The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) requires all Pennsylvania natural gas utilities, including National Fuel, to provide residential and small commercial customer information to licensed natural gas suppliers or non-utility energy marketers that provide services in the state of Pennsylvania. As part of the Natural Gas Choice and Competition Act, residential and commercial customers have the choice to purchase their natural gas supply, which makes up approximately half of the overall monthly bill, from a utility or from a non-utility natural gas marketer.
As required by the order, the Eligible Customer List (ECL) includes the customer’s account number, name, address, consumption/usage data and other service-related information. The PUC believes access to this information will enable natural gas suppliers to identify potential customers and assist in promoting a competitive retail market. Customer phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not included in the ECL.
“We want to assure customers that National Fuel takes every precaution to protect customer information,” said Carly Manino, National Fuel spokesperson. “Natural gas suppliers will be required to log into a password-protected portion of the National Fuel website to obtain the ECL and will be required by the PUC to safeguard the confidentiality of the customer data provided in the ECL.”
Starting today, Dec. 13, National Fuel will contact customers by mail with details about the order and options regarding the release of information to natural gas suppliers.
Customers who would like to have their information included in the ECL do not need to do anything. Customers who want to opt out of the ECL should notify National Fuel by Feb. 17, 2023, in one of three following ways:
- Complete a form on the National Fuel website at nationalfuel.com/utility/eligible-customer-list/ and click on the customer preference link.
- Call National Fuel toll-free at 1-855-967-8688 (1-855-9OptOut).
- Complete and return the form provided with the letter.
Another option for customers is to participate in the ECL, but to request to withhold consumption and usage data. Customers who choose to opt out of the ECL will have this option remain in effect on their account until the next ECL customer solicitation, which is required by the PUC every three years. Customers can request to be added to the ECL at any time should they change their mind before the next solicitation in late 2025.
Opting out will not prevent a customer from shopping on their own for a natural gas supplier. It may, however, limit the number of solicitations they receive. Customers who want their information provided to the natural gas suppliers can expect to be contacted by various energy marketers. When considering other natural gas suppliers, customers should take the same approach as they would in contracting for other services. Ask about rates, request references and take the time to speak with current customers.
Additional information about “Choosing a Natural Gas Supplier,” including a complete list of licensed natural gas suppliers and suggested questions to ask, can be found on National Fuel’s website at www.nationalfuel.com/utility/supplier-overview-pa-home/.