Natural Gas

Some energy consultants focus only on electricity and do not have the expertise to manage natural gas procurement. Unlike those, Amerex Energy Services has significant experience and expertise advising clients on handling natural gas purchases. We are able to assist clients across all deregulated natural gas markets in the United States. Today most states and Washington D.C. are deregulated to some extent. Amerex’s leverages its nationwide reach and experience with its regional presence and knowledge to assist our clients make the best energy decisions specific to their situation and ultimately control their energy costs better. To learn more about these markets, click on a state in the list below.

Currently, we serve clients in need of natural gas procurement and risk management in the following markets:

Natural gas has been deregulated in the state of Arkansas, for gas consumers that purchase the product in large volumes. The enacted deregulation provides the opportunity for businesses to purchase natural gas in a competitive market to reduce the cost of purchased energy. The competitive alternative suppliers offer multiple market-based or fixed pricing options to better suit the needs of large businesses that consume voluminous amounts of natural gas. It is the goal of deregulation to drive down prices through competition all throughout the state of Arkansas. Switching to a new alternative supplier causes no interruption in the service.
Since 1991, the state of California has deregulated the natural gas market within the state to all residential consumers and businesses. The deregulation enactment has allowed natural gas consumers in the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and SoCal Edison (SCE) utility regions the ability to choose from numerous natural gas suppliers. Competitive pricing via deregulation drives down natural gas costs, allowing the consumer to save on their monthly utility bills. Deregulation allows alternative suppliers to provide lower prices, while still using the incumbent utility company’s pipelines to deliver the product to residential homes and commercial properties.
Although PSCO (Public Service Company of Colorado) is the local natural gas utility company that delivers natural gas, consumers can purchase the gas from alternative suppliers. Making the switch allows the consumer to buy natural gas at highly competitive prices as a way to lower their monthly utility bills. While the main utility (PSCO) is still responsible for gas outages and leaks, the alternative supplier can offer the product at a much less expensive rate. Utilizing the services of alternative suppliers, it is the goal of the state to enhance competition in the natural gas market.
All businesses in the Connecticut Natural Gas, Southern Connecticut Gas and Yankee Gas utility footprints have the ability to select their natural gas provider as a way to reduce costs. All businesses that choose not to seek an alternative gas provider will automatically receive the default (regulated) service and rate from their local utility. The simplest way to prevent fluctuating monthly gas supply costs is to select one of the many alternative gas suppliers that provide the product at a competitive price. Whether selecting an alternative supplier, or the incumbent company, the local utility company will still continue to deliver the natural gas and be held responsible for any outages or interruptions.
Because of partial deregulation, large commercial natural gas consumers can take advantage of the available option to buy their natural gas through a third-party supplier. However, the delivery of the natural gas to the consumer’s meter will still be provided by the local utility company and paid for through a specific delivery charge. This provides companies the ability to obtain contracts for fixed prices on natural gas over the course of numerous years. Through electric energy contracts, businesses can control their every day supply responsibilities while minimizing the cost of natural gas without the fluctuation in pricing that traditionally happens month-to-month.
Florida has deregulated natural gas for consumers in the Central Florida Gas, Florida City Gas, Florida Public Utilities and TECO Peoples Gas regions. Breaking up the monopoly, the state of Florida now offers every natural gas consumer in these areas the ability to purchase the product at competitive rates. The local utility companies will still deliver the product and be responsible for any leaks or outages. The deregulation rules were enacted as a way to enhance competition between alternative providers and allow consumers to take control of their monthly utility bills without any interruption in service.
Since 1997, customers within the Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGLC) region have been able to purchase natural gas supply in a deregulated environment. The competition and deregulation act was designed to ensure consumer protection during the transition of moving from an existing monopoly into a competitive market. It also set in place an orderly transition while providing methods for generating competitive rates. The bill was amended two years later in an effort to address billing, meter reading, pricing and other issues concerning the consumer. Unfortunately, Georgia-based customers outside of the AGLC region are not able to purchase deregulated gas supply.
Since the incorporation of energy deregulation within the state of Illinois in 2002, residential homes and commercial properties within the Nicor, North Shore Gas, and Peoples Energy utility regions have been able to reduce their heating bills throughout the cold winter months. Regardless of the selected natural gas supplier, the local utility company is still paid to deliver the product, which is why there is a separate charge stated on the bill. The local utility company also continues to accept responsibility for any leaks or disruption of service.
Since the incorporation of energy deregulation within the state of Illinois in 2002, residential homes and commercial properties within the Nicor, North Shore Gas, and Peoples Energy utility regions have been able to reduce their heating bills throughout the cold winter months. Regardless of the selected natural gas supplier, the local utility company is still paid to deliver the product, which is why there is a separate charge stated on the bill. The local utility company also continues to accept responsibility for any leaks or disruption of service.
Iowa
Today, the state of Iowa no longer regulates the supply of natural gas to all of its industrial, commercial and residential consumers. The deregulation creates the possibility of a competitive marketplace where commercial and residential consumers can purchase natural gas through alternative suppliers that compete to provide the best services and prices. By providing competitive pricing, commercial enterprises can obtain contracts and purchase large volumes of natural gas to be used in the future at a preset price. While the provider offers the sale of natural gas at a competitive price, it is the local utility company that still delivers the product through its original infrastructure.
Kansas
The deregulation of natural gas has allowed alternative companies to provide the product at highly competitive rates. Alternative suppliers only handle the pricing and sales for natural gas. The local utility company is still in charge of delivering the product to the consumer through its existing infrastructure including pipelines and the meter. Deregulation has allowed the supply for natural gas to open up to competition. With the potential to produce substantial amounts of natural gas within the state, Kansas has been able to provide the product at prices that are much lower than other regions of the country.
Back in September of 2000, the Public Service Commission (PSC) in the state of Kentucky passed deregulation laws to allow the unbundling of services to consumers. When the law was enacted, it provided the opportunity for commercial and residential customers to select their own supplier of natural gas. By 2009, numerous utility companies that provided natural gas began participating in the program. As a result, natural gas consumers have been able to shop around for competitive pricing to reduce their monthly utility bills and take control of which company provides the product to the home or business.
The state of Louisiana no longer regulates the natural gas supply to its commercial and industrial consumers. Through the process of deregulation, the state of Louisiana now provides natural gas consumers the significant advantage of purchasing utilities through the competitive marketplace. This is where commercial enterprises can acquire contracts for purchasing natural gas at a fixed price over a specific amount of time. Without the standard policies and regulations set in place, a free and open marketplace exists where natural gas consumers can shop around for the best pricing to purchase natural gas at the best competitive prices.
Maine
Natural gas consumers in Maine can select from a variety of alternative suppliers for their service. This includes customers of Maine Natural Gas and Bangor Gas Company. Any consumer that does not elect to purchase their natural gas from an alternative supplier will automatically receive default service from their local utility company. They will be required to pay an additional supply charge, which is often referred to as “cost of gas” that tends to fluctuate every month. Consumers that choose to purchase their natural gas from an alternative supplier will still have it delivered by the local utility company that has the responsibility for the maintenance of the pipeline and any leaks.
It was in September 2009, when the Maryland Service Commission approved the final rules for unbundling services of natural gas companies in an effort to promote competition. The approval of the final rules now allows all residential customers the ability to shop around for natural gas at competitive prices. Before 2009, commercial customers were allowed to choose alternative suppliers due to deregulation. The three companies that participate in the program include Columbia Gas of Maryland, Washington Gas Light Company and Baltimore Gas and Electric Company. The local utility companies still provide delivery of the natural gas, while the supplier offers lower rates through competition.
Massachusetts has completely reformed the natural gas market to offer natural gas consumers of Berkshire Gas, Blackstone Gas, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (Bay State Gas), Fitchburg Gas & Electric, Liberty Utilities, NGRID (Boston Gas and Colonial Gas) and NSTAR Gas the ability to shop for the lowest rates. Natural gas consumers can select from a variety of alternative suppliers that offer the product at highly competitive prices. The monthly utility bill for natural gas is separated into two portions that include the distribution and delivery of the natural gas (still provided by the local utility company), and the supply (which is open to competition). The reforming of the natural gas market within the state was designed to encourage competition and provide the consumer the ability to control the cost of their monthly utility bills.
By 2002, the Michigan Public Service Commission approved deregulation plans to allow electricity consumers the option to purchase their supply of natural gas from providers other than the local utility company. As a result, many residents in commercial properties have selected to buy their natural gas energy from alternative companies. The distribution or delivery of the natural gas is still heavily regulated by the state and continues to be the responsibility of the local utility company. However, the supply is provided by alternative companies as a way to increase competition and generate lower pricing.
Minnesota has deregulated its natural gas to the commercial, industrial enterprises and residential consumers. While it still offers the product through local natural gas utility companies that are located all throughout the state, it provides an alternative to consumers. Now residential consumers and commercial enterprises can select from a variety of alternative providers that offer the sale of natural gas in a competitive marketplace. With the ability to select the best prices, natural gas consumers gain full control over the company where they purchased their natural gas at the best price.
Deregulation is now enforced in the state of Missouri, which allows large volume users of natural gas to purchase the product in a competitive market. Many outside companies are offering a supply of natural gas at highly competitive prices to large commercial enterprises that require fixed rates for a pre-determined amount of time. By obtaining a competitive contract, the business can fix the cost of natural gas for years. While the supplier has the ability to offer lower prices, the delivery system will still rely on the existing infrastructure of the local utility company that will be solely responsible for the maintenance of the pipelines and meter.
Mississippi no longer regulates the sale of natural gas through local utility companies. This change affects commercial, industrial and residential consumers where prices of natural gas were once set by a state commission. Through deregulation the state provides all natural gas consumers the ability to participate in competitive pricing from alternative providers within and outside the state borders. While the natural gas is provided by alternative companies at highly competitive prices, the product is still delivered through an existing infrastructure that is the responsibility of the local utility company. This service is paid by the consumer through their monthly utility bills.
Montana is still recognized as one of the states that offers the lowest rates for its energy. Through deregulation they have been able to allow the residents of the state to benefit from paying highly competitive prices for natural gas. Both Northwestern Energy and Energy West Montana participate in the program. The monthly utility bill of every resident that purchases natural gas includes a charge for the supply, the delivery and all of the applicable taxes. In Montana, the incumbent utility company still delivers the natural gas to the consumer, while the supplier offers substantially competitive prices that were unavailable when the product was heavily regulated in the past.
The Natural Gas Choice Program of Nebraska allows consumers the ability to buy natural gas from alternative suppliers (marketers) rather than through the traditional local utility company. Through deregulation, large commercial businesses have had access to the program for years. Only through recent changes of government regulations has the program become available to small business owners, and residential homes. Every natural gas consumer has the ability to choose their provider based on the services they provide, or incentives, or pricing. The increased flexibility and highly competitive nature of a deregulated natural gas market has provided the opportunity to purchase the product at highly competitive and reasonable prices.
Nevada
Natural gas has been deregulated for commercial property owners in the state of Nevada. The natural gas market within the state provides the opportunity for heavy use electricity consumers to select alternative suppliers as a way to compete for better pricing and services. By choosing an alternative supplier for natural gas, companies can better protect themselves against fluctuations in the natural gas open market. With a highly competitive marketplace that can provide lower prices, businesses have the opportunity to reduce their overhead cost of heating, manufacturing or other processes that require natural gas.
Natural gas is deregulated within the state of New Hampshire. The state boasts that more than a third of its energy is derived from natural gas. Through competition, allowed by deregulation, natural gas consumers now have the ability to take advantage of prices that have been driven down through the open marketplace. However, with only a limited number of gas marketers (individual suppliers) participating, the commission still only provides deregulated natural gas choices to C&I (commercial and industrial) end-users. For now, only customer businesses are able to purchase natural gas at competitive prices.
The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) of New Jersey passed extensive legislation in January 2000 and deregulated (unbundled) commercial and residential natural gas services. Four different gas utility companies including Elizabethtown Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas, South Jersey Gas and Public Services Electric and Gas participate in the program. While the cost of delivery of natural gas remains at a regulated fee, the cost of the supply of natural gas is deregulated, and offered by alternative companies at highly competitive rates. The action by BPU in 2000 transferred the control of purchasing natural gas from the local utility company to the consumer.
The state of New York has now deregulated the pricing on natural gas. This change provides natural gas consumers the ability to make different choices to meet the needs of their utility requirements. The new deregulation laws have significantly opened up the competitive market by providing alternative suppliers of natural gas for both commercial and residential properties. The goal of deregulation is to increase competition to provide lower rates on natural gas within the state of New York. Other options include green energy, and fixed rate plans, through the enhancement of customer service.
Because of energy deregulation, North Carolina has the ability to purchase natural gas supplies through a variety of alternative suppliers in lieu of the traditional local utility company. Currently, the regulation only applies to commercial purchases of large volumes of natural gas. For commercial business owners the ability to purchase natural gas at historically low prices through alternative suppliers can save substantial amounts of money on utility expenses every month. Many suppliers offer the opportunity to purchase gas at a fixed price through an agreed contract that can extend out three years or more.
Ohio
By January 2013, the state of Ohio has moved much closer to deregulation of natural gas for all of the state’s utility consumers. This change provides the opportunity to eliminate the highly regulated pricing of natural gas for large businesses located throughout the state. Current changes affect only the commercial industry, leaving residential households behind for now. Businesses have the ability to purchase natural gas from independent suppliers at competitive prices based on market conditions. So far, the deregulation is limited to utility companies that include Dominion East Ohio Gas and Columbia Gas of Ohio.
Natural gas is deregulated within the state of Oklahoma. However, there is a specific annual usage minimum equal to 1000 MMBtu. Natural gas consumers that use less than the minimum amount will not be able to utilize the services of a third-party provider. Historically, consumers that switch over to an alternative provider have experienced an average annual savings of more than 20% on their natural gas utility bills. The deregulation was incorporated by the state as a way to promote competition, and to encourage lower pricing for consumers that purchase large volumes of natural gas.
Oregon
The state of Oregon has deregulated the sale of natural gas within its boundaries. It no longer regulates the production, sale, and distribution of natural gas to all of its commercial, industrial and residential consumers. Now all the prices are determined by the open marketplace and are generated strictly through competition. While the alternative suppliers (third-party companies) offer competitive pricing on natural gas, the product is still delivered by the local utility infrastructure to all of the consumer’s meters. The consumer pays the local utility company an amount every month on their natural gas bill for the services of delivering the product to the meter.
It was in June 1999 that the General Assembly of Pennsylvania passed the state’s Natural Gas Choice and Competition Act as a way to deregulate the purchase of natural gas. Once the act was enacted, it allowed for an unbundling of all pertinent services statewide. It now provides the opportunity for all commercial and residential consumers to choose the best supplier that offers the most competitive rates. Since the act was set into place, there have been five utility companies that provide natural gas that have been participants in the statewide program.
Natural gas is partially deregulated within the state. Commercial enterprises throughout Rhode Island that consume more than 5000 therms (tm) each year have the ability to select from numerous alternative natural gas providers. However, the natural gas is still delivered through the traditional pipelines of the local utility company. Any customer that does not select an alternative supplier for their natural gas will automatically receive the services by default from their local utility company. The rates that will be applied through default will be regulated by a traditional “cost of the gas” charge which can fluctuate every month.
The state of South Carolina no longer regulates natural gas but instead allows the competitive market for utilities to set the pricing for industrial, commercial and residential consumers. Through a competitive market, consumers can select the best alternative supplier that provides the services and prices they require. Even though the natural gas is sold by an alternative third-party supplier, it is still delivered by the traditional infrastructure of the local utility company. Delivery is paid for by the consumer on every monthly utility bill. The utility company is still responsible for the maintenance of the pipeline and the gas meter.
Texas
Under Texas deregulation, any commercial company that uses a minimum of 3650 MCF of natural gas every year (metered) has the ability to select from a variety of alternative natural gas suppliers that offer more competitive prices. Any commercial natural gas consumer that meets the minimum consumption that elects not to purchase from an alternative competitive supplier of natural gas will automatically pay for a default bundled service provided by their local utility company. The local utility company will provide natural gas through a charge known as “cost of the gas” pricing scale which can fluctuate every month.
The State Corporation Commission of the Commonwealth of Virginia allows natural gas consumers of the Washington Gas Light Company to select from a variety of alternative suppliers. Through deregulation, it is the goal of the Commonwealth of Virginia to enhance competition and allow the consumer to take control of where they can purchase natural gas in the market place. Consumers that choose not to purchase natural gas from an alternative supplier will receive the service from the local utility company at a rate known as “Purchased Gas Charge” which has the ability to fluctuate every month.
The original pilot program for natural gas deregulation of electricity began in 1999. By February 2001, approval for a full-scale selection program for every resident of DC was passed by the Public Service Commission (PSC). Today, the Washington Gas Light Company is the only business that participates in the program. The bill for every natural gas consumer is comprised of three components including the supply service, the charge for distribution, and all the applicable surcharges and sales tax. The local utility company is still fully responsible for the delivery of natural gas to the consumer.
With enacted deregulation laws in the state of West Virginia, consumers can elect to purchase their natural gas through alternative providers. However, even when electing to have an alternative gas supplier provide the natural gas, it will still be delivered through the pipelines of the local utility company. It is their responsibility to maintain the pipeline system and metering. However, the deregulation laws help to spur competition in a natural gas marketplace to provide the product at highly reasonable rates. Consumers that elect not to purchase their gas through an alternate supplier will pay a “commodity charge” which can fluctuate every month.
The state of Wisconsin no longer regulates the production, sale and distribution of natural gas for all of its industrial, residential and commercial consumers. The pricing structure of natural gas is now left to the open marketplace, where competition thrives. It allows the natural gas consumers to shop around at a variety of alternative third-party suppliers to seek out the best prices and services. The natural gas is still delivered through the infrastructure of the local utility company that is paid to maintain the pipelines, meters and other components essential for natural gas delivery.

Finding the right natural gas supplier and effectively managing natural gas costs can help to dramatically reduce the amount your business or institution spends on natural gas. Contact Amerex Energy Services today to see how our experts can help your business.