SoCalGas Provides Assistance for Customers Struggling With Their Bills

LOS ANGELES, July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As working families struggle to make ends meet due to the current economic downturn, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is advising customers to take advantage of the utility's assistance programs -- programs that can help reduce utility bills and increase energy efficiency.

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"I recently went through some tough times financially and thanks to SoCalGas and the CARE program, they were able to give me some relief on my monthly bill," said Gwendolyn Allen, Antelope Valley resident and SoCalGas customer.  "I am grateful for the assistance that we've received because we can now make our budget."

Mrs. Allen qualified for the California Alternate Rate for Energy (CARE) program, which provides a 20-percent rate discount on the monthly natural gas bill for eligible households.  Customers could be automatically eligible if they or a household member currently receive benefits from Medical/Medicaid, Healthy Families A & B, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), CalFresh/SNAP Food Stamps, The Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only), CalWORKs (TANF), Tribal TANF or LIHEAP programs.  

"We strongly encourage customers to call us, especially if they're having trouble paying their bill by the due date," said Hal D. Snyder, vice president of customer solutions.  "By calling us, they can learn about the programs we offer and payment arrangement plans that can work for them. We are here to help."

In addition to CARE, SoCalGas offers a wide range of assistance programs for qualifying customers on a limited income or with special medical needs.

  • The Energy Savings Assistance Program, formerly known as Direct Assistance Program, provides energy-saving home improvements to income-qualified renters and homeowners.   Services include door weather-stripping and caulking to keep unwanted drafts out of the home; attic insulation to help the home stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter; low-flow showerheads that can save energy used to heat water; furnace replacement (owner occupied only); high-efficiency clothes washers and other minor home repairs.
  • Customers who have a person in the home with certain medical conditions – who may require additional heating to sustain their health, may qualify for additional natural gas at the lowest baseline rate through the Medical Baseline Allowance program.  There are no income requirements for the Medical Baseline program; however doctor certification is required.


 

SoCalGas offers hundreds of dollars in rebates for the purchase of energy-efficient appliances and can provide customers with a free energy and water-saving kit.  The kit includes three faucet aerators and a low-flow showerhead to help customers save energy and water. These devices allow air to enter into the water stream, maintaining a high-pressure flow while reducing water usage -- ultimately saving money.  

Customers can enroll in the assistance programs by visiting SoCalGas' website, socalgas.com/assistance or by calling toll-free at (800) 427-2200 or (800) 342-4545 in Spanish.  To learn how to conserve energy at home, customers can visit socalgas.com/energyefficiency.

About Southern California Gas Co.

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) 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).

SOURCE Southern California Gas Co.

Raul Gordillo of Southern California Gas Co., 1-877-643-2331

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Southern California Gas Company , Sempra Energy