Southern California Gas Co.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21, 2010 – Winter has arrived and that means the increased use of furnaces to stay warm and dry. Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) officials say if you haven’t already, now is the time to prepare homes for an energy-efficient heating season, and to help keep gas bills low.
“With the cold and wet weather, we’re seeing an increase in the use of home heaters, and that translates into higher heating bills,” said Bret Lane, vice president of field services for The Gas Company. “To help keep a lid on heating costs while staying warm and dry this winter, we encourage customers to continue to practice conservation and use energy efficiently.”
The Gas Company offers these tips for a warm, cozy and energy-efficient winter:
• Focus on the furnace. Home heating accounts for more than half of a typical customer’s monthly gas bill;
• When using the home furnace, lower the thermostat three degrees to five degrees (health permitting) and turn it off when not at home. This can help save up to 20 percent on heating costs;
• Check furnace filters every month during the heating season and clean or replace the filter when necessary. When installing a new or cleaned filter, be sure to re-install the front panel door of the furnace properly so it fits snugly;
• Never operate the furnace without the front-panel door properly in place because doing so may create the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning;
• Don’t block heating outlets or return registers with furniture or other objects;
• 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;
• And, choose a higher efficiency model when shopping for a new gas furnace.
Lane said customers can expect natural gas bills this winter to be slightly lower than last year. “Based on current industry price projections, a typical residential monthly bill for 83 therms of natural gas will be around $79 as compared to $86 last year. Improving a home’s energy efficiency will help to keep gas bills as low as possible,” said Lane.
For more information on conservation and simple home improvement tips, or to learn about customer assistance programs, customers should visit The Gas Company’s Web site at www.socalgas.com, or call The Gas Company at 1 (800) 427-2200. Customers are asked to have their account number handy for faster service.
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 20.7 million consumers through nearly 5.8 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. To learn more, go to www.socalgas.com.