The Gas Company launches annual winter campaign to assist low-income families

Nov 20, 2008

Media Contact:
Raul Gordillo

Southern California Gas Co.

(877) 866-2066

www.socalgas.com

 

        LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20, 2008 – Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) today launched its annual winter assistance campaign, the Gas Assistance Fund, which provides a one-time grant of up to $100 for low-income families.

        The program is funded by customer and employee contributions, as well as The Gas Company’s parent company, Sempra Energy. 

        "The Gas Assistance Fund helps our customers in need with their heating bills during the coldest weather," said Hal D. Snyder, vice president of customer programs for The Gas Company.  "But, more importantly, this critical program can help alleviate strain on a family’s budget during these tough economic times."

        Sempra Energy will match dollar-for-dollar contributions that customers and utility employees donate to the Gas Assistance Fund, up to a total of $250,000.  The assistance funds are made available through participating United Way of Greater Los Angeles agencies.

        For nearly three decades, the Gas Assistance Fund has helped thousands of needy Southern California residents pay their winter natural gas bills through the disbursement of more than $13.8 million.  Last winter alone, The Gas Company and Sempra Energy helped more than 5,000 families through individual contributions and company matching funds totaling more than $490,000.

        From Feb. 2009 through April 2009 – or until the funds are depleted – the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, working with approximately 100 community agencies strategically located throughout central and Southern California, will distribute the Gas Assistance Fund contributions to income-qualified customers. 

        The Gas Company customers may mail their voluntary tax-deductible contributions to: United Way, Gas Assistance Fund, File 56826, Los Angeles, CA  90074-6826, or donate online by logging on to www.unitedwayla.org.

        Snyder said customers can expect monthly winter bills to be about the same or slightly lower than last year.  However, customers should be aware that unpredictable severe cold weather in the United States can boost demand and utility bills.

        Residential customers of The Gas Company can expect the average winter monthly bill for 75 therms of natural gas to be about $75 to $85, compared with $89 last winter.  Apartment dwellers will see an average monthly gas bill for 30 therms of natural gas of about $30 to $40, compared with $37 last year, and small businesses that use 300 therms of natural gas per month will see an average monthly gas bill of about $325 to $350, compared with $372 last winter.

        In addition to the Gas Assistance Fund, The Gas Company offers other assistance programs and services that can help customers manage home energy costs during the winter months.  More information on these programs is available on The Gas Company’s Web site,  www.socalgas.com.

        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 safe and reliable energy to 20.3 million consumers through 5.7 million meters in more than 500 communities.  The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles in diverse terrain throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border.  The Gas Company is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).  Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.

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