Historically, natural gas has been safe, efficient, plentiful and under the right conditions, cost effective. The current rise in commodities has many businesses reviewing costs associated with their natural gas usage.
In most cases, you are free to choose the commodity supplier you want, but your utility company is under no obligation to give you the best price. What’s more, your choices can seem daunting. Costs and details might be difficult to understand, or, worse yet, hidden within language easily overlooked or misunderstood. None of this is to suggest that your utility company is unethical; that’s rarely the case. But it is a complicated arrangement and often requires specialized skills. Tenurgy can help.
Tenurgy knows the ins and outs of the natural gas industry, and our auditors like nothing better than digging into your statements and contractual agreements to maximize your savings. We’d love to take a look.
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Deregulated and Regulated Natural Gas Markets
Regulated markets require consumers to purchase natural gas from the local utility at prices regulated by the state and federal government. Deregulated markets allow for competitive prices to fluctuate based on supply and demand. Michigan, for example, has a combination of regulated and deregulated markets. (Michigan details: https://gaschoice.apps.lara.state.mi.us/). Even more complicated, alternative gas suppliers (AGS) are a licensed third-party companies who sell natural gas at unregulated rates to customers located in states like Michigan, where gas is delivered to customers by the natural gas utility that participates in the customer choice program (according to Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs).
Your natural gas supply has to come from somewhere. Someone has to find it, get it out of the ground, ship it to suppliers, and pass it on to the customers. And, someone has to pay for the gas. Is it you?
Simply put, supply and demand determine natural gas prices. But, it does get more complicated: production levels, imports, weather and inventory are monitored continually to determine a price that is fair and reasonable. But fair and reasonable to whom? Your business or your AGS?
Did we mention the highly specialized and costly infrastructure required to bring that efficient natural gas to your business? Pipelines, natural gas ports and storage facilities must be rigorously maintained and often expanded to meet the needs of the suppliers and their customers. It all costs money. And, closer to home, an aging infrastructure at the local level might cause inaccuracies in customer meters.
Mistakes Happen: It’s All in the Details
Your utility statement contains many opportunities for error. Exemptions, credits, multipliers, meter readings. Distribution and GCR. Third-party suppliers. Rate classification. Recovery charges. Commodity charges. Delivery and customer charges. You get the picture.
Feeling overwhelmed with all the details? Analyzing utility bills is what Tenurgy does every single day. Schedule a 10- to a 15-minute virtual meeting. Tenurgy can share how simple it is to get started with a utility bill audit – risk free.