Energy Supplier Licensing Guide

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Guide Contents
Overview

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.

Alabama

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Alabama

Alabama does not allow for competitive natural gas supply.

Alaska

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Alaska

Alaska offers licenses for exploratory oil and gas efforts, but not for the supply of natural gas.

Arizona

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Arizona

Arkansas

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Arkansas

California

Agency

California Public Utilities Commission

Initial Application

Fee:

$100 plus an annual fee.

Form:

CTA Registration Application

License Renewal

Colorado

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Colorado

Connecticut

Agency

Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection - Public Utilities Regulatory Authority

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$500

Form:

Natural Gas Supplier Registration Form (Renewal)

Due:

Renewal applications must be submitted annually by July 15 but licenses expire on September 30.

Delaware

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Delaware

District of Columbia

Agency

District of Columbia Public Service Commission

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$0

Form:

Renewal Application - Natural Gas and Electricity Suppliers

Due:

Every 5 years by the date of issuance or last renewal.

Florida

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Florida

Florida does not issue licenses for suppliers, but suppliers must typically be approved by the utility company whose distribution system they plan to use.

Georgia

Agency

Georgia Public Service Commission

Initial Application

License Renewal

Hawaii

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Hawaii

Hawaii does not currently allow for competitive natural gas supply.

Idaho

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Idaho

Idaho does not currently allow for competitive natural gas supply.

Illinois

Agency

Illinois Commerce Commission

License Renewal

Fee:

$0

Form:

AGS Annual Report Form

Due:

Annually by January 31.

Indiana

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Indiana

Alternative natural gas suppliers are not regulated by the state public utility commission, but may be required to meet conditions proposed by the utilities they work with.

Iowa

Agency

Iowa Utilities Board

Initial Application

License Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Due:

Annually by April 1.


Agency

Iowa Utilities Board

Initial Application

License Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Due:

Annually by April 1.


Agency

Iowa Utilities Board

Initial Application

License Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Due:

Annually by April 1.

Kansas

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Kansas

Kentucky

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Kentucky

Alternative natural gas suppliers are not regulated by the state public utility commission, but may be required to meet conditions proposed by the utilities they work with.

Louisiana

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Louisiana

Maine

Agency

Maine Public Utilities Commission

Initial Application

Fee:

$0

Form:

Registration Form for Gas Suppliers

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

License Renewal

Maryland

Agency

Maryland Public Service Commission

Initial Application

Fee:

$400

Form:

Application for License to Supply Gas

Filing Method:

File by mail.

License Renewal

Massachusetts

Agency

Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU)

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$100

Form:

Gas Supplier and Retail Agent License Application Renewal

Due:

Annually by the first day of the month the license was issued in.

Michigan

Agency

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) - Public Service Commission

Initial Application

Fee:

$0

Filing Method:

Online

License Renewal

Minnesota

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Minnesota

Mississippi

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Mississippi

Missouri

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Missouri

Montana

Agency

Montana Public Service Commission

Initial Application

Fee:

$0

Filing Method:

Online

License Renewal

Nebraska

Agency

Nebraska Public Service Commission

Initial Application

License Renewal

Nevada

Agency

Nevada Public Utilities Commission

License Renewal

New Hampshire

Agency

New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission

Initial Application

Fee:

$250

License Renewal

Fee:

$250

Due:

Every 5 years at least 60 days prior to the date of expiration.

New Jersey

Agency

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities

Initial Application

Fee:

$800 license fee + $250 application fee

Form:

Gas Supplier Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$400

Form:

Gas Supplier Renewal Application

Due:

Licenses expire annually by the date of issuance, but registrants must apply for renewal no later than 30 days before the expiration date.

New Mexico

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in New Mexico

New York

Agency

New York State Department of Public Service

Initial Application

License Renewal

Fee:

$0

Filing Method:

Online

Due:

Annually by January 31.

North Carolina

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in North Carolina

North Dakota

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in North Dakota

Ohio

Agency

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

License Renewal

Fee:

$0

Form:

Renewal Certification Filing Instructions and Application - Certified Retail Natural Gas Suppliers

Due:

Biennially at least 30 days prior to the expiration date listed on the certificate.

Oklahoma

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Oklahoma

Oregon

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Oregon

Pennsylvania

Agency

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

Initial Application

Rhode Island

Agency

Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers

Initial Application

Fee:

$0

License Renewal

Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually by the anniversary of initial registration.

South Carolina

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in South Carolina

South Dakota

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in South Dakota

South Dakota has limited supplier choice for retail consumers of natural gas but does not license suppliers.

Tennessee

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Tennessee

Tennessee only has limited energy choice for commercial natural gas consumers and does not require suppliers to obtain a license.

Texas

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Texas

Utah

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Utah

Vermont

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Vermont

Virginia

Agency

Virginia State Corporation Commission - Division of Public Utility Regulation

Initial Application

Fee:

$250

License Renewal

Not required

License is valid until suspended or revoked by the SCC.

Washington

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Washington

West Virginia

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in West Virginia

Natural gas suppliers may need to register with the utility company that distributes natural gas in their planned service area, but West Virginia does not have state-issued licenses for suppliers.

Wisconsin

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Wisconsin

Certain commercial natural gas customers may be able to choose their supplier, but Wisconsin does not have residential natural gas choice and does not license suppliers.

Wyoming

Not Required

Natural Gas Supplier licensure is not required on the State level in Wyoming

Natural gas choice is limited in Wyoming, but suppliers may need to register with local utilities.

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.

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