The Gas Company customers save more through bill-assistance program
New CARE income guidelines expand eligibility

Media Contact:
Peter Hidalgo

Southern California Gas Co.

(877) 866-2066


         LOS ANGELES, Feb. 10, 2006 – Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) has reported that an additional 218,687 customers are eligible to receive a 20-percent rate discount on their natural gas bill under the money-saving California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program.

        The Gas Company has raised the income guidelines for eligibility in the CARE program, which is based on household size and annual income.  More customers now qualify for the program. 

        “We are committed to making sure that as many eligible customers enroll in CARE and benefits from the 20-percent savings on their natural gas bill,” said Michelle Mueller, vice president of customer services for The Gas Company. "We have partnered with community groups throughout our service region to make sure customers who qualify, regardless of where they live, are aware of the CARE program and are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible."

        Last year, The Gas Company CARE customers saved, on average, $87 annually with the discounted rate.  More than 1 million customers throughout The Gas Company’s service area have enrolled in the CARE program.

        The new income guidelines are based on the federal poverty levels adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  For example, any customer living alone or with another person could have a maximum household income of $27,700 per year and qualify for CARE, up from $24,200. 

        The new income guidelines effective now through May 31, 2006, based on pre-tax annual income are as follows:
        Number of People
        Per Household  Previous Income Guidelines          New Income Guidelines
                                                                                                   (Effective to May 31, 2006)
        1 or 2                    $24,200                                              $27,700
        3                            $28,400                                              $32,500
        4                            $34,200                                              $39,200
        5                            $40,000                                              $45,900
Add $6,700 for each additional household member

        To learn more about CARE and to download an application, customers can visit The Gas Company’s Web site at

        To apply, customers can call The Gas Company’s toll-free assistance lines:  For English, (800) 427-2200, for Mandarin language assistance, (800)-427-1429, for Cantonese language assistance, (800) 427-1420, and for Korean language assistance, (800) 427-0471. 

        The Gas Company offers a wide variety of residential programs offering bill-payment assistance, appliance and home improvement rebates, and energy audits to help customers save money and energy. 

        Additional information on these programs is available from The Gas Company’s Web site,

        The Gas Company is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 19.5 million consumers through 5.5 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.  To learn more, go to