June 04, 2013 – The Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel Governing Board issued a resolution in support of legislative deference to regulatory processes at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and in opposition to weakening statutory standards that protect natural gas utility customers from paying certain environmental remediation costs.
June 04, 2013 – A century-old law protecting natural gas consumers from being overcharged for utility service may be weakened as part of an amendment to the state’s budget bill proposed today in the Ohio Senate. At stake for consumers are tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in costs for long-closed gas plant sites (some dating to the early 1800’s) that gas companies want to clean up at their customers’ expense..
Apr. 02, 2013 – The Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC), Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) staff, Duke Energy Ohio (Duke) and other parties signed two settlements today that will significantly reduce the impact to customers of the utility's proposed increases to its electric and natural gas distribution rates.
Feb. 27, 2013 – Columbia Gas of Ohio customers who purchase their gas at the utility's standard offer rate will continue paying a low rate. Today, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved the results of yesterday's competitive auction that determined part of the standard offer rate for natural gas.
Feb. 20, 2013 – Dominion East Ohio customers who purchase their natural gas at the utility's standard offer rate will continue paying a low rate. Today, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved the results of yesterday's competitive auction that determined part of the standard offer rate for natural gas.
Jan. 16, 2013 –Vectren customers who purchase their natural gas supply at the standard offer rate through the utility will continue paying a low rate. Today, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved the results of the auction which determined the standard offer rate. The rate will go into effect April 1.
Jan. 15, 2013 – The Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel Governing Board issued a resolution regarding consumers' energy choices..
More than three million residential customer households receive natural gas from the four major investor-owned natural gas companies in Ohio, Dominion East Ohio Gas, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Duke Energy Ohio, and Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio. Natural gas customers are billed for the actual product they use as well as for the delivery of the natural gas (e.g. the pipeline system, meters, billing system, etc.). The cost of natural gas accounts for about 65 percent of customers' monthly bills. Currently, due to the expansion of natural gas resources in Ohio and neighboring states, as well as unseasonably warm temperatures, the price of the commodity is at 10 to 15 year lows.
The Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC) is committed to representing the interests of natural gas customers and working to keep natural gas prices as low as possible. During the past decade, natural gas choice (e.g. the ability for customers to choose their natural gas supplier) has continued to expand. At the same time, three of the four major natural gas utilities, Dominion, Vectren and Columbia, asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for approval to set their prices through an auction process. Increased choice and competition have both contributed to keeping natural gas bills affordable. However, as the number of options has increased, so has the need for natural gas consumers to better understand natural gas pricing and other issues related to purchasing natural gas.
The OCC offers consumers a number of fact sheets and other documents to help make informed choices about how and from whom to purchase their natural gas supply. Comparing Your Natural Gas Choices is updated weekly on OCC's website, www.pickocc.org to give customers a chance to compare the prices offered by the utilities with those of independent retail suppliers to determine the choice that best fits their individual needs. A number of additional fact sheets are available to answer frequently asked questions and provide information to increase customers' understanding of important natural gas issues.
The OCC offers tips on natural gas safety.
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