Columbia Gas History
In 1906, New York financier and Ohio native Archibald S. White led a confederation of business interests to form the Columbia Gas & Electric Company to overthrow the Cincinnati Gas & Electric Company's 26 year monopoly in southern Ohio. By 1909, Columbia Gas & Electric succeeded in bringing its 183 mile-long natural gas pipeline into Cincinnati. The city celebrated by lighting a giant torch that shot a natural gas flame 75 feet into the sky. The city's residents saw their gas rates cut in half.
Columbia Gas & Electric grew and expanded. When the company acquired the Ohio Fuel Corporation with its western Pennsylvania operations in 1926, it doubled in size. Following the war years and anti-trust litigation, the company emerged as the Columbia Gas System in 1948. Through the market turmoil of the 1970s through the 1990s, Columbia reorganized and adapted to a changing environment. It changed its name to Columbia Energy Group and re-located its headquarters to Richmond, VA, to focus on producing natural gas and selling to homes and businesses through utility companies in the mid-Atlantic states.
Now as part of NiSource, Columbia Gas is the largest provider of natural gas service to Ohio residents, serving 1.4 million customers. The company also gives back to the state's communities through its Columbia Cares organization.
Columbia Gas Service Territory
Columbia Gas services 1.4 million customers throughout Ohio:
Columbia Gas serves these cities:
Shop for Columbia Gas Natural Gas Suppliers In Your Area.
Compare Columbia Gas Natural Gas Rates
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in the Columbia Gas service area.
- Enter zip code.
- Select energy type.
- Choose "residential" or "business".
- Click "Shop for Rates".
Some Ohio energy service territories overlap. If the tool reports that it has found more than one serving your zip code, don't worry! Just choose your local utility from those listed.
You'll then get to see the listing of all the energy suppliers' plans available in your area, along with rates, term lengths, and links to more detail information.
How to Start New Columbia Gas Service
Start your new service by calling Columbia Gas customer service at 1-800-344-4077. Columbia Gas does not yet offer online options to start, stop, or move natural gas service. New Columbia Gas customers can request new service to begin in their name least 48 hours in advance. New service requests needing new lines and meteres can require 5 to 30 days advance notice.
Be ready to supply:
- Service Address: The address where you want your service turned on or switched.
- The start date for natural gas service.
- Personal Information: You will need your name, phone number, email address, and your Social Security Number. These will be required.
- Unfrozen Credit: If you have frozen your credit with any of the major credit agencies, you will need to have it temporarily unfrozen. Columbia Gas will do a soft credit check to determine if a deposit is required.
Note that any balances for outstanding bills from previous accounts must be paid or have payment arrangements in place for any new service can commence.
Will I Need to Pay a Deposit?
Ohio utilities check your credit worthiness before setting up an account and to determine whether you will need to pay a deposit. To qualify, you'll need to provide the utility one of the following:
By law, Ohio utility deposits can be no more the customer's estimated average 30-day bill plus 30%.
What is the Columbia Gas Standard Choice Offer (SCO)?
The Standard Choice Offer (SCO) is a PUCO-approved default rate for the natural gas supply that you can select if you don't want to shop for retail supplier. Though how rates are determined might seem confusing, the process helps keeps prices low.
- Each April, Columbia Gas sets a retail price adjustment in cents per ccf after an auction to choose SCO suppliers.
- Suppliers that place the lowest bids are selected to provide the natural gas to SCO customers.
- Each month, Columbia Gas determines rates by adding the NYMEX month-end natural gas settlement price to the retail price adjustment.
- This price is then passed directly to SCO customers without mark up. By law, Columbia Gas of Ohio is prohibited from profiting on the SCO.
As a result, the SCO gas supply price varies from month-to-month. Sometimes it's low, sometimes it's high. And though the SCO suppliers are also competitive retail suppliers, they are bound by law to charge the SCO rate to all of Columbia Gas's SCO customers.
Columbia Gas Current SCO Rate
Residential: 0.636 cents per ccf
Expiration date: 4/30/2023
NOTE: Some Ohio municipal utilities purchase power for their local residents. Usually residents need to pay an opt-out fee if they don't want their natural gas service to be aggregated. Check with your local government to learn how you might be effected.
What is Ohio Energy Choice?
Ohio natural gas consumers are free to choose their own competitive retail natural gas supplier (CRNG). These alternative suppliers shop deals with different producers on the wholesale market to offer competitive rates. As such, their rates are not controlled by PUCO. This way, retail suppliers are able to offer competitively priced fixed rate plans for a variety of term lengths.
Though it can seem confusing, shopping natural gas plans is an easy process. The trick is finding the one that meets your needs. That's why retail natural gas suppliers in Ohio offer two types of plans:
Understand Your Columbia Gas Usage
In the east north central region of the U.S., up to 55% of an average home's energy usage goes to space heating. The rest is used for heating water, running clothing dryers, and cooking. Natural gas makes up 65% of energy used for home heating in Ohio, putting it among the top 10 natural gas-consuming states.
According to PUCO's estimates, the average Ohio home uses roughly 100 ccf per month.
The best way to cut your gas bill is to reduce your usage:
Columbia Gas offers its customers access to a free on-line suite of energy assessment tools to help your pinpoint ways to save energy in your home by using actual billing data from your energy bills.
Understand Columbia Gas Charges
In Ohio, residential natural gas usage is measured in hundreds of cubic feet (ccf). Usage charges are priced in cents per ccf. Columbia Gas organizes its charges into Delivery Charges and Gas Supply charges
Assuming the average Ohio monthly usage rate of 100 ccf, an average Columbia Gas SCO bill roughly breaks down like this:
|Rate per 100 ccf Used||Monthly Customer Charge||Total|
|SCO Supply Rate||0.636 cents||0||$63.59|
|Monthly Distribution Charges||$0.035595||$4.00||$30.69|
Understanding Your Columbia Gas Bill
Your Columbia Gas bill also comes packed full of useful information to help you better understand your usage and rate. But all these different line items that can be confusing to customers. Here is where we break down the most important items. Below is a sample Columbia Gas Natural Gas bill.
Columbia Gas Bill Page One
- A: Account profile: Quick snapshot of your account info, including contact info, and programs you're enrolled in.
- B: Account summary features a summary of the amount due and its due date.
- C: Current charges: these important amounts are listed in two places; one the account summary and on your pay stub.
- D: Usage history: Helps you see your past 13 months of usage. You can compare by year, month, and day. Includes average temperature to help you better understand your usage and estimate future bills.
- E: Contact information for emergencies, customer issues, and payment is available on both the bill and stub.
- F: Safety information that you need: What to do and who to call during a natural gas emergency. Always call 811 before you dig!
Columbia Gas Bill Page Two
- G: Definitions of common terms.
- H: Charge Details that breaks down delivery, taxes and fees, and supply charges.
- I: Legal info with rate schedules and who to call.
- J: Message board with info about energy efficiency and billing options.
- K: Change contact info on back of bill stub.
- L: Heat share contribution information to help you donate money to help neighbors pay their heating bills.
Columbia Gas Coupons, Energy Promotions, Discounts, Rebates and Promo Codes
As your local natural gas utility, Columbia Gas offers several rebate and energy efficiency programs to help customers save money off their monthly bill by upgrading their home's energy performance. Some programs also offer money-saving incentives while others could make paying your monthly bills much easier during those expensive winter months.
|Program Name||Program Type||Benefit|
|Save with rebates on thermostats, shower heads and faucet aerators||Rebate Program||Shop the Columbia Gas Ohio Store to get:
$75 off the original purchase price on Energy Star certified smart thermostats
$25 off the original purchase price on programmable thermostats
$10 off the original purchase price on efficient showerheads
|Get an rebate for an Energy Star certified residential natural gas appliances.||Rebate Program||
|Home Energy Audit||Residential Energy Efficiency|
|Multifamily Energy Audit||Rental Owner Energy Efficiency|
|WarmChoice Income Eligible Weatherization||Residential Energy Efficiency||Income-eligible homeowners and renters whose income is up to 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines may receive a full home energy inspection:
|Winter Reconnect Order||Bill payment assistance||Starting October 5, if your service has been shut off for non-payment or you have a shutoff notice, you can maintain or restore service for just $175 plus a reconnection fee - no matter how much you owe. Call Columbia Gas Customer Service.|
|Winter Crisis Program||Bill payment assistance||Runs from November 1, 2020 to May 1, 2021 for customers whose service is shut off for non-payment or have received a shutoff notice.
Customers who meet income eligibility requirements can receive a grant. Contact your local Energy Assistance Provider.
|Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus)||Bill payment assistance||Helps eligible Ohioans manage their energy bills year- round. Payments are based on a percentage of household income and are consistent year-round.|
|Graduate Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (Graduate PIPP Plus)||Bill payment assistance||Helps eligible Ohioans manage their energy bills through is a 12-month payment plan.|
|Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)||Bill payment assistance||Federal grant to help pay your winter heating bills.|
|Columbia Fuel Fund||Bill payment assistance||If you have exhausted all other available assistance programs, you could receive up to $250 per heating season with or without a disconnection notice. Columbia Fuel Fund services are provided by your local Community Action Agency.|
|Equal Payment Plan||Bill payment assistance||Coumbia Gas offeres different payment plans that allow you to pay your past due balance over a period of pre-determined months.:
Columbia Gas Reviews
Because Columbia Gas serves a large segment market, knowing how well it ranks among similar large-scale incumbant utilities can tell you a lot about how well it serves its customers. Columbia Gas is accredited with the BBB and was very well-rated in J.D. Power's 2021 utility residential customer satisfaction study. The utility also rated well in Escalent's 2021 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential study.
|OH Energy Ratings Score||Better Business Bureau||J.D. Power 2021 Gas Utility Study||Escalent 2021 Utility Study|
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How do I get the Cheapest Columbia Gas Rate?
Shopping for a new Columbia Gas Energy Choice Plan can seem bewildering at first. Once you understand how it works, though, it's an easy and straightforward process. That said, you should have these three things with you when you shop for natural gas.
- Your current bill. Your past usage per billing period can help you estimate a how much a plan might cost you each month.
- The current Columbia Gas SCO rate and expiration date. Knowing the current Columbia Gas of Ohio Standard Choice Offer gives you a price to compare with retail gas suppliers. This way, you can get a better feel for what they're offering, for how long, and if any of their incentives make their price work for your family's need.
- Your Columbia Gas of Ohio customer account number. This 15 digit number is on your bill. Having it handy lets you sign up for retail supplier offers right away.
Columbia Gas Shopping Questions
Often when you know the right questions to ask you'll learn exactly what you need to save money or avoid making a bad choice. When you shop for natural gas service in Ohio, always be sure to ask these important questions:
- Is the rate competitive with the SCO?
- Is the rate variable or is it fixed?
- How long does the plan last?
- What happens when the contract expires?
- Does the plan have any recurring charges?
- Does the plan come with an early cancellation fee?
- Does the supplier offer any customer incentives or rewards?
There are also some other important things to understand ahead of time:
Who bills me? Columbia Gas sends a single bill that outlines and adds up your monthly charges.
What are the Terms of Service? The Terms of Service explain and identify specific charges and any fees a customer will face when they sign up for an natural gas plan. Many suppliers offer different rates for plans with different term lengths. All Ohio natural gas customers should read and understand the terms of service and contract summary for any plan they are interested in before they sign on to the plan.
What are early termination fees? Switching retail suppliers before a contract ends can involve paying early termination fees. These can take a chomp out of your checking account you if you want to switch retail providers before your natural gas plan contract ends.
Where can I find more information on my usage? Columbia Gas customers can request up to 24 months of their gas usage plus other relevant information free of charge.
Compare Ohio Natural Gas Rates in Your Area
Natural Gas Service Out? Do You Smell Gas? Here's who you contact
Having some kind of problem with your Columbia Gas natural gas? Here's the proper people to call:
You can also receive outage alerts for your area via your Columbia Gas online account or check the progress natural gas outage repairs throughout the Columbia Gas of Ohio service area.
What If You Smell Natural Gas?
Natural gas leaks are extremely dangerous. Any kind of spark can ignite an explosion. Leave the area immediately if:
Don't try to find the source of the leak. Just stop what you're doing and move to a safe distance at least 350 feet away.
Call 911 immediately and then notifiy Columbia Gas of Ohio at 1-800-344-4077!
Columbia Gas of Ohio Providers
|American Power & Gas||
|866 682 9816|
|Symmetry Energy Solutions||
|Provision Power & Gas||
|National Gas & Electric||
|Sunwave Gas & Power||