SDG&E expects lower heating bills this winter

Media Contact:
Denise King

San Diego Gas & Electric

(877) 866-2066


        SAN DIEGO, Oct. 2, 2006 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) customers can expect lower heating bills this winter as compared with last year, company officials announced today. 

        “Mild weather, high inventories of natural gas in storage, and no production losses from hurricanes like we saw last year, have helped to moderate natural gas prices nationwide,” said Michelle Mueller, vice president of customer service at SDG&E.

        Residential customers of SDG&E can expect average winter heating costs to be about $60 to $65, as compared with $74 last winter, for 50 therms of natural gas.  The combined monthly energy bill for a typical residential customer is likely to be about $133 to $135, as compared with $143 last year, based on 50 therms of gas usage and 500 kWh of electricity usage.

        SDG&E customers living in apartments will see average monthly heating costs for 25 therms of natural gas of about $30, as compared with $36, and small businesses that use 300 therms of natural gas per month, will see an average monthly gas cost of $350, as compared with $429 last winter.

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

        Although winter heating bills are expected to be lower this winter, SDG&E officials said conserving natural gas and using energy efficiently are key to helping keep winter bills low. 

        SDG&E has offered the following tips to help customers get ready for winter:

           • Make any needed repairs or maintenance on home heating units to ensure safe operation and peak efficiency.

           • Caulk and weatherstrip drafty windows and doors to save up to five percent on heating costs.

           • Take advantage of available rebates on qualifying water heaters, dishwashers and insulation when purchasing new home appliances or upgrades. 

           • Have home air ducts tested for leaks and sealed, if needed.  This will help save up to 20 percent on winter heating costs.

        SDG&E actively seeks to ensure reliable supplies of natural gas and low prices by maintaining adequate natural gas storage inventories, buying gas in large volumes at competitive prices, and purchasing gas in the lower-cost supply producing regions.

        For information on programs and services that will help manage home energy costs, visit SDG&E’s Web site at

        SDG&E currently serves 3.4 million consumers through 1.3 million electric meters and more than 825,000 natural gas meters.  The utility’s service area spans 4,100 square miles and serves customers in more than 125 communities from Southern Orange County to the Mexican border.  SDG&E 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