To understand why and how IGS Energy came to be a leading energy provider and America’s largest independent retail supplier of natural gas, a basic understanding of the energy landscape is important. Here’s the (very) short version:
Before deregulation, the Federal Power Commission (the predecessor to FERC) controlled the price of natural gas at the wellhead. Price controls led to a reduction in drilling and ultimately to the natural gas shortages during the late 1970s. In response to the natural gas crisis, Congress passed the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, opening the door for the elimination of price controls at the wellhead. This was the first step towards allowing a deregulated natural gas market.
The next major step was initiated by Marvin White during his tenure as CEO of Columbia Distribution Companies. Marvin White worked with Ohio natural gas customers and suppliers to develop the very first "self-help" program in the United States, which was the beginning of the current deregulated transportation and "Choice" programs as we know them today.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, "self-help" transportation programs for commercial and industrial customers were introduced throughout the country which allowed customers the ability to contract with third party marketers for their supply of the natural gas commodity. In the late 1990s, "Choice" programs were made available to residential and small commercial customers which allowed them to do the same.
In 1989, Marvin White, having retired from Columbia Gas Distribution Companies, founded Interstate Gas Supply, Inc. (IGS Energy) in Dublin, Ohio, with his son, Scott White. The privately held natural gas company began as a commercial and industrial wholesale supplier of Ohio-produced natural gas. In 1990, the NYMEX issued the first natural gas contract, which expanded natural gas competition.
By 1992, IGS Energy expanded its focus to include natural gas retail, marketing directly to end-users. The decision to sell gas directly to the end-user was based on three principles:
- Grow and maintain control of Ohio-produced gas
- Provide value to the customer without sacrificing reliability
- Make our natural gas company services as customer-centered as possible
Following the deregulation of residential and small commercial gas service in the late 1990s, IGS Energy expanded its reach throughout Ohio and into several other states. Today, IGS Energy services more than 1 million residential and commercial and industrial customers across an eleven-state region (Ohio, Michigan, New York, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia, Maryland, California, and Texas). Most recently, IGS sought and has been approved as a competitive electric supplier, marking the organization's expansion into power.
IGS Energy has grown to become one of the largest independent energy suppliers in the country. The company recently moved into its new headquarters at 6100 Emerald Parkway in Dublin, Ohio, and was awarded LEED® Platinum certification, the highest of the four LEED certification ratings! This makes IGS Energy the largest LEED Platinum-certified building in Ohio, and the first commercial office building in central Ohio to meet that standard.