Learn and compare natural gas companies and rates in Maryland.
Can I choose my natural gas provider in Maryland?
Maryland is a state that has chosen to deregulate its energy market in an attempt to increase competition. So, customers have a choice of who they'd like their natural gas provider to be. Competition within the energy market can keep prices lower, allow customers to make choices about their natural gas supply and provide economic growth and job creation by establishing companies that profit from supplying natural gas to the population of Maryland. This is different from regulated energy markets where the public utility is responsible for and possesses complete control of both natural gas supply and distribution1.
Natural gas customers who live in a state with a regulated energy market cannot choose their natural gas supplier. But instead, they are bound to purchase natural gas from the public utility company in their area. In response to this lack of choice, state legislatures and state governors in 24 states have enacted legislation that deregulates the energy industry and allows customers to choose suppliers other than their public utility to meet their energy needs. Ultimately, it's debatable whether customers' prices are consistently lower in a regulated or deregulated energy market. However, there is some belief that both industrial and retail customers enjoy the power to choose.
Who are the natural gas providers in Maryland?
When looking at natural gas providers in Maryland, it is essential to distinguish between the local distribution utilities that physically provide the natural gas to local homes and businesses through their infrastructure versus natural gas suppliers who purchase and sell wholesale natural gas. There are three main public local distribution utilities in Maryland: BGE, WGL, and Columbia Gas.
When considering which natural gas supplier you may choose to service your home or business, you should know that you have many choices and can select your supplier based on several factors. Factors like pricing, contract terms, environmental impact and company reputation can all help you determine which natural gas supplier will be the best choice for you. If your public utility happens to be the supplier that works best for you, you also have the right to choose the utility to be your natural gas supplier2.
How do I compare natural gas providers in Maryland?
When you begin to compare natural gas providers in Maryland, you should ask yourself what you value most in a natural gas provider? Do you appreciate excellent customer service and attentiveness by personnel? Do you want a natural gas supplier with many contract terms options like contract lengths, fixed versus variable rates and simple contract renewal? Or is the environmental impact a major concern of yours, and you prefer to use a natural gas supplier committed to clean energy?
There are many factors other than price that you'll want to review to compare natural gas providers in Maryland properly. However, if the price is essential to you, you can also lock in the cheapest rate. The right to choose your natural gas provider allows you the freedom to choose a supplier who is consistent with your values.
How much does natural gas cost in Maryland on average?
The latest natural gas price information maintained by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has natural gas pricing information available through August 2021. In August 2021, the price of natural gas for residential use was $23.57 per 1,000 cubic feet in Maryland. Industrial use was $8.06 per 1,000 cubic feet, while the retail price was closer to $13.723.
How much is the average gas bill for Maryland residents?
When it comes to using natural gas to heat your home, water and other various residential uses, your gas bill can creep up in overall price quickly if you are not mindful of your natural gas use. Although Maryland might pay a higher average base rate for residential natural gas than the national average, the average residential gas bill comes out to be consistently around the national average of $100 per month. This is because gas bills are based on more than just the average base rate. Other factors like the average age and size of homes, average household size, the average age of appliances and the level of conservation practice by the average resident all play a role in determining how much a gas bill will be.
If you are concerned that your gas bill may be too high, there are various measures you can take to lower your monthly bill:
- Investigate and address any insulation issues your home may have. You could be overworking your furnace in the winter months due to heat loss through gaps in your windows and doorways.
- Are your appliances old and out of date? By investing in newer devices that are more energy-efficient, you may reduce your gas bill, and your savings could eventually recoup the cost of your original purchase.
- You can help reduce your gas bill by ensuring your thermostat is not set too high in the winter and too low in the summer. In the winter, wearing extra clothes and sealing your windows with weatherproofing window insulation are just two small steps you can take to help reduce your gas bill. In the summer, try to rely on an excellent circulating fan to provide some cooling or a smart thermostat that can adjust temperature settings based on when the house is occupied and not to help reduce your natural gas use.
Is natural gas more expensive in Maryland?
When comparing average natural gas prices in Maryland to the national average, Maryland residents have paid more than the natural average. In August 2021, the United States' national natural gas average was $20.96 per 1,000 cubic feet. Compared to the price of $23.57 per 1,000 cubic feet in Maryland, those residents paid about 12% more for natural gas than the average U.S. resident in August 2021. Let's look at the commercial and industrial use of natural gas prices for the same period. We can see that while the national retail average was around $10.18 per 1,000 cubic feet, the average price in Maryland was $13.72 per 1,000 cubic feet. For industrial use, the national average in August 2021 was $5.02 per 1,000 cubic feet, while the average price in Maryland was around $8.06 per 1,000 cubic feet. So, Maryland paid more for natural gas in all three sectors than the average U.S. price. If we look at all the monthly price reports and compare Maryland versus the national average, its citizens consistently have higher natural gas prices than the national average.
Are natural gas prices increasing in Maryland?
For residential use in Maryland, natural gas prices have increased dramatically in the six months between March and August 2021. Residents saw average natural gas prices in March 2021 at $13.45 per 1,000 cubic feet. The price in August 2021 had risen to an average price of $23.57 per 1,000 cubic feet. That is a 75% increase over six months.
How do natural gas companies in Maryland determine their price?
Natural gas companies in Maryland determine their prices based on the same principles of supply and demand that any other natural gas supplier in the U.S. uses. Natural gas prices can fluctuate from one month to the next based on supply issues like production levels, supply chain conditions, and extreme weather events. The level of natural gas imports also affects the overall supply of natural gas, which affects the price. A price determiner on the demand-side includes seasonal temperature fluctuations that increase natural gas use by homes and businesses to heat and cool buildings to comfortable levels4.
How do I switch natural gas providers in Maryland?
Switching natural gas providers in Maryland is a relatively simple process. The hardest part may be just selecting the provider you want to change to. Once you have chosen a provider, they should be able to help you complete the switch. When shopping providers, you should consider their company values as well as their rates and plans.
Are there clean natural gas providers in Maryland?
Of course, you can get natural gas in Maryland from various providers. However, if clean natural gas is a priority to you, it may be in your best interest to find a natural gas supplier who is committed to improving the health of our planet.
Enter Inspire's Clean Natural Gas plan. We purchase offsets on your behalf to neutralize the carbon emissions associated with your home's natural gas consumption.
Currently, we offer our Clean Natural Gas plan for eligible residential and small business customers in Ohio, with more locations (including Maryland) coming soon.
And, as always, if you're looking for renewable options for your home's electricity supply needs, we also offer access to clean, renewable energy for one flat monthly price. Start now – the earth will thank you.