How to Shop for Natural Gas in Georgia

With so many natural gas companies to choose from, finding a provider in Georgia can feel complicated—but we’re here to make it a little easier.  

Below, you’ll find all the info you need to understand Georgia’s natural gas market and choose the right company for you. 

How the Georgia Natural Gas Market Works

In 1997, the Natural Gas Competition and Deregulation Act was passed in Georgia to avoid any one company monopolizing the natural gas industry. As a result, several natural gas providers now serve customers in Georgia, while utility companies like Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) own and care for gas lines and infrastructure. Meanwhile, the New York Mercantile Exchange, or NYMEX, determines the natural gas rates. 

What does this mean for you? As a consumer, you have the power to choose your natural gas marketer.  

How to Shop for Natural Gas

  1. Find out which natural gas suppliers deliver to your service area. 
  2. Compare each company's rates and plans—and understand introductory rates.
  3. Read reviews from customers and ask around.  
  4. Consider your natural gas supplier’s values and community impact. 

Find out which natural gas suppliers deliver to your service area.

The first step in choosing a gas company is finding out which ones service your area.  
For a list of certified gas marketers in Georgia, visit the Public Service Commission

Compare each company’s rates and plans.

What is a good natural gas rate? It all depends on your needs and the type of plan you choose. Most natural gas companies offer a selection of plans that determine your rate. Gas South offers three plans: 

Fixed Rate: With a fixed-rate natural gas plan, the amount you pay per therm is locked in for the length of your contract. Your bill will increase or decrease depending on how much gas you use, but the cost per therm will not change.   

Variable Rate: Natural gas plans with a variable rate do not have a locked-in price per therm. Instead, the cost per therm can change from month to month.  

Flat Fee: A flat payment plan is an excellent option for long-term customers who want the same bill every month. Gas South’s OnePrice Plan®, for example, is tailored to your home, allowing you to pay the same price each month with no hidden fees, no surprises and no need to monitor your thermostat when the weather is cold. 

Discounts: Depending on which company you choose, you may be eligible for special discounts on natural gas. For example, at Gas South, we offer senior and military discounts.

Understand what it means when you see low introductory rates.

When shopping for a natural gas provider, it’s always good to be wary of low introductory rates—the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, after all. These offers may seem attractive at first, but you can find yourself stuck in a contract that doesn’t suit your needs after the introductory promotional period has come to an end. Some deals really are too good to be true, so It’s always important you read and understand the fine print spelled out in the Terms & Conditions. 

What’s an introductory period?

Often glossed over in a company’s advertising, this is a finite amount of time you have to take advantage of the savings you were initially offered. When that time runs out—let’s say six months into your year-long contract—you’re stuck in a deal that’s not all that appealing. This ugly side of an introductory rate offer could later mean paying a higher rate or being locked into some other requirement you’re not exactly thrilled about. 

What are some examples?

Some natural gas companies offer low introductory rates that are tied to variable pricing structures, though that’s not always obvious in the beginning. A variable pricing structure is a model where natural gas prices are based on market demand, which means the price fluctuates month to month. Often times in this scenario, your plan will automatically switch to a variable rate once the introductory rate offering ends, and then you’re locked into paying an unpredictable bill each month for the rest of your contract. These rates tend to be higher, especially in the cooler months. 

An introductory rate offer could also lock you into a longer service period than you had originally desired. And your contract could also be full of hidden fees you’re required to pay for certain services or circumstances, or you may be obligated to meet specific conditions. When you grow tired of this and try to get out of the contract and switch to a different gas provider, you’ll likely get hit with an early contract cancellation fee, which could be as much as $150. 

How do I avoid these headaches?

As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to carefully read the Terms & Conditions of any natural gas plan you’re considering. In the long run, you’ll find that choosing a provider with a reputation for being straightforward and transparent helps you save time and money, even if their rate doesn’t seem as low in the beginning. 

With Gas South, you always get the same great rates, no matter when you sign up—and there’s never a deposit to join. We know you deserve simple plans, easy options and the unparalleled service that compels our customers to continue ranking us as Georgia’s highest-rated provider. 

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Read reviews from customers and ask around.

When comparing natural gas providers, search online for reviews of the companies you’re considering. You might also ask friends, family or coworkers which gas supplier they use and how they feel about customer service, responsiveness and rate plans.  

Consider your natural gas supplier’s values and community impact.

Choosing the right provider isn’t just about rates—it’s also about values. Consider the impact your natural gas company has on its community. Do they have a mission that’s service and community-oriented?  
Search for a provider whose values align with your own and whose actions reflect those values. At Gas South, our mission is to Be A Fuel For Good, which is why we give 5% of profits to support children in need and have committed to investing $60 million to solar projects by the end of 2023


When to Shop for Natural Gas

When is the right time to shop around for a natural gas provider? It’s never too early to start researching providers in your area, but there are a few times when it’s best to turn on your gas for the first time if you’re a new user or transfer if you’re an existing customer.  

When You Move Residences

If you’re moving to a new home or apartment, you may need to shop for utilities for the first time. If you already have a natural gas provider, this is a great time to compare suppliers, find out who covers your new service area and transfer if you need or want to. 

If you’re already a Gas South customer and you’re moving to a new location within our service area, transferring your agreement is easy. You can start, stop or transfer service online. 

When You Renew Rates

If you’re on a fixed-rate plan, your contract will expire at the end of your six, 12 or 24-month agreement. At that time, you’ll automatically move to a variable rate plan, which may be more costly.  
Rate renewal is a good time to decide whether you want to continue your existing plan or switch to either a flat-fee or variable plan. If you wish to continue your fixed-rate plan, you can simply renew your agreement online.   

When the Weather Gets Cooler

Some users prefer to use natural gas only when temperatures drop. This option is best for those who only need gas for heating purposes and not year-round needs like cooking or hot water. Learn more about how to turn on your natural gas here

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