Winter weather has you thinking about your natural gas bill, so now is the time to make sure you know who’s providing your gas service.
Michigan allows customers to have a choice in who provides their natural gas, but there are some important things to understand. DTE Energy is regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission, meaning our rates are regulated by the Commission. Alternative gas suppliers are unregulated.
Curious about how to tell who provides your natural gas? If your monthly bill lists a Gas Cost Recovery charge for natural gas, you’re a DTE customer. If your bill lists an Alternative Gas Supplier Charge, you are served by an alternative gas supplier (AGS), even though your bill will still have a DTE Energy logo.
As a DTE Energy gas customer, you pay the actual cost of the gas you use with no markup through the GCR charge, meaning DTE makes no profit on the actual gas you use. DTE works hard to keep these prices low by buying gas in the summer when prices are lower and storing it for use in the winter. Alternative gas suppliers may offer fixed prices, prices that fluctuate, or prices that start at one rate and change to another after a certain amount of time. To compare the DTE price to what alternative gas suppliers offer, the Michigan Public Service Commission offers a website with current rate information and a comparison table.
If you have been contacted by an AGS or are currently considering switching suppliers, be sure to ask the AGS how much it charges for natural gas and the terms and length of the contract. You’ll also want to know if the price can change during the contract’s length and whether there is a cancellation penalty or fee if you decide to switch back to your previous supplier. Be sure to visit the MPSC gas comparison website for information on your cancellation rights with an AGS.
Free protection against unwanted switching
Sometimes, however, customers can get switched without their knowledge. “Slamming,” or changing a customer’s supplier without their permission, can and does happen. Never give information about your bill to a third party unless you want to switch suppliers. If you were switched to an AGS without your permission, contact the AGS at the phone number on your bill or call the MPSC at 800.292.9555.
DTE customers who want to protect their account against “slamming” can use the free Gas Lock-In feature, which prevents any changes to your gas supplier without your permission. Once your account is locked, it cannot be switched to another supplier until you contact DTE to unlock your account. There is no cost to activate or deactivate the Lock-In feature. To take advantage of this, contact DTE Energy at 800.477.4747 or visit dteenergy.com/gaslockin for more information.
DTE Energy and its affiliates, including DTE Gas, do not engage in telemarketing, door-to-door sales or sales through social media. Additionally, DTE Energy is not affiliated or associated with any alternative gas suppliers.