Gas Company projects lower natural gas bills

Media Contact:
Denise King

Southern California Gas Co.

(877) 866-2066


        LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9, 2006 – With warmer-than-normal weather in January dampening demand nationwide and resulting in reduced commodity costs, Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) today said customers will see lower natural gas bills in coming months than previously projected.

        Last fall, The Gas Company had advised customers that, due to the increased cost of natural gas nationwide, winter bills would be about 45 percent to 55 percent higher than the previous year.  Warmer weather has driven down the cost of natural gas, reducing winter gas bills from earlier estimates.

        The typical Gas Company residential monthly bill for a single-family home using 75 therms of natural gas is expected to average $105 this winter as compared with $79 last winter – an increase of about 30 percent.  Small to medium-sized businesses should also expect to pay about 30 percent to 40 percent more for natural gas this winter as compared with last year. 

        Although natural gas costs are not as high as previously predicted, the utility warned that the costs are still higher than last year.  If there is a cold snap in February or March, prices could rise again. 

        The Gas Company offers a number of energy-efficiency rebates on qualifying appliances and home improvements to help reduce natural gas consumption in the home and business.  Assistance programs also are available for qualifying limited-income customers.  For more information on these and bill-assistance programs, visit The Gas Company’s Website at or call The Gas Company at (800) 427-2200.

        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.