Prior to 2001-2002, all Michigan natural gas consumers had no choice – utilities both sold and delivered their natural gas. However, since deregulation, consumers still have their natural gas delivered to them by their utilities, who are also still responsible for maintenance and emergencies, but now have a choice to over who supplies their natural gas. In other words, how much do I want to pay for this commodity?Michigan natural gas deregulation has ushered in a new era of competition, which benefits all natural gas consumers in the Great Lakes State. When natural gas suppliers, including the incumbent natural gas utilities, compete for consumers’ business, prices drop, customer service improves, and Michigan consumers win.Choose Energy’s natural gas comparison shopping makes it easy to compare natural gas rates from alternative natural gas suppliers in Michigan.
While natural gas deregulation has been around for a while, many Michigan residents are still unclear on the impact, benefits, and process. Choose Energy has compiled frequently asked questions to help you understand how Michigan natural gas deregulation works.
Michigan Natural Gas Deregulation: Common Questions
I decided to choose a new alternative natural gas supplier. Will reliability or service of my natural gas change in any way?
No way! Your local natural gas utility is still responsible for delivering natural gas to your home or business, regardless of the supplier you select. They upkeep the natural gas lines, and are regulated by the Michigan PSC, (Public Service Commission). If your natural gas goes out or you experience leaks or other emergencies, you can call your utility as you’ve always done. The contact number is on your natural gas bill.
Can every Michigan resident choose a new natural gas supplier?
No, not all Michigan consumers can choose an alternative natural gas supplier and are stuck with rates offered by their existing utility. However, over 75% of Michigan residents receive service from four major deregulated natural gas utilities. Many cities in Michigan, including Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Traverse City, have the option to choose rates from a new natural gas supplier. Consumers have the power to choose in the: Consumers Energy, MichCon (DTE Gas)
, Michigan Gas Utilities
, and SEMCO
Will I lose natural gas service when the switch occurs?
No. Your utility will continue to provide you with natural gas as it has always done. The only thing that changes is your natural gas bill, which will list your new natural gas supplier’s rate for the natural gas plan you’ve chosen. Natural gas service will continue to your home or business before you switch, during the switch, and after the switch, with no interruptions.
I’ve read about carbon offsets. What are they, and how does it relate to natural gas deregulation?
Unlike green or renewable energy options, which are available for many electricity plans, carbon offsets are created to reduce the footprint of emissions that cannot be eliminated. This is accomplished in various ways including renewable energy projects, planting trees, and initiatives to remove harmful pollutants from the environment. Depending on your service area, natural gas plans with carbon offset programs may be available for Michigan residents. Use Choose Energy’s comparison shopping engine to see which plans offer carbon offsets in your area. Choosing a plan with a carbon offset program will help counteract the emissions produced through your natural gas consumption.
There are quite a few options… Which natural gas supplier should I choose?
We understand and offer information on the best natural gas suppliers in Michigan. Additionally, Choose Energy’s natural gas comparison shopping engine will help you search for and find the perfect plan. Our supplier partners offer fixed and variable rates and also feature plans with carbon offsets.