SoCalGas Offers Tips to Help Keep Lid on Winter Heating Costs
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) customers can expect heating bills this winter to be slightly higher than last year. Through proper maintenance of home heating appliances, installing energy efficiency measures and following these simple tips, customers can help keep a lid on home heating costs:
- Focus on the furnace, the use of which accounts for more than half of a typical customer's monthly gas bill;
- Lower the thermostat three degrees to five degrees (health permitting) to save up to 20 percent of heating costs;
- Check furnace filters every month during the heating season and clean or replace the filter when necessary to keep furnace operating efficiently;
- When installing a new or cleaned filter, be sure to re-install the front panel door of the furnace properly so it fits snugly to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning;
- Repair cracks or broken seams in forced-air heating ducts;
- Install or upgrade attic insulation;
- Caulk and weather-strip drafty windows and doors;
- Open the drapes or blinds during the day and let the sun help warm the home. Close drapes or blinds at night to keep the warmth inside;
- Consider adding another blanket or two at night to stay warm.
Based on current energy industry price projections, SoCalGas' residential customers who consume 83 therms of natural gas in the coldest of winter months are likely to see a winter natural gas bill of about $88, as compared with $79 last year. Customers living in apartments can expect their winter monthly bill for 35 therms to be about $37 this year, as compared with $33 last year. Businesses also are likely to see an increase in winter bills. This increase is due to the higher cost of providing safe and reliable natural gas service and slightly higher natural gas commodity prices.
"Now is the time to prepare for winter by making homes more energy efficient through installation of energy-saving measures and ensuring the safe operation of home furnaces," said Rodger Schwecke, vice president of customer solutions. "During these tough economic times, we recognize that any bill increase can be challenging for customers. We want to help our customers stay warm this winter and encourage them to visit our website or call if they need bill payment options or assistance."
To help control and manage energy costs, customers can also log on or register for My Account at socalgas.com and visit "Ways to Save." There, customers can find energy and bill analysis tools that allow them to analyze differences between bills, understand the effects of weather on energy use, see their personalized energy profiles, and create customized savings plans.
Customers who have already received an advanced meter can also access more detailed information about their hourly and daily gas usage within "Ways to Save." They are also eligible to sign up for weekly Bill Tracker Alerts to track their gas bill during the billing cycle.
For customers in need of assistance in paying their natural gas bills or in making their homes more energy efficient, SoCalGas offers a range of programs and services. To sign up for these programs and services, or for more information on how to reduce winter gas bills, visit SoCalGas' website at socalgas.com, or call (800) 427-2200.
About Southern California Gas Co.
Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 20.9 million consumers connected through nearly 5.8 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).
Denise King, Southern California Gas Co., 24-Hour Media Hotline: 877.643.2331, socalgas.com/news-room, @SoCalGasNews
CategorySouthern California Gas Company , Sempra Energy