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Columbia Gas Customer Choice Pilot Program

Consumer Tips for the Columbia Gas "Customer Choice" Program


The Public Service Commission wants to help you understand the options you now have in purchasing natural gas.


It's Your Choice...

In September, 2000 Columbia Gas of Kentucky initiated, with the approval of the Kentucky Public Service Commission, a three-year pilot program called "Columbia Gas of Kentucky Customer Choice." The program allows residential and small commercial customers of Columbia Gas of Kentucky to choose an alternative gas supplier, that is a gas marketing company. Customers may also choose to continue having Columbia Gas of Kentucky as their gas supplier. Whether a customer chooses to purchase gas from an alternative supplier or from Columbia Gas, Columbia will be the company responsible for transporting and distributing the gas to the customer.

The following information is intended to make your choice of supplier (alternative or Columbia Gas) easier.


Know the Supplier

Before contracting for service with any supplier, make sure it's on the approved supplier list for your area. You can get a current list of approved suppliers from Columbia Gas or by clicking on this link:

http://www.columbiagasky.com

Each supplier on this list met Columbia’s credit standards and has agreed to conduct business in accordance with Columbia’s standard of conduct for all the "Choice" approved marketers.


Safety and Reliability

Whether you continue to get your natural gas supply from Columbia Gas, or sign up with one of the competitive suppliers, Columbia Gas will still deliver the gas to your home or business. Columbia Gas will bill you and will respond to your natural gas safety concerns. Throughout the entire pilot program, Columbia Gas and the Kentucky PSC will continue to ensure that you receive safe, reliable and adequate gas service.


Before You Sign

  • ASK the supplier if it is on the approved supplier list.
  • READ carefully any material the supplier provides.
  • KNOW the terms of the contract. How long does it last? Does the gas price change during the contract period? Is there a discount? What are the terms of cancellation? Are you required to cancel in writing? How many days notice are required? Is there a penalty for cancellation?
  • OBTAIN a copy of the contract, and make sure all terms, conditions and prices are provided in writing for your records.
  • Ask the supplier to explain any risks, as well as the potential benefits, of the program. Weigh the risks and the benefits carefully, and take your time before making a decision.
  • REMEMBER -- it's your choice. You can always call the Public Service Commission toll free at 1-800-772-4636 or e-mail us at psc.consumer.inquiries@ky.gov if you have questions. We cannot recommend a supplier or make your choice for you, but we can answer questions about the details of the program.

Who To Call

For safety concerns:

Columbia Gas of Kentucky
24 hour service - 1-859-288-0205
Toll Free - 1-800-432-9515

For questions about your new contract, call your supplier. The phone number should be on your contract.


Complaints and Disputes

The Kentucky PSC is available to help resolve any complaints and disputes you may have with either your gas utility or your gas supplier. Before contacting us, you should first:

Contact the supplier if you have a complaint or dispute about your contract.

Contact Columbia Gas if you have a complaint or a dispute about your bill or the meter at 1-800-866-4GAS

Please e-mail us at psc.consumer.inquiries@ky.gov or contact the Consumer Services Division by phone at 1-800-772-4636 if you are unable to resolve a dispute with either your marketer or Columbia Gas of Kentucky.

COLUMBIA GAS CUSTOMER CHOICE

In September, 2000 Columbia Gas of Kentucky initiated, with the approval of the Kentucky Public Service Commission, a three-year pilot program called "Columbia Customer Choice." The program allows residential and small commercial customers of Columbia Gas of Kentucky to choose an alternative gas supplier, that is a gas marketing company. Customers may also choose to continue having Columbia Gas of Kentucky as their gas supplier. Whether a customer chooses to purchase gas from an alternative supplier or from Columbia Gas, Columbia will be the company responsible for transporting and distributing the gas to the customer. Any savings under the program will affect the portion of a customers bill labeled, "Gas Supply Costs."

Columbia will continue to deliver gas to your home or business, will read your meter and will respond to your safety concerns.

You will continue to be billed directly by Columbia Gas. Columbia will reimburse the marketer for the gas you have used.


Gas Cost Comparison Chart

While no one can make a decision for you, the Kentucky PSC offers information that can help residential customers make an informed choice. Below is a chart listing the marketers that Columbia Gas has approved to participate in the pilot program and an estimate of the annual costs of each offering, assuming you use 120 Mcf annually, which is typical for a residential customer. An "Mcf" is the unit of measure under which gas is sold. It is equal to one thousand cubic feet of natural gas.

The information in this chart will assist residential customers in comparing and calculating the various options being offered. The information is the most recently provided to the Commission by Columbia Gas. The first of each month, the Kentucky PSC will update its comparison. You may use the information from this chart in the sample bill attached below the chart as an additional tool to assist you in evaluating the various options offered by the approved marketers. It is important to note that a marketer may change its offer without prior notice to this Commission.


COMPARISON CHART OF MARKETER OFFERS
SUPPLIER PRICE OPTIONS * GAS SUPPLY COSTS**
as of May 2014
ESTIMATED ANNUAL TOTAL GAS COST****
Columbia Gas of Kentucky
(CKY) 800-866-4GAS
http://www.columbiagasky.com
Current Gas Cost Recovery Rate** plus applicable taxes. EGC $6.2363

GCR $5.6811
$748

$682
Gateway Energy Services Fixed price of $7.99 per Mcf through 10/13/15 $7.99 $959
Interstate Gas Supply (IGS)
877-444-7427
http://www.IGSenergy.com
Fixed price of $7.29/mcf for 12 billing cycles
Fixed price of $7.29/mcf for 36 billing cycles
$7.29 $875
Constellation Energy Gas Choice, Inc. formerly
MXEnergy.com/Constellation
800-785-4373
http://www.mxenergy.com
Fixed price of $6.49 per Mcf
for 12 billing cycles
Variable price of $8.69 per Mcf
(month to month)
$6.49

$8.69
$779

$1,043
Volunteer Energy Services
800-977-8374
http://www.volunteerenergy.com
Variable price of $6.284 per Mcf
(month to month)
$6.284 $754
Stand Energy (Stand)
800-598-2046
http://www.standenergy.com
Currently no offers    
Kentucky Gas & Electric
888-919-5943
Variable price of $5.599 per Mcf
(month to month)
$5.599 $672
Kentucky United Energy
855-735-7304
http://www.kyunitedenergy.com
Fixed price of $6.99/mcf for 12 billing cycles $6.99 $839
Columbia Retail Energy Discontinued    
Center Point Energy Services Currently no offers    
Xoom Energy Variable price of $5.59 per Mcf per month (month to month) Fixed price of $7.99 per Mcf for 12 billing cycles $5.59

$7.99
$671

$959
Vista Energy Currently no offers    

* The rates disclosed are those most recently provided to the Ky. PSC. As market conditions change, a marketer may change the rates it offers without notice.

** The Gas Cost Recovery Rate or "GCR" is the cost of gas per Mcf currently being charged by Columbia Gas. This rate typically changes on a quarterly basis as Columbia files with the Commission to collect from customers its true cost of gas.

***This rate does not include Columbia's transportation charges or Columbia's minimum monthly charge of $9.30 for residential customers.

**** For purposes of this chart, we have calculated estimated annual total gas costs using 120 Mcf as the average annual residential usage. A typical residential consumer uses 14 to 17 Mcf per month during the winter months. Your actual cost will vary according to your actual usage.


SAMPLE CALCULATION
Copy of Sample Bill