- Why is PG&E offering the Core Gas Aggregation Service?
PG&E is mandated to allow CTAs to operate and offer service. Regardless of whether you continue to buy your natural gas from PG&E or from a Core Transport Agent (CTA), PG&E remains committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas to your home or business, and continue to be your first point of contact for safety issues regarding gas service. CTAs are in charge of marketing their own services.
- What is a Core Transport Agent (CTA)?
CTAs are not affiliated with PG&E. A CTA is a third party supplier other than PG&E who procures gas for end use customers.
- Are CTAs regulated?
CTAs are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) or PG&E. However, PG&E requires new CTAs to enter into a Core Gas Aggregation Service Agreement with PG&E which outlines the CTAs' obligations and responsibilities. PG&E then requires all new CTAs to complete a certification process, which entails meeting credit and technical requirements, before they are eligible to enroll and serve customers. PG&E also monitors incoming complaints about CTAs making fraudulent sales calls and may penalize a CTA for improper conduct.
- What are SB 656’s key provisions?
Under SB 656, which signed into law on October 5, 2013, CTAs will be required to register with the CPUC before providing service. The CPUC may suspended or revoke a CTA's registration if it finds that a CTA made material misrepresentation in the course of soliciting customers, committed fraud, misrepresented a material fact in obtaining a registration, or if the CPUC finds there is evidence a CTA is not financially viable, and technically and operationally capable. In addidtion, CTAs must, prior to the start of service, provide customers with a written notice describing the price, terms, and conditions of the service. The CPUC is in the process of developing the regulatory framework to implement SB 656's provisions which are expected to go into effect later in 2014.
- How does Core Gas Aggregation Service work?
Before joining Core Gas Aggregation Service, an end-use customer, such as a resident or business-owner, will need to agree through verbal or written contract to buy natural gas from CTA other than PG&E. The CTA will procure natural gas for its customers. PG&E continues to transport the natural gas to the end-use customer. Customers are required to make a minimum 12-month commitment to Core Gas Aggregation Service and purchase natural gas from a CTA, instead of PG&E. And CTAs are required to serve a gas usage pool with a combined usage of at least 120,000 therms per year.
- Who is eligible to sign up for service with a CTA?
All core end-use customers are eligible for service with a CTA. These rates include:
Residential: G1, GM, GS, GT, GL-1, GML, GSL, GTL
Residential NGV: G1-NGV, GL1-NGV
Commercial: G-NR1, G-NR2
Natural Gas Vehicles: G-NGV1, G-NGV2
- What are the responsibilities of a CTA?
A CTA is responsible for ensuring that sufficient gas is delivered daily to PG&E's pipeline system to supply its customers' forecasted usage. As part of PG&E's ongoing service, we are the backup supplier in the event your CTA fails to arrange for an adequate supply of natural gas, defaults on its obligations or goes out of business.
- Will I continue to receive a monthly bill from PG&E?
Yes, in most cases. PG&E provides three types of billing options for a CTA: 1) PG&E Consolidated Billing where PG&E consolidates its monthly gas distribution and transmission charges and a CTA's gas charges into a single bill; 2) CTA Consolidated Billing where a CTA consolidates its monthly charges and PG&E's charges into a single bill; and 3) Separate Billing where PG&E and a CTA separately bill for their respective monthly charges. You will experience a few days delay in receiving your monthly bill if your CTA is using PG&E as its biller; however, your payment due date will not be effected by this process.
- How do I access PG&E's bill inserts?
You can access PG&E's bill inserts at http://www.pge.com/billinserts/
- How do I know I’m not double billed for my gas charges?
Customers who elect to join the Core Gas Aggregation Service will see a Procurement Credit under the gas details page on their bill. The Procurement Credit is PG&E's gas commodity cost for that particular month and will vary month to month.
- Who do I contact for billing questions?
Contact PG&E for questions regarding the gas distribution and transmission charges shown on your monthly bill. Contact your CTA for any questions concerning their monthly gas charges.
- Will I continue to receive my CARE discount if I buy gas from a CTA?
Yes. The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) discount is mandated by the State of California and continues for all qualified customers regardless of whether PG&E or a CTA supplies their gas. The CARE discount for the customer’s gas commodity, distribution and transmission charges will continue to appear on the PG&E portion of the bill and the discount would be the same as if the customer remained a bundled customer with PG&E.
- Will I continue to receive my FERA/LIHEAP/Energy Efficiency related rebates or incentives if I buy gas from a CTA?
Yes. Customers are still eligible for the programs mentioned above.
- Can I apply for a medical baseline discount if I buy gas from a CTA?
For customers who are applying for medical baselines, these discounts are only applied on PG&E's portion of cost.
- Will PG&E lose money if I switch to a CTA?
No. Due to the way natural gas utilities are regulated, PG&E does not make a profit from the sale of natural gas to its retail customers. PG&E instead makes its regulated profit from delivering gas through its pipeline system, as well as from other sources.
- Are there any extra charges or franchise fee surcharges?
PG&E does not assess any "extra" charges to customers who purchase natural gas from a CTA. Under any of the billing options available to a CTA (e.g., PG&E Consolidated Billing, CTA Consolidated Billing, and Separate Billing), a customer’s bill is first calculated as if the customer remained on bundled service with PG&E. The PG&E procurement (gas) portion of the bill is then subtracted from the bill through a "Procurement Credit." Finally, a franchise fee is added to the PG&E portion of the bill. Please note that the franchise fee is NOT an extra charge for customers buying their gas from a CTA—it is part of the PG&E procurement charge and is collected under Gas Schedule G-SUR to pay franchise fees (roughly 1 percent) on the gas volumes purchased from a CTA.
- If I buy my gas from a CTA, whom do I call in case of an emergency?
You should continue to call PG&E in case of any emergency involving gas service to your home or business. We will also continue to respond to your safety-related calls, such as gas leaks, and maintain the distribution system leading to your home. We can be reached at 1-800-743-5000.
- How do I cancel service with my CTA?
The agreement or contract you enter into with your CTA should outline the cancellation process and conditions. If a CTA terminates service to you, you will be returned to PG&E's bundled service which means that PG&E will resume buying gas for your home or business.
- When will my service start with PG&E after I cancel service with CTA?
Your return date to PG&E's bundled service will be determined based on the meter read cycle. If a CTA submits a disconnect enrollment with PG&E and PG&E accepts the disconnect request 15 days before the next meter read date then your service will begin with PG&E on the next meter read date. If the disconnect request is submitted less than 15 days of the next meter read date, then your service with PG&E will begin on the next month's meter read date.
- What is my meter read date?
- What if I have a dispute with my CTA?
You may contact PG&E at 1-877-442-7457 or file an action in the judicial court system.