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How To Buy Natural Gas

The natural gas Choice program allows a Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) natural gas customer to choose an alternative natural gas supplier. If you enroll in this voluntary program, the supplier you choose will buy gas for you - which NIPSCO will then transport to Northern Indiana and deliver to you through its distribution system.

how to buy natural gas

The Choice program was proposed by NIPSCO in late 1995 as a response to increased competition in the natural gas wholesale market and consumer desire for choices, and to allow the utility to take a lead role in the transition of Indiana's retail gas market to competition. A 1997 Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) order authorized the program following a legal proceeding that included the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and other parties. Since then, the program has continued under a series of settlement agreements.

NIPSCO Choice is not designed as a savings program, but consumers who enroll could save money. Every gas supplier has a different combination of contracts with competing gas producers and interstate pipelines. As a result, some suppliers may be able to buy natural gas at a lower cost than others, including NIPSCO.

If you choose a supplier other than NIPSCO, questions about the pricing of your natural gas supply or about your contract should be directed to the gas supplier you chose. Other questions can be directed to NIPSCO toll-free at 1-800-464-7726.

The European Union could reduce its imports of Russian natural gas by more than one-third within a year through a combination of measures that would be consistent with the European Green Deal and support energy security and affordability, new IEA analysis shows.

Your gas utility rates include both the cost to deliver service to your home or business and the cost of the natural gas commodity charged by our suppliers. Similar to other energy prices, the commodity cost of natural gas can increase and decrease according to gas market pricing. The Energy Resources Department does not produce natural gas; we buy natural gas on the open competitive market. We will continue to purchase natural gas at the most competitive price. However, as a direct result of these price fluctuations, your gas bill may be higher compared to last year's bill. To learn about the cost of gas, please visit:

1A gas supplier is an entity licensed to sell natural gas and related services to retail customers. A gas supplier holds a title to the natural gas at city gate deliveries. 220 CMR 14.02.

2A retail agent is an entity licensed to facilitate or otherwise arrange for the purchase and sale of natural gas and related services to customers. A retail agent acts as a conduit between gas suppliers and customers. 220 CMR 14.02.

Signing up for natural gas in North America can be as easy as filling out a form with your local utility company. Fortunately for you, North America has deregulated your natural gas service, so the power of choice is yours. Unlike customers in many other states, you can get your natural gas from a company other than your local utility, especially if you're looking for better prices and services. In fact, it's pretty easy to compare your options and start saving on your heating bill.

You have the right to abandon your local utility for a third-party gas marketer at any time. However, if you are currently under contract with another gas marketer, it's important you review this contract before pursuing a new natural gas provider. Many contracts carry early cancellation fees, and these fees can vary depending on when you attempt to leave your contract. As a result, a new contract doesn't necessarily guarantee you any savings.

You can begin with a simple price comparison. Visit your state's public services commission website, which provides a complete listing of your options. Depending on the state you live in, you may have to enter your city or zip code to narrow the available options. In any case, once you have your list, you can compare prices and plans. Here are the key considerations when shopping for a natural gas supplier:

  • On your chart, you will see two kinds of rate plans. It's important to understand the differences, as they can mean either big savings or a bad case of sticker shock.Fixed-rate plan: This is where you enter into a contract with the company. In exchange for doing business with that company for a certain number of months, you get to lock in one unit price for the term. The upside is that you are protected from volatile natural gas prices, which is traded on the market. Contract length is the main consideration here.

  • Variable-rate plan: The rate you see is the current price for this month. Next month, the rate will change depending on what happens in the market. The advantage is you won't be locked in a contract, so you can switch without paying a penalty. And yes, when prices fall, you save money. On the flip side, if you're coming off a month that saw a commodity price spike, it could be more painful.

A natural gas contract often covers more than just the gas and its associated price. You may be attracted to many other perks offered by a natural gas supplier. This includes loyalty programs, rebates, or other attractive features.

  • In the state of North America, two kinds of companies sell natural gas to households. Default utility: This is your local utility, which owns and maintains the infrastructure and delivers the natural gas to all customers within their territory. You can choose to buy the natural gas from these companies. While market conditions can influence the price, what you pay is typically regulated by the state commission.

  • Competitive supplier: These companies purchase natural gas from the wholesale market and sell them to consumers. You can buy natural gas from this company, but your default utility will still take care of your billing and any outages you might experience.

First, you need to sign up with your local utility, or your default provider, since this is the company that owns the infrastructure that makes natural gas delivery possible. If more than one serves your state, check the public utility commission's website to learn which serves your area.

While natural gas market prices may be lower elsewhere, they remain elevated in the Pacific region where gas demand is high due to cold weather and low storage levels. There is a significant price differential between gas market prices on the East Coast and West Coast.

Most of the natural gas used in California comes from out-of-state gas basins in the Southwest, Canada, Rocky Mountain area, and Texas. SoCalGas, which buys natural gas on behalf of SDG&E, does not trade at Henry Hub (a natural gas distribution hub located in Erath, Louisiana) in Louisiana. It trades at hubs in California and Pacific Northwest, as well as in those gas basins.

Thankfully, high natural gas prices are not permanent. Historically, as the weather warms up and gas usage declines, gas prices moderate and bills go down. Also, natural gas rates paid by customers change monthly based on the market price for the fuel, and residential natural gas usage is typically the highest in January when the weather in our region is usually the coldest.

We use a suite of tools to help make sure our customers get the best possible prices. These include long-term contracts; baseload purchases (buying the month prior; use of storage fields, which allow us to stock up natural gas during low-cost summer months and store it for use during higher cost, winter months; and prudent use of financial hedging tools.

Delivery giant UPS plans to buy a whopping 170-million-gallon equivalent of biogas converted from waste sources from provider Clean Energy over the next seven years to power its fleet of natural gas trucks, the company announced Wednesday.

The contract is a big deal because it's the largest of its kind in the United States. It also highlights how waste gas, also called renewable natural gas, is moving from a niche product into a more widely available zero-emission fuel source for private and public fleet operators.

UPS's director of fleet procurement, Mike Casteel, said in an interview with GreenBiz: "This is doable. The product [RNG fuel] is becoming available. If you have natural gas infrastructure, or have access to it, then anyone can do this."

The RNG provider, Clean Energy, was founded by oil and gas wildcatter T. Boone Pickens in 2001 to sell natural gas as a fuel source for vehicles. Earlier this year at our conference in Phoenix, Arizona, GreenBiz 19, Clean Energy announced that it plans to phase out all fossil fuel-based gas and only sell renewable natural gas by 2025.

UPS has a fleet of 6,100 natural gas-powered vehicles that it began to buy in bulk in 2012. Casteel says that's because it was around that time that the first heavy-duty class 8 engine dedicated to natural gas became available on the market from Cummins, the engine and generator company.

UPS is using natural gas- and RNG-powered trucks to run longer over-the-road shipping routes. Its efforts around electrification, in comparison, largely have been around using electric delivery trucks in urban areas for shorter, stop-and-start runs.

Casteel said that the purchase order from Clean Energy represents about a quarter of its annual natural gas usage. If RNG were more widely available, Casteel said he could see the entire UPS natural gas fleet eventually using RNG.

Without such incentives, historically, it's been pretty expensive to collect biogas at smaller distributed waste projects. The renewable fuels standard program reimburses the biogas provider, while the customer (UPS) pays the same price as it would for natural gas. California's low-carbon fuel standard also provides big incentives for RNG for companies that generate it. 041b061a72

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