Interruptible Natural Gas

Compared to firm service — also known as uninterruptible service — the interruptible pricing model can save some businesses money. Having a trusted partner to help you manage interruptions can be invaluable. Below, we explain the difference between firm and interruptible natural gas, as well as how you can actually create a new revenue stream via profit-sharing, economic interruptions.

Firm vs. Interruptible Natural Gas

Typically, when a business relies on natural gas for heating or powering appliances and equipment, that gas is always available when it's needed. This option is the firm pricing model, in which no users are prioritized over others. While this model is great for businesses that require constant fuel, for utility and energy companies, managing demand while anticipating fluctuations in the market price can be a challenge.

Interruptible service is an arrangement where commercial customers with flexible energy needs agree to have their service interrupted or curtailed periodically. This setup benefits the gas supplier by helping them manage gas supply during periods of high demand. It also benefits the customer by giving them access to a reduced distribution fee.

How Does Interruptible Gas Service Work?

Businesses with interruptible gas can have their service curtailed during periods of high demand. This ensures that high priority customers like hospitals and residential homes have enough gas to meet their needs. In many cases, businesses will not have their gas shut off entirely, but will instead be subject to additional charges if their usage exceeds a certain threshold. During an interruption, businesses will often turn to an alternate form of fuel if they need to stay running at full capacity — particularly if there's a risk of running into overcharges.

How Shipley Energy Can Help

During a forced interruption, we’ll remotely monitor your tanks and send deliveries as needed. Businesses often worry about overage charges during forced interruptions. Instead of worrying about overage charges, you can de-risk this situation by switching fully to an alternative fuel and selling the gas you’re not using back to the market during a time of high demand. Even if you are with a different natural gas supplier we can still deliver your alternative fuel and our remote monitoring makes sure your tanks never run empty.

Who Can Benefit?

Most interruptible service customers use between 10,000 and 200,000 MCF of natural gas per year. Interruptible service may make sense for your business if:

  • Your fuel needs or your business model is flexible enough to accommodate periodic curtailments
  • You can run your equipment or heat your facility using an alternative fuel
  • You have an infrastructure in place that permits alternative fuel use

Can Interruptions Be Economic Opportunities?

While forced interruptions are mandatory usage curtailments during specific periods, Shipley Energy offers businesses an innovative way to profit from interruptions at chosen times. If your business can run on an alternative fuel, you can make money by choosing to interrupt your own supply and selling your natural gas back to the market at a higher price than you paid.

We’ll work with you to determine the price that makes sense for your goals and we’ll do the rest. You don’t have to watch the market. We’ll proactively monitor the market for opportunities and let you know when your target price is met.

Explore Your Options With Shipley Energy

Whether or not you rely on us for natural gas, we can also get you connected with an alternate fuel source, such as diesel, propane or heating oil, for use during curtailment periods.

To learn more about your options, get in touch using the form on our Contact page or the contact form below.