Contact: Marty Berkowitz (614) 387-2962
COLUMBUS, OH – 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.
The standard offer, technically called the “standard choice offer” or “SCO,” is the rate customers pay if they choose to purchase their natural gas supply through Columbia rather than through a contract with an energy marketer.
“Once again, the auction has given Columbia’s standard offer customers a great low-price option for natural gas.” said Consumers’ Counsel Bruce Weston.
At yesterday’s auction, ten energy marketers bid for the right to supply natural gas through Columbia’s pipelines to customers who are purchasing natural gas at the utility’s standard offer. The auction’s resulting low bid was 12.9 cents per hundred cubic feet (Ccf) of natural gas. This amount will continue to be added to the wholesale natural gas price each month.
The six winning energy marketers also won the right to have their names listed on customers’ bills. In April, customers may see a different marketer’s name listed on their bill. However, the standard offer price will be the same, no matter which energy marketer’s name appears on the bill.
Columbia will continue to be responsible for pipeline repair, meter-reading, billing and other customer service issues.
Recently, OCC reached a settlement with Columbia, the PUCO Staff and several marketer groups to preserve residential consumers’ ability to purchase natural gas from Columbia at the standard offer until at least April 2017. After that, the standard offer would continue for residential consumers unless others request to end it, and the PUCO approves their request.
Consumers should review all of their options before signing a contract with an energy marketer. OCC publishes a fact sheet that compares price offers from energy marketers to the price of Columbia’s standard offer. This will help consumers make smart energy choices. Click here or visit http://www.pickocc.org/gas/choice.shtml for price comparison information.
To download information about the PUCO’s approval of yesterday’s auction results, visit the case docket at Columbia case number 08-1344-GA-EXM.
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