Monday, August 24, 2009

Independent Gas Supplier IGS Energy

I got a mailing from IGS Energy. I am sure hundreds of thousands of other people in Michigan did too.

If you punch IGS Energy into Google, you can find stories of IGS horrors. Like this. This. And this in nearby Ann Arbor. So I wondered whether this is a scam.

IGS offers a way to buy natural gas at a fixed price all season. If I stay with my utility, the gas price may go up or down -- IGS offers an insurance policy, and a chance to escape the utility monopoly in my town.

I wanted to crumple the letter up and throw it away. Last year I would have lost money, because last fall there was a big recession, and gas prices fell fast. It would not have paid to lock in.

On IGS's side, they have an A+ rating from the BBB. In their home state of Ohio, 40% of the state uses an alternate source gas company, so they are not a fly-by-night company.

IGS seems suspicious since it is hard to find out anything about it. It is a private company, and I can't find who the CEO is, where the headquarters is, and how large the company is -- not really a Red Flag, but troubling. It is not even clear if the name of the company is Interstate Gas Supply or IGS Energy.  [[Update: someone from IGS posted the CEO name and the headquarters location in the comment below. Nice to see them trying. That is a good sign.]]

IGS is offering me a gas rate of 0.69/SCF (Standard Cubic Feet) whereas DTE Energy is offering 0.79/SCF. This would save me about $9/month over the season. IGS does not replace my utility; most of my bill will be other fees from my gas company.

I am still thinking about what to do. Leave a comment if you have an opinion.