How Does It Work?
Gas Price Basics
To decide if Customer Select is right for you, it helps to understand more about the price of natural gas.
Since natural gas is a commodity, its price varies daily based on the effects of weather, supply and demand. Because prices change so much, it's important to look at your gas cost for a full year or two, not just for one month.
The cost of your natural gas supply currently makes up about 75 to 80 percent of your annual gas bill; the rest is delivery charges and taxes. Nicor Gas' cost for natural gas changes every month, and all customers are charged the same price per therm. Nicor Gas files a Gas Supply Charge each month with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), which regulates all Illinois utilities.
Prices charged by the participating suppliers, as well as the terms and conditions of their contracts with you, are not regulated by the ICC. Because of this, suppliers are able to create a variety of pricing offers. You should talk to different suppliers to find out about their pricing options, services, incentives, and/or promotions.
Your Nicor Gas account information can also help you compare your past costs with other suppliers. To see your gas use and cost history, click on My Account.
Supplier Pricing Offers
Supplier offers usually fall into the following categories:
This type of contract offers stability. You pay the same price per therm for natural gas or the same amount every month for a set period of time. Changes in the market price of natural gas should not affect the price you pay. If market prices go up, you're locked in at a lower rate. But if market prices go down, you'll still pay the locked in amount.
Market-Based or Index Price
Under these plans, the price you pay for natural gas can change each month. The supplier sets the monthly price per therm based on one or more natural gas market indicators. Since gas prices can change over a year, you can expect your price to fall when market prices fall. Your price can also go up when market prices go up.
This offer is similar to a market-based offer. The price per therm may go up or down with market trends. But this type of offer may not necessarily be tied to a market index. For example, it may be based on the supplier's average cost to purchase natural gas.
Customers of public electric utilities in Illinois can also choose their electric supplier. Some suppliers may offer packages that include both gas and electric.