Working with Gas Suppliers
Yes. Whatever natural gas purchasing option you choose, you can be assured you will still be a Yankee Gas customer. When you purchase your gas supply from a gas supplier, the gas is transported along interstate pipelines and delivered to Yankee Gas’s distribution system. The supplier notifies Yankee Gas of the delivery and we transport the gas to your building in our distribution system. In addition to transporting your gas supply, we also are available to respond to any gas emergencies you may have.
Gas suppliers may be able to offer more competitive supply rates than Yankee Gas, making it more cost-effective for your business to purchase your gas supply from an independent supplier. But cost savings depend on a variety of factors, so it’s important to evaluate your options carefully. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Companies with consistent, higher-volume natural gas usage will save the most. For example, a company that uses natural gas year-round for a manufacturing process or to generate hot water for a commercial laundry or a multi-unit housing complex is likely to save more than a company that only uses natural gas for heating in the winter.
- Competitive pricing for natural gas makes this a good time to convert your oil or electric equipment or to add to your existing equipment. You might even consider bi-fuel equipment options to enhance reliability. By improving load factor (volume & frequency of gas usage), you may be able to get a better price for the gas you buy.
- Consider the amount of time your staff will need to spend searching for a supplier and maintaining the relationship. Remember, you are in a competitive marketplace; soliciting and evaluating bids can be time consuming.
Yankee Gas maintains a list of approved providers ("suppliers") (PDF) who are authorized to conduct business on Yankee Gas' system. These suppliers are registered with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), have been through the credit approval process and have a signed agreement to operate in the Yankee Gas service territory. Before you sign an agreement with a supplier, it’s important to make sure they have a signed agreement with Yankee Gas.
With your permission, Yankee Gas will provide suppliers with your gas usage history so they can prepare a competitive bid. We will not provide a supplier with any credit or billing history.
When you receive the bids, read the contracts carefully. Make sure you understand the pricing, terms of service, length of service and any penalties should the supplier fail to deliver your gas as promised.
- Is the price of gas fixed or indexed to some published price point?
- Are there any seasonal demand charges?
- Is the supply priced monthly, seasonally, annually or longer?
- Know what you are comparing. Gas bills consist of gas cost charges (usually about half) and delivery service. Some suppliers will guarantee savings based on your past gas bills in total or on the gas cost only. Delivery or transportation charges are what you will pay to Yankee Gas.
- How long is the supplier’s contract period? You can negotiate a contract for any length of time you choose and you can switch suppliers as often as you like.
- What about switching suppliers? Before switching, make sure your new supplier has a signed agreement with Yankee Gas. While you can switch suppliers as often as you like, you must remain on your Yankee Gas rate for a minimum of one year. And, when you switch suppliers, you must provide a 30-day written notice to Yankee Gas. Finally, the change must occur on the first of the month.
- Are the terms flexible if you need to revise or upgrade services or change the amount of gas supplied?
- Does the supplier’s pipeline company offer Firm and Interruptible Transportation Service on the interstate pipeline?
- Does the supplier have customer service personnel who can answer your questions or handle any problems with supply and delivery? Are they available during business hours or around-the-clock? Who do you call if you experience a problem with your account?
If you buy your natural gas from a supplier, you have three options for billing:
- Separate bills – You pay your gas supplier for the gas you buy and you pay Yankee Gas for transportation (or delivery) of the gas to your site.
- Supplier’s bill – Your gas supplier can bill you for the purchase of the supply and the transportation costs to deliver it to your meter through Yankee’s distribution system. You will continue to receive a bill from Yankee Gas confirming your service, but will send your payment to the supplier. The supplier will pay Yankee Gas its portion of the bill. The supplier will also have access to your payment history.
- Company bill – Yankee Gas can bill you for both the purchase of the gas and for Yankee Gas’ transportation services. You will then send your payment to Yankee Gas, who will then pay your supplier.
When you sign an agreement with a gas supplier, be sure to confirm the start date and remember that you are responsible for your entire Yankee Gas bill until that date.
"Slamming" occurs when a third party signs up your company to receive gas supplies from them without your authorization. At Yankee Gas, this means that the third party actually signed your name to initiate a change in your gas supplier. Yankee Gas does not tolerate this unethical behavior by suppliers on our system and takes the following steps to prevent it from happening:
- An officer of the gas supplier’s organization signs an agreement with Yankee Gas that includes a code of conduct addressing inappropriate behavior.
- Yankee Gas contacts you on at least two separate occasions during your enrollment before you start having your gas delivered by a third party:
- Yankee Gas mails you a letter confirming your request to switch your rate and supplier
- If applicable, Yankee Gas, or its representative, contacts you to coordinate installation of telemetering equipment
- Yankee Gas mails you a letter notifying you of the date that you will begin receiving natural gas from your new supplier
If at any time during this process you are unsure whether you authorized a change in your service, or if you have any other questions, please call Transportation Services at Yankee Gas at 860-665-2444, or email us with your concerns.
Click here for a list of Approved Operators (PDF).