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Make sure that you get the energy deal you want.
What's included in retail gas prices
If you choose to buy from a gas marketer, your gas service won't change. You will still get a bill from your distributing utility which will indicate a regulated Delivery Charge - about 2/3 of your bill that goes to the utility, and a Gas Supply Charge - the remaining 1/3 that goes to the gas marketer you chose. If you also have rental equipment or a service contract, these will appear as well.
This cost split is a key point to remember when you are comparing costs. The suppliers, brokers and marketers are only offering rates on about 1/3 of your bill. The distribution charge, which is 2/3 of your bill, is fixed and regulated by an Energy Board or Public Service Commission. As a result, when a promotional message claims a 10% saving, it is referring to 10% of the 1/3 controlled by the energy marketer.
Example: A typical annual gas bill is $900. Two thirds of that, $600, is a fixed distribution charge. The remainder, $300, is the gas supply charge. A gas marketer offering a 10% saving is offering a saving of $30, which is 10% of the $300 gas supply charge. The saving on the total gas bill is 3.3%, which is about $30 saving on a $900 gas bill.
Regulated Rates Are Not Fixed Rates
Each province or state has an agency that regulates utility rates. In Canada it is a provincial Energy Board. In the U.S. it is a state Public Service Commission.
Utilities can and do apply changes to rates retroactively! By signing up with an energy marketer you can avoid these unexpected rate changes.
Have you seen another price recently?
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