AGA says almost half of US homes can choose gas supplier

The American Gas Association Monday said that nearly half the US households with gas service can, or soon may be able to, buy from a supplier other than their local utility. It said nearly 26 million of the nation�s 54 million households with gas service will soon be able to buy from a non-utility supplier.

Dec 11th, 2000


The American Gas Association Monday said that nearly half the US households with gas service can, or soon may be able to, buy from a supplier other than their local utility.

AGA said its updated study demonstrates the continued growth of competition in the gas industry.

It said nearly 26 million of the nation�s 54 million households with gas service (nearly 49%) soon will be able to buy from a non-utility supplier.

It said consumers in 23 states and the District of Columbia have that choice�and one in five households actually has switched suppliers.

Bruce McDowell, AGA director of policy analysis, said, �With energy prices on the rise, households that may not have previously considered purchasing their natural gas from a marketer may be thinking about it. While there is no guarantee of savings, consumers may find some of the non-utility programs to be attractive.�

AGA said traditionally, utilities buy gas for residential customers and pass along the cost of the commodity to customers through their monthly bills. The utilities typically do not profit on the sale of gas itself, but earn a regulated rate of return on delivery of the gas.

More than 95% of large-volume gas customers, such as factories and electric-power plants, can select their own suppliers. Similarly, almost 70% of commercial customers, such as hospitals and office buildings, have such a choice.

AGA represents 189 utilities that deliver gas to almost 60 million homes and businesses in all 50 states.

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