1. What are the main gas providers in North Carolina?The main natural gas providers in North Carolina are:
1. Piedmont Natural Gas – serves western and central North Carolina
2. Duke Energy – serves eastern and central North Carolina
3. Dominion Energy – serves northeastern North Carolina
4. PSNC Energy – serves northwestern and central North Carolina
5. Scana Energy-PSNC Energy – serves the Asheville area
6. Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (Transco) – serves parts of eastern and southern North Carolina
Note: Some of these companies may also operate under smaller subsidiaries or brand names in certain areas of the state.
2. How can I compare gas rates and plans in North Carolina?One way to compare gas rates and plans in North Carolina is to use an online energy marketplace or comparison website. These websites allow you to enter your zip code and see a list of available gas providers, plans, and rates in your area. You can also compare features and contract terms, such as fixed vs. variable rates, contract lengths, and customer reviews.
Another option is to contact individual gas providers directly and ask about their rates and plan options. This may involve calling customer service or visiting their website.
It’s important to consider not just the rate per unit of gas (such as per therm or cubic foot), but also any additional fees or charges that may be included in the overall cost. It’s also a good idea to read reviews and check the provider’s reputation before making a decision. Additionally, consider factors such as customer service quality, billing options, and environmental policies when comparing plans.
3. Are there any alternative gas providers in North Carolina?Yes, there are alternative gas providers in North Carolina, including Piedmont Natural Gas, Dominion Energy North Carolina, and PSNC Energy. These providers offer competitive rates and customer choice programs for natural gas supply. However, it’s important to note that they still rely on the same transmission and distribution infrastructure as the main utility provider in the area.
4. How can I find the best gas provider for my needs?
The best way to find the best gas provider for your needs is to research and compare different plans and rates offered by multiple providers in your area. You can also read customer reviews and check their ratings with the Better Business Bureau to get an idea of their customer service. It may also be helpful to speak with friends or family members who have experience with alternative gas providers.
5. Can I switch my gas provider if I am currently under contract with my current provider?
This depends on your specific contract terms. Some contracts may have early termination fees or other restrictions that prevent you from switching until the contract period ends. It’s important to review your contract carefully before considering a switch. However, if you are out of contract, you are free to switch at any time without penalty.
6. What should I do if I smell gas?
If you smell gas in your home or near a natural gas line, you should leave the area immediately and avoid using any potential sources of ignition such as cigarettes or electrical switches. Then call 911 or your local gas company’s emergency line to report the issue. Do not attempt to locate or fix a leak yourself.
7. What should I do if my gas bill seems unusually high?
There could be several reasons for a higher-than-usual gas bill, such as colder weather or changes in usage habits. If you have concerns about your bill, contact your gas provider directly to discuss potential causes and ways to lower your bill in the future.
8. Are there any government assistance programs available for gas expenses?
Yes, there are government assistance programs available for low-income households to help with energy expenses. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program that provides financial assistance to eligible households to help cover heating and cooling costs. You can reach out to your local Department of Social Services or Community Action Agency for more information on eligibility and how to apply.
4. How do I switch my gas provider in North Carolina?To switch your gas provider in North Carolina, follow these steps:
1. Determine if you are eligible to switch providers: Some areas in North Carolina may not have multiple gas providers available. Check with your local gas utility company or the North Carolina Utilities Commission to see if you can switch.
2. Compare rates and plans: Do some research to see which gas providers are available and compare their rates and plans. Each provider may offer different pricing and services.
3. Contact your current provider: Let your current provider know that you are planning to switch companies. Ask them about any fees or penalties for terminating your service contract early.
4. Choose a new provider: Once you have compared rates and plans, choose the provider that best fits your needs.
5. Contact the new provider: Contact your chosen gas provider and inform them that you want to switch services. They will guide you through the process of setting up a new account.
6. Arrange for a meter reading: Your new gas provider will arrange for a meter reading on the day of the switch to ensure accurate billing.
7. Cancel automatic payments with your old provider: If you had set up automatic payments with your old gas provider, make sure to cancel them before switching companies.
8. Set up new payment methods: After switching, set up new payment methods with your new gas provider so that you can continue paying for service.
9. Confirm the switch: Make sure to confirm with both your old and new gas providers that the switch has been completed successfully.
10. Notify others of the change: Notify any relevant parties (such as appliance repair companies or homeowners insurance) of the change in your gas service so they can update their records accordingly.
5. Can I choose my own gas provider in North Carolina?
Yes, customers in North Carolina have the option to choose their own gas provider. The state has a competitive natural gas market, allowing customers to shop for the best rates and plans offered by various providers.
6. Are there any incentives for switching to a new gas provider in North Carolina?
There are a few incentives for switching to a new gas provider in North Carolina, including:
1. Lower Prices: By switching to a new gas provider, you may be able to find a better rate and potentially save money on your natural gas bills.
2. Customer Service: Different gas providers may offer different levels of customer service, so switching to a new provider may mean better support and responsiveness.
3. Choice of Plans: Some gas providers offer a variety of plans and promotions that could give you greater flexibility and control over your gas usage and costs.
4. Green Energy Options: Many gas providers now offer alternative energy options such as renewable or eco-friendly natural gas sources, which can be attractive to environmentally conscious customers.
5. Rewards Programs: Some gas providers may have rewards programs that offer incentives, discounts, or bonuses for choosing their services.
6. Time-Limited Promotions: Gas providers may occasionally offer special promotions or sign-up offers that make it financially advantageous to switch over to their services.
7. What are the average gas prices in North Carolina compared to neighboring states?
As of October 2021, the average gas price in North Carolina is $3.32 per gallon, which is slightly lower than the national average of $3.39 per gallon.
Compared to neighboring states, North Carolina’s gas prices are:
– Lower than South Carolina’s average of $3.42 per gallon
– Lower than Virginia’s average of $3.41 per gallon
– Higher than Georgia’s average of $3.17 per gallon
– Lower than Tennessee’s average of $3.35 per gallon
It is important to note that gas prices can vary within a state and can change frequently due to market fluctuations and other factors such as taxes and transportation costs. Therefore, these prices should be used as a general comparison only.
8. How does the deregulation of natural gas impact consumers in North Carolina?
The deregulation of natural gas impacts consumers in North Carolina in a few ways:
1. More Choices: One major impact of deregulation is that consumers now have more options when it comes to choosing their natural gas provider. Before deregulation, there was only one company handling the transmission and distribution of natural gas, which also set the prices for consumers. With deregulation, multiple suppliers can compete with each other to provide better prices and services, giving consumers more choices.
2. Lower Prices: Another benefit for consumers is the potential for lower prices. Increased competition between suppliers can lead to lower prices for the consumer as companies try to attract more customers by offering competitive rates.
3. Contract Options: Deregulation also allows consumers to choose from different contract options with their natural gas supplier. Consumers can opt for fixed-rate contracts that offer stable prices throughout their term or variable-rate contracts that change based on market conditions.
4. Some Risks: While deregulation has its benefits, it also comes with some risks for consumers. With multiple suppliers competing, there is a chance of price fluctuations and unreliable service from some companies. Consumers need to research and carefully consider their options before choosing a supplier to avoid these risks.
5. Potential for Better Customer Service: Increased competition between suppliers can also result in better customer service as they strive to meet the demands of their customers and stand out from their competitors.
6. Higher Bills during Peak Seasons: Deregulated markets typically experience higher energy demand during peak seasons, which may result in increased prices for consumers during those times.
In summary, the deregulation of natural gas in North Carolina provides more choices and potential savings for consumers but also comes with potential risks and fluctuating prices depending on market conditions. It’s essential for consumers to thoroughly research and compare different suppliers before making a decision on their natural gas provider.
9. Are there any green energy options for gas providers in North Carolina?
Yes, there are green energy options for gas providers in North Carolina. Some gas providers offer renewable natural gas (RNG), which is created by converting organic waste into usable energy. Other providers may also offer carbon offset programs, where customers can pay an additional fee to offset their carbon footprint and support renewable energy projects. Additionally, some utility companies in North Carolina offer renewable natural gas or “green” electricity plans that customers can opt into. It is important to research and compare different gas providers in the state to find one that offers green energy options that align with your values and budget.
10. What is the reliability and customer satisfaction rating for the top gas providers in North Carolina?
The reliability and customer satisfaction ratings for the top gas providers in North Carolina vary, but overall they are generally well-rated by customers. According to J.D. Power’s 2021 Gas Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study, Piedmont Natural Gas (a subsidiary of Duke Energy) received the highest ranking in North Carolina with a score of 765 out of 1000 points. Other top gas providers in North Carolina include PSNC Energy, Dominion Energy, and Piedmont Natural Gas (a subsidiary of Duke Energy), which all received above average customer satisfaction scores in the study.
In terms of reliability, all of the top gas providers in North Carolina have good track records and are required by state regulations to meet certain standards for delivering reliable service. According to data from the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, these companies have overall reliability rates between 98-99%, which is considered very good.
Overall, customers seem to be generally satisfied with the service provided by these top gas providers in North Carolina. However, it is always a good idea to research and compare different providers to find the best fit for your needs.
11. Which government agency regulates natural gas providers in North Carolina and what are their responsibilities?
The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) is the government agency responsible for regulating natural gas providers in North Carolina.
Their responsibilities include:
– Setting rates and charges for natural gas services
– Protecting consumers from unfair or discriminatory practices by natural gas providers
– Ensuring reliable and high-quality natural gas service to customers
– Reviewing and approving applications for mergers, acquisitions, and other business transactions involving natural gas companies
– Addressing customer complaints and resolving disputes between customers and their natural gas provider
12. Do gas providers offer budget payment plans or payment assistance options in case of financial hardship? Yes, many gas providers offer budget payment plans and payment assistance options for customers who may be experiencing financial hardship. These include:
1. Budget Payment Plans: This option allows customers to spread out their gas bills evenly throughout the year, making it easier to manage their monthly expenses. The amount of the bill is based on an average usage over a period of time, rather than the actual monthly usage.
2. Energy Assistance Programs: Some gas companies have energy assistance programs that provide financial assistance to eligible low-income households. These programs may include one-time or ongoing bill payment assistance, weatherization services, and energy efficiency education.
3. Deferred Payment Arrangements: If a customer is unable to pay their bill in full, they may be able to set up a deferred payment arrangement with their gas provider. This allows them to pay off their balance over a longer period of time, typically through installments.
4. Medical Certification Programs: Some gas companies offer special rates or exemptions for customers who have medical conditions that require constant use of gas or electricity.
It’s important for customers facing financial difficulties to contact their gas provider as soon as possible to discuss these options and see what assistance programs may be available. They may also want to research additional local or state resources for energy bill assistance.
13. Can I purchase natural gas directly from producers instead of going through a traditional provider in North Carolina?
No, in North Carolina the distribution and supply of natural gas is regulated by the state. Consumers must purchase natural gas from a traditional provider that is approved and licensed by the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
14. Are there any discounts or rebates offered by specific natural gas providers inNorth Carolina?
Some natural gas providers in North Carolina may offer discounts or rebates for various reasons, such as enrolling in automatic payments or paperless billing, signing up for a fixed-rate plan, or participating in energy efficiency programs. It is best to check with individual providers for information on specific discounts or rebates they may offer.
15. How does severe weather, such as hurricanes or extreme cold, affect natural gas supply and prices inNorth Carolina?
Severe weather, such as hurricanes or extreme cold, can have a significant impact on natural gas supply and prices in North Carolina. Hurricanes can disrupt production, transportation, and storage facilities, leading to short-term supply disruptions and overall decreases in gas supply. This can result in higher prices as demand outstrips supply.
Extreme cold weather can also affect natural gas supply and prices in North Carolina. As temperatures drop, the demand for natural gas increases as it is used for heating homes and businesses. This increased demand can deplete available supplies and lead to higher prices.
Additionally, pipelines that transport natural gas from production areas to North Carolina may become affected by severe weather, causing delays or interruptions in delivery. This can further impact supply and result in price increases.
Overall, severe weather events can have a significant impact on natural gas supply and prices in North Carolina, potentially leading to disruptions and price spikes.
16. Can I choose a fixed rate or variable rate plan with my natural gas provider inNorth Carolina? Yes, you can choose a fixed or variable rate plan with your natural gas provider in North Carolina. Fixed rate plans offer a consistent price for the duration of the contract, while variable rate plans may fluctuate based on market conditions. You can discuss these options with your natural gas provider to determine which plan may be best for you.
17. Is it possible to bundle natural gas services with other utilities, such as electricity, through a single provider inNorth Carolina?
Yes, it is possible to bundle natural gas services with other utilities, such as electricity, through a single provider in North Carolina. Many energy companies offer bundled services that provide customers with the convenience of having one bill for multiple utilities and potentially lower overall prices. Customers can contact their chosen energy provider to inquire about bundling options.
18. Does the increase or decrease of fracking and shale production impact natural gas options for consumers inNorth Carolina?
The increase or decrease of fracking and shale production can have an impact on natural gas options for consumers in North Carolina. Fracking and shale production are methods used to extract natural gas from underground reserves, which contributes to the overall supply of natural gas. When there is an increase in fracking and shale production, there is typically a larger supply of natural gas available for consumers, which can lead to lower prices and more options for consumers in North Carolina.
On the other hand, a decrease in fracking and shale production can result in a tighter supply of natural gas, leading to higher prices and potentially fewer options for consumers. This could also impact the reliability of natural gas as a source of energy for the state.
Overall, fluctuations in fracking and shale production can have a significant impact on the natural gas market in North Carolina and can affect consumers’ access to affordable and reliable options.
19.What is the process for terminating service with my current natural gas provider and selecting a new one inNorth Carolina?
1. Determine your current provider: The first step is to find out which natural gas provider currently supplies your household or business with natural gas. You can do this by looking at your most recent bill or by contacting your current provider directly.
2. Check contract terms: Review the terms of your contract with your current provider to understand any early termination fees or notice requirements.
3. Research alternative providers: Use the North Carolina Utilities Commission website to research and compare rates, plans, and customer reviews from alternative natural gas providers in your area.
4. Contact the new provider: Once you have identified a new provider, contact them to inquire about their services and rates and ask any questions you may have about switching.
5. Notify your current provider: Once you have decided to switch, notify your current provider that you will be terminating service with them. Be sure to follow any required notice procedures outlined in your contract.
6. Set up service with the new provider: Work with your new provider to set up a start date for service and provide them with any necessary information, such as account numbers or meter readings.
7. Cancel automatic payments: If you currently have automatic payments set up with your previous provider, make sure to cancel these before the start date of service with the new provider.
8. Finalize billing and payment: Your previous provider will send a final bill that will need to be paid before service is terminated. Make sure all outstanding balances are paid in full and request a final meter reading if needed.
9. Close old account: Once all final bills are paid, officially close out your old account by notifying the previous provider that you have switched services.
10. Start enjoying service from the new provider: Your new natural gas service will begin on the agreed-upon start date, and you can begin enjoying benefits like lower rates or improved customer service from the new company.
20.What resources are available to help me understand and navigate my options for natural gas providers inNorth Carolina?
There are several resources available to help you understand and navigate your options for natural gas providers in North Carolina:
1. North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC): The NCUC regulates the rates and services of natural gas providers in the state. You can visit their website for information on the different suppliers operating in your area, as well as consumer guides and resources.
2. Natural Gas Consumer Choice Program: This program provides consumers with information on participating natural gas suppliers, including their rates, terms, and conditions. You can also use their online tool to compare prices from different suppliers.
3. Energy Information Administration (EIA): The EIA provides data on natural gas prices, consumption, and availability in North Carolina. This can help you make an informed decision when choosing a supplier.
4. Local government websites: Some local governments may have information on natural gas providers operating in your area. You can search for your city or county’s website for more information.
5. Customer reviews: Reading customer reviews online can give you an idea of the quality of service provided by different suppliers.
6. Statewide organizations: There are various organizations in North Carolina that work to promote consumer choice and competition among energy providers. These include the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association and the Public Staff’s Electric Division Consumer Services Division.
7. Personal recommendations: Talk to friends, family or neighbors who may have switched to alternative natural gas providers to get their recommendations and experiences.
It is important to research and compare different options before making a decision on a natural gas provider in order to find the best rates and services for your needs.