When it comes to natural gas, many states now offer consumers the choice of committing to fixed vs. variable ratenatural gas plans. Here are some things to think about as you decide:
- A variable rate fluctuates monthly according to current market conditions, such as global demand, production, and seasonal conditions.
- A fixed rate plan allows you to lock in a particular rate, usually 6-18 months at a time. This offers potential stability and security because regardless of the market conditions, your current rate will not increase.
- Natural gas companies may have special offers if you sign up for the fixed rate plan. Look at what the rate will be when the introductory period ends.
- To receive the fixed rate, you must commit to the plan for the specified period of time. If you choose to cancel before the specified period of time is complete, there may be an exit fee.
- In addition to the rate for the natural gas, monthly service charges vary between the plans. Take those into consideration.
- See if your natural gas provider has a bill estimator on their website. After you enter your usage, it then estimates your monthly bill under the different plans.
It's important to note that the future is unpredictable, therefore there's no absolute correct answer for every household. But weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both fixed vs. variable rate natural gas plans and then consider your usage, as well as your own preference for anticipating expenses.