Utility encourages eligible customers to apply for customer assistance programs
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today offered energy savings tips and tools to help customers save money on their utility bills. During cold weather, like we've experienced over the last several weeks, it is possible to use three to seven times more natural gas than in summer months as your home heater responds to your thermostat settings and your water heater works harder to keep water hot. SoCalGas works to secure the best prices for the natural gas it supplies to customers. The cost customers pay for natural gas is what the utility pays. The utility also offers customer assistance programs that help people with bill discounts and provide free home improvements that help conserve energy and save money.
"As the weather changes, so does our consumption of natural gas. In order to keep our homes warm, our heating systems are running more frequently resulting in an increased usage of natural gas. A few simple changes can help reduce energy bills," said Brian Prusnek, SoCalGas' director of customer programs and assistance. "This is also the time to make sure all customers who are eligible for bill assistance and no-cost energy savings programs are aware of these resources which can further reduce natural gas bills."
Customers can take these steps to reduce their natural gas use and manage energy costs:
- Lowering your thermostat three to five degrees can save up to 10 percent on heating costs.
- Install proper caulking and weather-stripping; this can save roughly 10 to 15 percent on heating and cooling costs.
- Wash clothes in cold water to save up to 10 percent on water heating costs.
- Clean or replace your furnace filters according to manufacturer recommendations.
- Have your air ducts tested for leaks. Leaky ducts can increase heating costs by 10 to 30 percent.
- Turn down the temperature on your water heater.
- Take shorter showers to reduce your natural gas use.
- Fix leaky faucets and pipes. Hot water leaks cause increased demand on the water heater, which increases natural gas use. One drop of water per second can waste 500 gallons of hot water per year.
To learn more about SoCalGas' energy-saving programs and services or for more information on how to more efficiently manage natural gas usage and possibly reduce monthly natural gas bills, click here. Customers with questions about their winter bill can go to "My Account" at socalgas.com or call 800-427-2200.
SoCalGas also encourages customers who are having trouble paying for their monthly natural gas bill to apply for one of their customer assistances programs. The utility's customer assistance programs include:
- California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, offers eligible customers a 20 percent discount on their monthly natural gas bill. The discount is applied to the monthly natural gas bill following the date that the application is approved by SoCalGas.
- Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) provides eligible customers with home improvements, at no cost to the renter or homeowner, that help conserve energy, reduce natural gas use and enhance the safety, health, and comfort of the renter or homeowner. SoCalGas provides this service to approximately 100,000 customers each year. Over 1.5 million homes have received upgrades through the ESA program.
To learn more about SoCalGas' customer assistance programs, please visit socalgas.com/assistance.
As part of its COVID-19 response, SoCalGas suspended service disconnections for residential and small business customers. That means customers will not have their natural gas service turned off if they are unable to pay.
For more information on SoCalGas's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.socalgas.com/coronavirus.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians— about 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas' mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy company in America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that mission, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2015 through 2019, the company invested nearly $7 billion to upgrade and modernize its pipeline system to enhance safety and reliability. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company
Miguel Lopez-Najera, Office of Media and Public Information, (213) 718-1689, [email protected]