The Gas Company launches fund drive to provide bill-payment assistance to low-income customers

Media Contact:
Peter Hidalgo

Southern California Gas Co.

(877) 866-2066


        LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28, 2006 – Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) is inviting its customers and employees to donate to its Gas Assistance Fund.  The utility’s bill-assistance program, which is open to income-qualified customers and those facing financial hardships, provides for a one-time grant amount of up to $100 per customer. 

        "The Gas Assistance Fund helps our customers who are facing hardships stay warm in winter," said Michelle Mueller, vice president of customer services for The Gas Company.  "But, more importantly, it helps stretch a family’s budget for other necessities."

        The program, which has been in place for 25 years, has helped thousands of needy Southern Californians pay their natural gas bills through the disbursement of more than $12 million.

        The Gas Company’s parent company, Sempra Energy, will match dollar-for-dollar contributions that a customer or employee donates to the Gas Assistance Fund – up to $250,000.  The assistance funds are made available through participating United Way of Greater Los Angeles agencies.
        Last winter, The Gas Company and Sempra Energy helped more than 9,000 customers through individual contributions and company matching funds totaling over $950,000.

        From Jan. 2, 2007, through April 28, 2007, 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. 

        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

        Mueller said customers should be aware that unpredictable severe cold weather in the United States can boost demand and prices and, consequently, customer bills.

        Residential customers of The Gas Company can expect the average winter monthly bill for 75 therms of natural gas to be about $80 to $85, as compared with $98 last winter.  Apartment dwellers will see an average monthly gas bill for 30 therms of natural gas of about $35, as compared with $40, and small businesses that use 300 therms of natural gas per month, will see an average monthly gas bill of about $325 to $345, as compared with $407 last winter.

        In addition to the Gas Assistance Fund, The Gas Company offers other customer assistance programs and services that will help manage home energy costs during the winter months.  Visit The Gas Company’s Web site at

        The Gas Company is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 19.8 million consumers through 5.6 million meters.  The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles in most of central and Southern California.  The Gas Company strives to provide exceptional customer service to enhance the quality of life in the community.  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.