Natural Gas Deregulation Questions and Answers
Q1. What is natural gas deregulation?
A. Natural gas deregulation began with Senate Bill 215 that was passed by the Georgia Legislature and signed into law by Governor Zell Miller in 1997. Deregulation began officially on July 1, 1998. This legislation allows Atlanta Gaslight Company to store and distribute natural gas in its facilities (pipelines, storage facilities and other supporting services) and marketers selling of this natural gas to consumers. The Georgia Public Service Commission has the role of administering gas deregulation. House Bill 1568 which took effect September 1, 2002, charged the PSC with implementing rules that expanded consumers' rights.
Q2. Who is affected by gas deregulation?
A. Natural gas deregulation applies exclusively to Atlanta Gas Light's Company's (AGLC) service area. Therefore, only those citizens who reside in the AGLC's service area are affected by natural gas deregulation.
Q3. How can I get information about the different gas marketers?
A. Consumers may find links to the marketers' web sites that provide detailed information about the natural gas marketers such as telephone numbers and other means of contact. Consumers may also consult the Public Service Commission's marketer scorecard and the marketer monthly pricing listing for information such as gas prices, customer service fees, etc. This material may be used to supplement information that consumers may obtain from other sources.
Q4. How do I sign up with a marketer?
A. You may contact a marketer via telephone, Internet, or written correspondence to sign up for service. After you are enrolled successfully, you will receive a welcome package in the mail containing your terms of service, disclosure statement, and any contracts as applicable. Please inspect the package carefully to insure that you have received only services you requested.
Q5. How can I find out if the marketer is reputable?
A. Marketers are certificated by the Commission as being financially and technically able to sell gas in Georgia. Also, you may consult the marketer scorecard to view the number and types of complaints that are filed against the various marketers. Consumers may also ask friends, coworkers and others about how their marketers serve them.
Q6. How long does it take to switch from one marketer to another?
A. If you sign up with a marketer by the 19th day of a given month, your switch may become effective the first day of the following month (barring any system limitations). If your request is not processed by 3:00 AM on the 20th day of the month, your switch becomes effective the next following month (example: Sign up March 19th, request not processed; therefore, switch becomes effective May 1st). The Georgia Public Service Commission is currently conducting research to determine if the switching process can be expedited.
Q7. Are there any low income senior citizens' discounts?
A. Senior citizens who are 65 years of age or older and have a total annual combined household income of $14,355 or less are eligible for up to a $14.00 monthly discount on their Atlanta Gas Light Company base charge. Natural gas service must also be in the customer's name to be eligible. Elderly seniors who have been approved to recieve the discount will see it reflected on their marketer's bill.
Q8. Who do I call about any questions about my gas service such as meter reading, billing questions, disconnection, etc.?
A. You may call your marketer for assistance on these issues. If you have a problem that you are unable to resolve with your marketer, you may contact the Georgia Public Service Commission, Office of Consumer Affairs. For an expedited response please utilize the online complaint form and provide as many relevant details as possible.
Q9. What should I do if I smell gas or have a gas leak?
A. Atlanta Gas Light Company will continue to maintain the pipes and will be available 24-hours a day to respond to natural gas emergencies. In metro-Atlanta, call 770-907-4231; outside metro-Atlanta, call 1-877-427-4321.
Q10. What if I have bad credit or gas marketers reject my application?
A. If you are unable to receive gas service from any other marketer, you may choose to sign up with the Regulated Provider. There is a $150 deposit required which shall be refunded after making full and timely payments for 6 consecutive months.
Q11. What are my rights under the "Natural Gas Consumers' Relief Act"?
A. The Act provides for a bill of rights that include a right to: reliable, safe and affordable gas service, including high quality customer service; information that is unbiased, accurate, and understandable in a written form which allows for comparison of prices and terms of service; fair application of provisions in matters such as deposit and credit requirements, service denials and terminations, and deferred payments; protection from unfair, deceptive, fraudulent and anti-competitive practices; receive accurate and timely bills from their marketers; protection from improper use of their customer records and payment histories; a fair and efficient process of resolving differences with marketers.
If you have additional questions, please contact us.