FAQ for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Customers

Service Requirements: The PG&E service area is open to ALL Residential and Commercial Customers for Natural Gas.

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I didn’t think I had a choice of who I could buy my natural gas from. How does this work?
You certainly do have a choice. The natural gas industry in your area has been deregulated. The easiest way to understand it is to think of it like telecommunications deregulation, but instead of using phone lines we are using natural gas lines. We are able to sell you your natural gas at a discount and you continue to use the utilities existing pipelines to transport the natural gas to your facility or residence. There are no setup fees or connection fees and your utility will not charge you additional transportation costs. So we are able to pass on the savings from the actual natural gas you use.

How can Tiger be able to offer me a lower rate than my utility?
The utility is allowed to build in cost of their infrastructure, Bad Debts and anything else the Public Utilities Commission will allow them, into their actual cost of gas. Tiger has minimal overhead and is much more flexible and able to go out and get the best price for our natural gas. We then pass savings on to our customers.

How are you able to get the natural gas to me?
We will give the natural gas you buy from us directly to you utility company and then you will still pay them to transmit and distribute the natural gas through their existing pipelines to your residence or facility. So you will still be a customer of your utility but if you get your natural gas from Tiger you will still save money annually overall when you add in their transportation charges and the savings we offer you on the natural gas.

What if I have an emergency?
If you have an emergency like a gas leak or a fire you will still call your local utility company and they will come out and service your pipelines and meters, you will still be their customer because you will pay them to distribute your natural gas to your residence or facility. They will not charge you more in a maintenance or emergency situation because you are a Tiger customer. However, if you have a billing or customer service issue you can quickly contact your Tiger representative and be taken care of much quicker and effectively.

What are the risks involved with switching?
There is essentially no additional risk. Tiger has been in business for over 19 years and has over 25,000 commercial accounts nationwide and we have never received a better business bureau complaint. That is not the case with other energy marketers. At Tiger we are truly devoted to customer satisfaction and our company was founded on the principles of Integrity, reliability, and trust. We have survived and outlasted many others in our industry even when most have only been in business a fraction of the time we have. We will be here for a long time to come and in the event we cannot supply you with gas your local utility company would begin to supply you again automatically. That is something that has never once happened in our 19 years of business. Look us up on the Better Business Bureau website (BBB.org). We have been in business since 1991 and have over 25,000 accounts nationwide without ever receiving one complaint. This is because Tiger’s strong emphasis on maintaining superior customer service and customer relationships are key elements to our success.

How will you bill me for the natural gas we use?
If you are a Residential Tiger Customer you will continue to just receive your one PG&E bill. The only difference will be that instead of having PG&E’s cost for your natural gas on your bill you would have Tigers. Nothing will change from your prospective and you just pay once using any current method available to you from PG&E. There is a $.05 per day customer fee included as well.

If you are a Commercial Tiger Customer in the PG&E area you would be eligible to receive your charges attached to your current PG&E bill, just as outlined above. You would also have the option to receive a separate bill from Tiger for the natural gas you used. This option has no customer fee.

Is there a chance that Tiger would cost me more overall than my Utility?
In some months there is a chance that we could cost you more but that does not happen often. However, when you look at it on an annual basis we have never cost our customers more than the utility would have on a per Therm basis. The reason that Tigers price can sometimes be more than the utilities price is because the utility actually lags behind were the current market price is. Historically our prices on a monthly level are most always less than the utilities but when natural gas prices rise unexpectedly and quickly in a matter of a few months it can result in our price for a month being more than the utilities. This is because when we were buying our gas at the markets current rates the utility was still selling gas at rates below where the current market was. This is because they must set their monthly prices well in advance of when we do and the market was not forecasted to rise so much or so quickly. This results in their prices continuing to rise as ours level off or drop from their highs. That is why we like for our customers to look at the savings on an annual basis. Essentially, if their prices are less than ours in one month then that difference is likely to be made up in subsequent months.

What about the transportation cost of my natural gas service?

Your Utility will still charge you for the transportation of the natural gas to your facility or residence. You are already paying them for the transportation of the gas right now and when you become our customer your utility will not charge you anything additional for the transportation. So you can take the transportation out of the equation and whatever we can save you on the natural gas is what you can expect to save overall. You must use Natural Gas to save money with this program, the more you use the more we can save you.

Can I be your customer and participate in this program while receiving rebates and other savings program incentives through my utility?

Yes, you can purchase your Natural Gas at a discount from us and still be eligible for all the savings and rebate programs your utilities offer. This even includes California’s CARE customers. Even if you signed a contract for a rebate you will remain a customer of your utility and still be eligible for the rebate and be able to participate in our program.

How is my index rate price actually determined each month?

In California the index’s we use to determine your price each month is either the Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI) or Inside FERC (IF) index. These indexes are third party organizations that look at all the transactions happening at a particular geographical delivery point and assign an index value for that delivery point each month. Both of these indexes are independent third party organizations, are highly respected and industry standards in the areas we use them. Essentially, they are determining the market based rate for your area each month.

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PG&E’s Core Gas Aggregation Program – Frequently Asked Questions

 

(This information is taken directly from the PG&E Website and Tariff)

 

What is Core Gas Aggregation Service?

Core Gas Aggregation Service is an optional service that allows core customers to purchase gas directly from competitive suppliers, rather than from PG&E. Core customers are defined as all residential and small commercial customers. Under this gas rate option, customers purchase their gas commodity from a competitive supplier, known as a Core Transport Agent (CTA) and continue to use PG&E for gas transportation. PG&E still owns and maintains the lines that deliver the gas to your home or business under this service.

Why is PG&E offering this service?

PG&E believes that all customers benefit from additional choices in the marketplace. Providing choices creates competition among energy suppliers and increases value for customers. Suppliers can often provide customers with price protection, alternative billing methods and cost savings.

Regardless of what choices you make, your other gas services will be unchanged. PG&E remains committed to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to your home or business, and remains your first point of contact for safety issues regarding gas service.

Who is eligible to participate in the program?

Residential and small commercial customers currently being billed for gas on any core gas rate schedule.

 

Are CTAs regulated?

CTAs are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) or PG&E. However, PG&E requires new CTAs to enter into a Core Gas Aggregation Service Agreement with PG&E which outlines the CTAs’ obligations and responsibilities. PG&E then requires all new CTAs to complete a certification process, which entails meeting credit and technical requirements, before they are eligible to enroll and serve customers.

How does the program work?

To participate, your home or business must be part of a gas usage pool with a combined usage of at least 120,000 therms per year. The pool can consist of any combination of core gas customers from within PG&E’s service territory and need not be linked by residential or business class, or geography. Linked by their designation of a common CTA, each customer in the pool is required to make a minimum 12-month commitment to the Core Gas Aggregation Program and purchase natural gas from a CTA, instead of PG&E.

What are the responsibilities of my new supplier?

A CTA is responsible for ensuring that sufficient gas is delivered daily to PG&E’s pipeline system to supply its customers’ forecasted usage. As part of PG&E’s ongoing service, PG&E is the backup supplier in the event your CTA fails to arrange for an adequate supply of natural gas, defaults on its obligations or goes out of business.

Will I continue to receive a monthly bill from PG&E?

Yes, in most cases. PG&E provides three types of billing options for a CTA: 1) PG&E Consolidated Billing where PG&E consolidates its monthly gas distribution and transmission charges and a CTA’s gas charges into a single bill; 2) CTA Consolidated Billing where a CTA consolidates its monthly charges and PG&E’s charges into a single bill; and 3) Separate Billing where PG&E and a CTA separately bill for their respective monthly charges.

Who do I contact for billing questions?

Contact PG&E for questions regarding the gas distribution and transmission charges shown on your monthly bill. Contact your CTA for any questions concerning their monthly gas charges.

Will I continue to receive my CARE discount if I buy gas from a CTA?

Yes. The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) discount is mandated by the State of California and continues for all qualified customers regardless of whether PG&E or a CTA supplies their gas. The CARE discount for the customer’s gas commodity, distribution and transmission charges will continue to appear on the PG&E portion of the bill and the discount would be the same as if the customer remained a bundled customer with PG&E.

Will PG&E lose money if I switch to a CTA?

No. Due to the way natural gas utilities are regulated, PG&E does not make a profit from the sale of natural gas to its retail customers. PG&E instead makes its regulated profit from delivering gas through its pipeline system, as well as from other sources.

Are there any extra charges or franchise fee surcharges

PG&E does not assess any “extra” charges to customers who purchase natural gas from a CTA. Under any of the billing options available to a CTA (e.g., PG&E Consolidated Billing, CTA Consolidated Billing, and Separate Billing), a customer’s bill is first calculated as if the customer remained on bundled service with PG&E. The PG&E procurement (gas) portion of the bill is then subtracted from the bill through a “Procurement Credit.” Finally, a franchise fee is added to the PG&E portion of the bill. Please note that the franchise fee is NOT an extra charge for customers buying their gas from a CTA—it is part of the PG&E procurement charge and is collected under Gas Schedule G-SUR to pay franchise fees (roughly 1 percent) on the gas volumes purchased from a CTA.

If I buy my gas from a CTA, whom do I call in case of an emergency?

You should continue to call PG&E in case of any emergency involving gas service to your home or business. We will also continue to respond to your safety-related calls, such as gas leaks, and maintain the distribution system leading to your home. PG&E can be reached at 1-800-743-5000.

If I choose a different supplier, will the gas be different?

No. The quality of the natural gas provided to you is the same high quality gas you would otherwise receive.