The Choice program was designed to allow our customers to take full advantage of the open natural gas market. Just as you have choices of suppliers or vendors when buying other products and services, Choice allows you access to suppliers of natural gas. In fact, Vectren Energy Delivery has not been a natural gas supplier since 2008. However, we deliver the natural gas through our pipeline system. The Choice program gives you the opportunity to select a supplier offering a pricing arrangement that’s most attractive to you.
No. Participation is voluntary. If you don’t choose a supplier, one of three Standard Choice Offer (SCO) suppliers will supply your gas at the SCO price.
The SCO price reflects the monthly settlement price* for natural gas plus a retail price adjustment of $0.105 per one hundred cubic feet (CCF). For example: If the July month-end settlement price for natural gas is $0.43 - when you include the adder of $0.105, the total SCO supplier rate for August is then $0.535 per CCF. The retail price adjustment (the adder) was determined in a competitive auction. The monthly natural gas settlement price will vary month-to-month with changes in supply and demand and other market conditions. As such, the SCO price is a variable price and will change each month as the gas market fluctuates. The three SCO suppliers are: Direct Energy, DTE Energy Supply and Hess Corporation. Regardless of the name of the supplier listed with the SCO line item, all suppliers’ monthly SCO prices are the same. Therefore, if a friend or neighbor is being served by an SCO supplier but a different supplier is listed, you both are still paying the same monthly SCO price for your natural gas.
* The month-end settlement price is determined by the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), a commodity futures exchange in which natural gas is bought and sold on a daily basis.
For further assistance with making your choice, a straightforward “Apples to Apples” comparison of suppliers’ offers, as well as a host of other information regarding your utility service, you may contact the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio at 1-800-299-7271. You may also contact the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel at 1-877-742-5622 or utilize their “Calculating Your Energy Choices” comparison tool.
Potential savings and fixed price offers. The cost of the natural gas usually represents more than half of your monthly gas bill. You may be able to reduce that amount through the Choice program. Besides cost savings, suppliers might offer other incentives or attractive payment arrangements.
That depends on the supplier you choose, the program they offer and the current SCO price offered by your SCO supplier. Some suppliers may offer a flat rate for a certain amount of gas. Others may offer guaranteed savings or package incentives. Just remember, gas prices typically fluctuate in a competitive market, so the amount of your total savings might vary over time depending upon your supplier’s plan.
You may sign-up through your chosen supplier anytime.
Only if the supplier you choose provides a guarantee. Vectren cannot guarantee any offer made by suppliers.
If you live in Vectren’s Ohio service area, you are eligible. Businesses using less than 150,000 CCF of natural gas annually are also eligible. Please note you are not eligible to participate in Choice if you have a past due gas balance on your account and have not entered into and honored a payment arrangement. Associated services can be enrolled.
There are no application or membership fees attached to your initial choice in the Choice program. In fact, some suppliers may offer you incentives to sign up.
Yes. The quality and safety of the gas remain constant, regardless of the supplier. Likewise, Vectren will still provide safe and reliable delivery of the gas to your home and business.
First, all suppliers, whether they be an SCO or Choice supplier, must meet Vectren’s qualifications for participation, and suppliers serving residential customers must be certified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. All suppliers must agree to a Code of Conduct, which requires them to:
The SCO price is the same monthly price for all customers who have not signed up with a Choice supplier. This price, which reflects the market, is regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Natural gas is bought and sold in the commodity market, so different contracts may produce different pricing strategies. Choice suppliers are not regulated, so they can offer different pricing options. For example, you may be able to lock in your gas price for a year, or buy your gas priced on a seasonal basis rather than monthly. Suppliers may offer different rates to different types of customers.
Vectren will still be your local gas utility. Vectren will continue to offer the reliable services including responding to emergencies, being responsible for billing, reading meters and maintaining pipelines.
Qualified Choice suppliers may contact you with information using advertising, direct mail, personal contact, or other customary means to promote their services. Or click here for a list of participating suppliers and contact them yourself. Vectren will update the list as new suppliers qualify.
It’s simple to choose: Just remember that you must enroll through a supplier, not Vectren. You must enter into a contract with your supplier stating the terms and conditions of your purchase and provide the supplier your Vectren account number. (Please note that these gas purchase agreements and their rates are currently not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.)
The length of your contract will be decided between you and your supplier. When your contract expires, you may change suppliers or keep the same supplier. If you no longer wish to remain with a Choice supplier, you will be placed with a Standard Choice Offer (SCO) supplier. The SCO price is calculated by adding the retail price adjustment of $0.105 per one hundred cubic feet (CCF) to the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) month-end settlement price for natural gas, as such, this price will fluctuate monthly as the market price moves. Read your supplier contract carefully to see if there might be a penalty for early termination.
Currently, all suppliers elect to bill on a Vectren Energy Delivery bill. Your monthly bill will reflect charges from Vectren for gas delivery charges and the cost of the natural gas as billed by your chosen supplier. In any event, you will continue to receive monthly invoices from Vectren including traditional bill messages and inserts. Questions regarding your natural gas purchases should be directed to the supplier. Contact Vectren for questions concerning safety, meter reading, service or gas delivery.
Each supplier’s payment plans may differ. Unless you indicate otherwise, you will remain on Auto Pay (automatic bank draft) for any charges billed by Vectren.
All suppliers must meet stringent requirements to participate in the program, and suppliers serving residential customers must be certified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The Choice program has been designed to include safeguards to provide natural gas to participants even if natural gas is not received by the supplier.
Vectren is no longer supplying natural gas to customers. Since 2008, Vectren has been conducting an auction process whereby suppliers bid for the right to provide the natural gas commodity to customers who have not actively chosen a supplier. Three natural gas suppliers won the right to provide gas supply to Vectren customers at the Standard Choice Offer (SCO) price. Those companies are Direct Energy, DTE Energy Supply and Hess Corporation. This auction occurs every January.
First, contact the supplier to reach a solution. If the supplier fails to make a good-faith attempt to negotiate or resolve the issue, contact the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) or the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel. Consumer complaints could lead to the termination of the supplier’s participation in the Choice program. If the supplier’s participation is terminated, its customers may be served by an SCO supplier. Vectren will not terminate or interrupt the delivery of gas to you as a result of a dispute between you and your supplier.
As with any contractual agreement, both parties must honor the terms. Be sure to read the entire contract carefully to understand your rights to change suppliers or cancel under reasonable circumstances. Also, be aware of any cancellation fees that might apply. Your supplier agreement can be terminated for non-payment of any gas charges after a written notice is provided to you at least 14-days prior to such termination. In this event, you will receive your gas supply from one of three Standard Choice Offer suppliers. If you have any questions, request your answers in writing before you agree to a contract with a supplier.
Organizations that are tax exempt from paying sales or use tax must relay this information to their SCO supplier or inform their supplier of this status when selecting an alternate supplier through the Choice program. It is the customer’s responsibility to provide proper documentation to the Choice or the SCO supplier.
If you have a dispute with either your supplier or Vectren it is imperative that you pay all of your monthly charges to avoid being disconnected or terminated from the Choice program. This could lead to accruing late payment fees.
Vectren’s default sales service price is similar to the SCO price in that it is calculated by adding the retail price adjustment of $0.105 per one hundred cubic feet (CCF) to the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) month-end settlement price for natural gas. The only difference is that there is no supplier assigned to the default sales service. Customers who are not eligible for the Choice program will receive Vectren’s default sales service.
Aggregation is the process in which natural gas is sold to consumers who have joined together as a group to buy a product. Because customers in Ohio can participate in the natural gas Choice program, cities, counties, villages and townships can establish aggregation programs, or buying groups, individually or with others. These programs allow residential and small business customers to combine their purchasing power to achieve savings on natural gas costs. Click here to learn more about aggregation.
Yes. You can call the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to be added or removed from the PUCO maintained "do not call list" for at 1-800-299-7271. Suppliers get regular updates of this list and are not allowed to call customers on this list to solicit them by telephone.