You can sign up for natural gas in just a few steps:
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.
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.
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.
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.
The time it takes to turn on your natural gas varies based on when your local utility can connect your home. Be sure to leave yourself enough time to shop and sign up with your new provider, and check your utility's timeline to make sure you can get your gas turned on when you need it.
Some utilities may charge a switching fee when you sign up with a new provider. Make sure to check with your local utility for more information.
Natural gas rates will usually be listed as cost per THERM, CCF or MCF. These are the units used to measure natural gas usage.
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.
What extra benefits do the available plans provide? Any supplier can provide you with gas; how do the plans your considering add value to your lifestyle?
Consider what term length would fit best for your situation. Are you renting for a short period of time? Would you prefer to keep your same rate for a while? Will this term length end before peak season when prices are higher?
Now that you're a savvier energy consumer, are you ready to find your perfect plan? Enter your zip code to check out our offers for your area.
Here are a few terms you'll see when shopping for a natural gas plan:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
The term length is the duration, usually in months, of your contract for a natural gas plan.
With a fixed-rate plan, you'll be able to lock in an energy rate per kWh for a term length of your choosing. Fixed-rate plans protect you from market price fluctuations, but you will typically need to sign a contract and your rate may be higher than the market rate during seasons with low energy demand.
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.
Your natural gas bill can vary based on several factors, so it can be difficult to determine an average bill amount. The average natural gas bill can depend on the following factors:
Smaller homes typically use less natural gas than larger homes, mainly because your furnace is heating a smaller space.
Some regions typically experience a mild climate and pleasant seasonal temperatures, taking some of the workload - and gas usage - off a home's heating system. Residents of other areas of the country may need to use their heating systems more to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
If you engage in gas-saving habits such as reducing gas stove, oven or furnace use, you could have a lower bill than if you were less conscious of your usage.
The efficiency and regular maintenance of natural gas appliances like your heating system, stove, oven, water heater and dryer can affect how much gas these appliances use. Insulation can help your heating system use less electricity by keeping the treated air inside your home and the hot or cold air out.
Factors like windows and insulation can affect how your home uses natural gas. Well- sealed windows and good insulation can help your heating system use less natural gas by keeping the warm air inside your home and the cold air out.
Obviously, the price you pay per unit of gas usage will also affect your bill.
You will typically receive your natural gas bill every 28-32 days, depending on when your local utility reads your gas meter. Your bill includes the usage charge for the amount of gas used, plus operational costs associated with providing natural gas to your home. These operational costs may come from your utility and your retail natural gas supplier. You will usually receive a bill directly from your local utility. If you are enrolled with a natural gas provider separate from your utility (like Direct Energy), your provider will appear as a line item on the bill.
You will usually pay your natural gas bill through your local utility even if you have opted to receive your gas from a competitive supplier, so contact your utility for information on your payment options:
Your natural gas bill amount will vary based primarily on your usage. There are two major parts to your bill: the charges for the gas you use in your home and your utility or delivery charges, which cover the operational costs of delivering gas to your home. You can calculate your bill by adding up these costs.
Learn more about how to calculate your gas bill.
Natural gas regulators in your state may require gas suppliers to create and display documents detailing information for each of their gas plans. These documents provide vital insights like the rate, term length, fees and other stipulations.
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 a natural gas rate for a term length of your choosing and get protection from market price fluctuations.
Check out our Moving Hub for moving checklists, buying and renting guides, moving out of state and other tips on how you can have a stress-free move.
We'll notify you at least 30 days before your contract expires and give you the opportunity to explore your new plan options. If you don't choose a new Direct Energy plan or switch providers before your contract expires, we'll put you on another plan with us. Don't worry – you'll be notified beforehand of the plan rate and details.