It's Your Choice
Understanding your natural gas buying options
Knowing Your Options
For some time now, you have had the option of buying your natural gas from Union Gas or an independent retail energy marketer. The choice is yours.
Once you have selected a natural gas supplier, Union Gas will deliver your natural gas safely and reliably. We will also continue to provide other services such as meter reading, billing and a 24-hour natural gas emergency response service seven days a week, 365 days a year.
What does Union Gas offer?
Union Gas is a regulated distribution utility. For more than 90 years, we have delivered and supplied natural gas to thousands of homes and businesses across Ontario.
As a utility, all of our rates – for purchasing natural gas, transporting it to Ontario, and delivering it to homes and businesses – are regulated by the Ontario Energy Board, the provincial agency that oversees energy-related issues and regulations.
The price of natural gas is determined in an open market by supply and demand. At Union Gas we buy natural gas throughout the year. Gas purchases are made under daily, monthly, seasonal and yearly terms. While prices vary, this portfolio approach provides you with a market responsive price and reduced price movement.
What can an independent retail energy marketer offer?
Retail energy marketers, also called energy marketers or brokers, are independent businesses licensed by the Ontario Energy Board. Because retail energy marketers do not deliver natural gas or provide utility services, their pricing options are not regulated. To learn more about energy marketers or request a list of marketers operating in your area, contact the Ontario Energy Board at 1 877 632-2727 or visit its Web site at www.ontarioenergyboard.ca.
Signing a Direct Purchase Agreement authorizes an energy marketer to act on your behalf. The marketer is then responsible for notifying Union Gas.
Please note: Union Gas does not solicit business door to door.
If I want to choose a marketer, what should I do?
When considering a retail energy marketer, you may find the following tips useful:
- Comparison shop
- Contact several marketers for details on pricing, features, options and terms
- Ask friends and neighbours about their experiences
- Review media coverage about retail energy marketers
- Ask questions and make sure you understand the contract before you sign
- Understand any conditions for changing your price option
- Find out if there is an automatic renewal
- Check whether the marketer’s administration charges are included in the price or if they are extra
- Clarify any conditions for canceling the arrangement
- Make sure the contract accurately reflects the offer you accepted. Sales materials should include the name of the salesperson, and the name, address and phone number of the marketer
The Ontario Energy Board can give you specific information on retail energy marketers as well as the Code of Conduct for customer relations and consumer protection to be followed by marketers. 1 877 632-2727 or www.ontarioenergyboard.ca.
How will I be billed if I switch?
Union Gas will continue to mail you a monthly bill. Your bill is made up of five parts:
- the Gas charge (about half of the total bill)
- the Transportation to Union Gas charge
- the Delivery to You charge
If you buy your gas from a retail energy marketer, it is only the Gas, and depending on your contract, the Transportation to Union Gas charges and/or Storage charges that are affected. The Delivery to You and Monthly charges will still be regulated by the Ontario Energy Board, as will the Transportation to Union Gas charge and/or Storage charges if it is not part of your broker contract. These four charges equal almost half of your total bill. Your retail energy marketer’s name and phone number will appear on your bill.
If you have questions about your contract, your gas supply bill, or your service, please contact your energy marketer directly at the number on your bill. The operations of Union Gas are separate from those of retail energy marketers.
Do I have to switch?
No. If you are satisfied with your service, you are more than welcome to remain with Union Gas for your natural gas supply needs. You don’t need to call us or fill out any forms if that is your decision.
Can I switch back to Union Gas?
The terms and conditions of the contract you sign will determine, and could limit when you can cancel the arrangement or change to another supplier. If your contract permits you to cancel the arrangement, or when the contract expires, Union Gas will be happy to once again provide your natural gas supply.