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How to Shop for Natural Gas

Natural gas choice allows consumers to shop around and explore a wide variety of plans and rates to find the best one for their homes and lifestyles. At Direct Energy, we provide our customers with the tips and tools they need to become more savvy consumers and find their perfect natural gas plan.

Select your state below to learn more about how to shop for natural gas in your area.

sign up for natural gas

Areas We Serve

Find the Perfect Plan for Your Lifestyle!

Click your state to get more tips on how you can shop for natural gas in your area and find the best plan for you. Explore common billing terms, how to read plan documents, how to sign up and more.

If you do not see your state, please contact your local utility.

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How do I Sign Up for Natural Gas?

You can sign up for natural gas in just a few steps:

1

Create an account with your utility

If you haven't already, you'll need to create an account with your local utility. Unless you're moving, you should already have an account.

2

Check whether you're under contract

Check whether you are under contract with your current provider. If you are, make sure you won't be charged an early termination fee if you switch providers before your contract ends.

3

Have your utility bill on hand

Have a recent utility bill on hand, as you'll need your account number to enroll in a new plan with a competitive provider. If you're moving and haven't received a bill yet, you can contact your utility for your account number.

4

Shop for your perfect plan

Shop for the natural gas plan that fits your needs. After you sign up, your new provider will contact your local utility to complete the process.

How Do I Shop for My Perfect Natural Gas Plan?

Natural gas deregulation means you have more plan options at your disposal, so the power of choice is yours. When shopping for your natural gas plan, here are some factors to keep in mind:

Rate

Natural gas rates will usually be listed as cost per THERM, CCF or MCF, the units used to measure natural gas usage. Knowing your current natural gas rate helps you understand if you will save or not. A couple of cents may not seem like much, but when you consider how many units you use every month, those pennies add up on your natural gas bill. Over the course of a year it can amount to hundreds of dollars in savings.

Total Costs

To determine the best plan for your budget, you'll want to consider what your total costs will be each month. These include your natural gas charges (rate multiplied by usage) and operational fees associated with providing gas to your home. Even if one plan has a lower rate than another, your total monthly cost could end up being higher, depending on the plan.

Plan Benefits

What benefits do your options provide? How does a particular natural gas plan add value to your lifestyle? Each energy plan has its own set of pros and cons. When deciding on the plan that's right for you, it comes down to which benefits you value the most. Some benefits that are commonly offered include loyalty programs, rebates, or other attractive features.

Find A Plan You'll Love

We have a variety of natural gas plans to help meet the needs of your home and family. Our fixed-rate plans allow you to lock in an natural gas rate for a term length of your choosing and get protection from market price fluctuations.

Fixed Rate Plans

Lock in your rate

Fixed-rate plans give you protection from changes in energy market prices for the full length of your contract. Prices may go up, but your rate will stay the same.

Glossary of Terms

Here are a few terms you'll see when shopping for a natural gas plan:

Deregulation

In deregulated areas, customers are no longer required to sign up with their utility for natural gas. Instead, they can shop offerings from available competitive natural gas providers to find the best one for their household.

Utility

Your local utility is responsible for distributing, connecting and disconnecting natural gas to your home and reading and maintaining your home's gas meter. The utility also maintains the pipe lines and other equipment used to carry natural gas. In some deregulated areas, your utility may compete on the gas market, offering its own gas rates to customers.

Natural Gas Provider

Retail or competitive providers compete to provide natural gas to customers. In areas with deregulated natural gas, customers can shop and compare natural gas plans from various competitive providers, like Direct Energy.

Units of consumption

There are a few different units used to measure your natural gas consumption. Depending on where you live and which unit of measurement your utility uses, you'll likely see one of the following on your gas bill:

  • MCF: A unit equivalent to one thousand cubic feet of natural gas.
  • CCF: A unit equivalent to one hundred cubic feet of natural gas.
  • THERM: A unit equivalent to 100,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs). A BTU is the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

Rate per unit

The rate per unit is the price you pay for each unit of natural gas you use (usually measured in MCFs, CCFs or Therms). This price is set by your retail natural gas provider.

Term Length

The term length is the duration, usually in months, of your contract for a natural gas plan.

Fixed-rate plan

With a fixed-rate plan, your natural gas rate per unit will stay the same for the duration of your plan's term length.

Gas meter

Your gas meter is used to measure how much gas you have used each billing cycle. Your local utility reads and maintains your electric meter. If you purchase your natural gas from a competitive provider, your utility passes this usage information to them.

View our energy glossary for more commonly-used terms.

Have a question about a plan or need help placing an order?

Call us: 1-855-461-1926

Hours: 7:00am-7:00pm CT Monday-Friday, 7:00am-4:00pm Saturday

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