Updated 10-13-2020

Note: This is a primer on how to get the Standard Choice Offer (SCO) for natural gas and other helpful information, including how to choose an electricity provider. The information is all accurate and the SCO pricing is updated monthly. To bookmark this URL to see monthly updates, use https://www.tinyurl.com/UtilityGuide (link updated 10-13-2020)

This column should give you all of the information you need to know (and maybe more than you care to know!) about how to save money on natural gas and electricity.


For some time, I have recommended the Standard Choice Offer (SCO), or monthly variable price through approved-Dominion providers. While it does go up and down, the SCO has consistently been beating fixed prices offered by competitors and most community aggregations. (Note: If you are in a NOPEC community, read the information below.)

Prices for some time have been at historic or near historic lows and the forecasts are that they will continue to stay low.

Also, because it’s based on a state-approved formula, the SCO is transparent, unlike marketers’ variable prices.

That formula is set each year during a competitive auction in February. That auction determines the “adder” price for one year. The SCO is based on the New York Mercantile Exchange price on the third to last day in the previous month, plus the “adder,” which is generally anything from a few cents to a