Energy Supplier Licensing Guide
Natural Gas Supplier Licensing
Businesses that provide natural gas supplier services are generally required to register with the state public utilities commission. There are currently 20 states that have licensing requirements.
Natural gas suppliers must register with the secretary of state prior to applying for a license. Along with the license application, suppliers should register with the public utilities located in the supplier’s service area. Additional steps are often needed to apply for a license, but these requirements vary by state. A dedicated compliance expert can help you keep track of varying jurisdiction requirements and updated laws.
Natural gas supply firms are generally required to be licensed before offering supplier services publicly. Like electricity suppliers, natural gas suppliers are commonly regulated by state public utility commissions and federally by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Application requirements vary by state, but common requirements include:
- Charter and incorporation documents
- Partner and officer information
- Bonding requirements
- Financial statements
- List of other states where licensed to operate
- Proof of experience
States often require foreign entities to submit a certificate of good standing from their home state and state of application. Natural gas suppliers may also be required to comply with certain FERC regulations before applying for a state-level license.
In addition to state utility commission requirements, suppliers are usually required to register with natural gas utilities before doing business in the utility’s service area. Natural gas utilities typically require suppliers to agree to certain standards before starting service. Statewide natural gas suppliers may need to register with multiple utility companies.
After initial registration, natural gas suppliers in many states must renew their registration annually. Suppliers in states with permanent registration are required to keep their contact and other business information up to date. Utility commissions in almost all states also require periodic reports to be filed by suppliers.
Overview By State
Looking for natural gas supplier licensing requirements in a particular jurisdiction? The following table summarizes firm licensing requirements across the United States.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Aggregator - Agents acting as brokers on behalf of a group or groups of customers.
Broker - An agent acting as a middleman between energy suppliers and customers. Brokers can be affiliated with a single energy supplier or may have several supplier affiliations.
Competitive Energy States - States that allow consumers to choose the supplier of their energy source.
Energy Supplier - Narrowly defined, a supplier is a company that owns rights to a supply of energy or owns means of producing energy and then sells that energy to customers. The broad definition of energy supplier also includes aggregators, brokers, and marketers.
Franchise Agreement - A contract between municipal governments and utility companies that sets a franchise fee and conditions for the use of public rights of way.
Power Marketer - Act as intermediary between utilities and customers. Marketers do not own any assets related to power generation, they simply find price discrepancies between utility companies and offer savings to customers.
ACCES: American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers
Consumer outreach organization that educates the public on energy choice.
FERC: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Independent agency charged with oversight of electric, oil, natural gas, and hydropower transmissions.
RESA: Retail Energy Supply Association
National association of energy suppliers that encourages competition in energy markets.