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the difference between a natural gas supplier and utility

Natural Gas Supplier vs Utility

As a homeowner or tenant, you’re familiar with the several different monthly bills that come with living in your home. You shopped around for the best internet plan, the best insurance, and maybe even the best electricity plan. Did you know that you can also shop around for your natural gas plans?

That’s right! If you live in a state that has deregulated their natural gas market, you can shop around for the best natural gas plan to fit your budget.

It’s important to know the difference between a natural gas supplier and a natural gas utility so you can have more confidence as you shop. That’s why we’ve broken down the difference below.

What is a natural gas utility company?

The utility company delivers natural gas to your home via underground pipes. Utility companies facilitate the distribution of natural gas and maintain the gas lines. If you experience an issue with the natural gas coming to your home or think you may have a gas leak, the utility company is who you will call.

What is a natural gas supplier?

While utilities maintain and oversee the delivery of natural gas, the supplier provides the natural gas that flows through the gas lines. Many natural gas suppliers offer competitive fixed and variable pricing, since they can take advantage of market dips much quicker than utilities.

How do I choose what’s best for me?

Before you start shopping for natural gas plans, you should first identify what is the most important to your household. You should ask questions like:

  • Do you want to have predictable rates?
  • Do you need the best customer service?
  • Do you want to use a company that’s been around for a while and is local?


Utility companies typically provide a variable rate called the Price to Compare (PTC) or a Standard Choice Offer (SCO). These are standard rates that can change monthly, every 3 months, or every 6 months depending on the utility. When going with the utility, it’s important to remember that your bill will also include other fees such as maintenance and distribution charges. For some utilities, these charges can make up close to 50% of your monthly bill.


Natural gas suppliers serve as price and contract regulators. This gives them the ability to provide more plan options to consumers. Suppliers purchase natural gas at wholesale rates and supply it to consumers at competitive fixed and/or variable rates that are often lower than the utilities rate.

Ready to start shopping?

States with a deregulated natural gas market have a website that consumers can use to browse and compare natural gas plans for their area.

Pennsylvania: https://www.pagasswitch.com/

Ohio: https://naturalgasplans.com/ohio/plans/

Maryland: https://www.mdgaschoice.com/shop/


If you’re looking for a local natural gas supplier with competitive rates, a rewards program, and exceptional customer service, consider choosing Shipley Energy! Natural gas is a necessity if you want to keep your family warm and comfortable in the winter and is something you shouldn’t have to sacrifice. Shipley Energy has several natural gas plans available to fit any budget. Check our rates online!

Find Your Perfect Plan Today!
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