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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 Service Territory

Columbia Gas services 1.4 million customers throughout Ohio:

Allen Ashland Athens Belmont
Carroll Champaign Clark Clinton
Columbiana Coshocton Cuyahoga Delaware
Erie Fairfield Franklin Fulton
Gallia Geauga Greene Guernsey
Hancock Hardin Harrison Hocking
Holmes Huron Jackson Jefferson
Knox Lawrence Licking Lorain
Lucas Madison Mahoning Marion
Medina Meigs Monroe Morrow
Muskingum Noble Ottawa Perry
Pickaway Richland Ross Sandusky
Scioto Seneca Stark Summit
Trumbull Tuscarawas Union Vinton
Washington Wayne Wood Wyandot

Columbia Gas serves these cities:

Alliance Canton Columbus Toledo Youngstown

Shop for Columbia Gas Natural Gas Suppliers In Your Area.

Compare Columbia Gas Natural Gas Rates

Compare alternative supplier natural gas rates
in the Columbia Gas service area.

  1. Enter zip code.
  2. Select energy type.
  3. Choose "residential" or "business".
  4. 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:

  • The customer demonstrates they are the property owner or meets the legally-accepted practices to verify credit.
  • The customer has had a prior account with Columbia Gas of Ohio for the same class of service within the past two years and, in the prior year of service, did not have a late bill more than twice and did not have service disconnected for nonpayment, fraud or tampering.
  • Have a guarantor who is a customer with the utility company and can pay your bills within 60 days if you fail to do so

  • 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.

    1. Each April, Columbia Gas sets a retail price adjustment in cents per ccf after an auction to choose SCO suppliers.
    2. Suppliers that place the lowest bids are selected to provide the natural gas to SCO customers.
    3. Each month, Columbia Gas determines rates by adding the NYMEX month-end natural gas settlement price to the retail price adjustment.
    4. 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: 0.324 cents per ccf

    Expiration date: 7/31/2024

    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:

  • Fixed Natural Gas Rates have their price rate set for the same price over the term of the contract. That means customers can count on stable gas rates on plans lasting from 6 to 36 months. However, many fixed rate plans come with early cancellation fees for breaking a contract early.

  • Variable Rates Want to avoid getting tied to a natural gas plan for months or years? Then choose a variable plan. Variable plan rates on these contracts can change from month to month depending on the price of natural gas. But while there's no contract, there's nothing to prevent your rate from going up one month or down the next. However, these plans don't have any termination fees and this allows customers the flexibility to shop for new rates and switch to better deals without paying any penalty.

  • Understand Your Columbia Gas Usage

    Your Columbia Gas usage affects your energy bills.

    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:

  • Seal your doors and windows against winter and summer drafts. Not only does it keep out the cold or hot air but it also reduces the amount of mold, pollen, and other allergens getting into your home.
  • Add insulation to your attic, basement, and duct work.
  • Install a programmable or smart thermostat. Programming it to set-back the temperature when you're away or inactive can improve your home's energy efficiency and help cut your electric bills.

  • 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

  • Delivery Charges are fixed rate charges (tariffs) approved by PUCO to cover Columbia Gas's local pipeline networks operating costs and ensure them a profit. Other usage-based charges are small costs from riders to fund projects, cover fees, etc. All Columbia Gas customers pay the same rate no matter who supplies their gas.
  • Gas Supply Charges is the price for your natural gas supply. If you have chosen the Columbia Gas Standard Choice Offer (SCO), your gas supply charges will include both the commodity price of the natural gas and the costs for storage and transmitting it to the Columbia Gas network.

  • 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 0.324 cents 0 $32.35
    Monthly Distribution Charges $0.035595 $4.00 $30.69
    Total Bill $63.04

    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

    Columbia Gas Example Bill Page 1

    • 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

    Columbia Gas Example Bill Page 2

    • 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
  • $300 instant rebate for Energy Star certified natural gas furnace.
  • $350 instant rebate for a certified natural gas boiler.
  • $50 instant rebate for Energy Star certified natural gas water heaters with energy factors over .67
  • $100 instant rebate for Energy Star certified natural gas tankless water heaters energy factors over .91.
  • Home Energy Audit Residential Energy Efficiency
  • A three to four-hour comprehensive in-home review by a trained energy auditor for $50 (a $500 value)
  • Installation of free energy-efficient items like showerheads, insulating pipe wrap, and a programmable thermostat
  • For just an additional $99, you can have a smart thermostat installed during your appointment
  • Infrared scan of walls to detect low levels of insulation
  • Multifamily Energy Audit Rental Owner Energy Efficiency
  • $100 for a comprehensive in-unit audit* by a trained energy auditor.
  • A personalized report of your property's efficiency with generous discounts, rebates and incentives to put toward your upgrades
  • Installation of free energy-efficient items like showerheads and a programmable thermostat.
  • Infrared scan of walls to detect low levels of insulation.
  • 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:
  • Air sealing, attic and wall insulation.
  • Safety checks on natural gas appliances.
  • Natural gas furnace repair or replacement.
  • Natural gas water heater repair or replacement.
  • 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.:
  • The One-Sixth Plan Each month, you will pay your current charges plus a portion of your past due balance over a 6 month period. An initial down payment is required.
  • The One-Ninth Plan Customers must agree to a Budget Plan amount for their projected monthly costs each month. Each month, you will pay this plan payment amount plus a portion of your past due balance over nine months.
  • The Nine-Month Basic Extended Payment Plan Each month, you will pay a portion of your past due balance over a 9 month period. An initial down payment is required.

  • 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
    N/A Not Accredited 781
    of 1000 pts
    of 1000 pts

    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.

    1. Your current bill. Your past usage per billing period can help you estimate a how much a plan might cost you each month.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

    Read Columbia Gas Customer Reviews

    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:

  • Unpaid Bill? - You want to contact Columbia Gas. If you have trouble paying your monthly bill call Columbia Gas's Customer Service: 1-800-344-4077
  • Natural gas service outage? Call Columbia Gas immediately.
  • 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:

  • You SMELL natural gas. Mercaptan is added to natural gas to give it the distinctive stink of rotten eggs.
  • You HEAR unusual sounds like hissing or whistling.
  • You SEE a damaged connection to a natural gas appliance, dirt or water blowing into the air, a dry patch of grass, or a fire or explosion near a pipeline.
  • 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!

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