluate the pricing options offered and contract terms. In addition, you should be sure that the supplier is licensed by the PUCO to sell gas in your specific service territory.
In 2005 and 2008, Ohioans voted for local aggregation programs that allow local communities to band together and purchase natural gas on behalf of their residents. These ohio natual aggregation programs offer a variety of plan options, including variable and fixed price plans with straightforward terms and conditions designed to meet your needs. However, if you don’t want to participate in a governmental aggregation program, you can still choose a competitive retail gas supplier from the list of approved suppliers maintained by the PUCO.