When considering other natural gas suppliers, you should take the same approach as you would in contracting for other services for your home. To help you with this process, we have composed a list of questions to ask suppliers:
- Are you a qualified supplier approved by National Fuel and the appropriate state regulatory commission? (Please note that our determination of eligibility is not an endorsement of that supplier’s service or reputation.)
- How much experience does your company have in supplying natural gas? How many customers do you have?
- What are your rates and how do they compare to my current rates?
- Is the price that you are offering fixed or can it go up or down during the year as gas costs change?
- What are my payment options? Do you have balanced billing, direct pay or accept credit card payments? Do you charge for these services?
- What is the term of the contract? Will I be penalized if I break the contract?
- What happens if I move from my current address?
- Does your price include all fees and taxes?
- Do you assess a late payment charge?
- How can I be sure that my bills are accurate?
- Is a basic service charge assessed even if I don’t use any gas?
- Do you offer any payment assistance programs? Can an energy assistance grant like HEAP or Neighbor for Neighbor be applied to my account?
- How will I be billed? Will I receive a consolidated bill or separate bills from the utility and the supplier?
- Who will I call for billing questions?
- Do you provide any other energy-related services?
- What happens if your company experiences financial difficulty or closes while I am under contract with you?
- Can you guarantee that the price I pay will be less than what I would have paid as a customer of National Fuel or another gas supplier?
- What special services do you offer handicapped, elderly or payment-troubled customers?
- Do you have a special low-income or senior citizen discount rate?
- Do you offer discounts based on gas volume used?
- Where do you obtain your gas supplies?
- Will I be required to pay a security deposit or make advance payments?
- Are you authorized to terminate my gas service without initiating a transfer of my service back to the utility?
Please know that if you choose to buy gas from a supplier, National Fuel will send you a letter to confirm your intent. Your account will be updated automatically and you will receive your future bills from either National Fuel or the supplier, if it provides that service.
If you’re buying gas from a supplier, National Fuel’s employees will still need to visit your home for operational purposes. Our employees will carry an ID card and will produce it without resistance if asked. National Fuel employees do NOT visit customers’ properties to discuss account matters, to view a customer’s gas bill or to ask them to sign any sort of agreement.