Gas Company customers can expect 20-percent drop in winter heating bills

Low-income assistance funds increased

Feb 17, 2009

Media Contact:
Denise King

Southern California Gas Co.

(877) 866-2066


         LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17, 2009 – Due to the decline in natural gas costs, Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) customers can expect their utility bills to be 20-percent lower this winter than last year. 

        The average monthly residential winter bill (for 75 therms of natural gas) is expected to be about $70-$80, down from $89 last year, utility officials said.

        The recent drop in natural gas commodity prices is a result of high gas storage inventories nationwide, abundant supplies in gas-producing regions and lower demand in the industrial sector.  Under California’s regulatory framework, The Gas Company passes the wholesale price of natural gas through to customers without mark-up. 

        “The lower gas commodity prices are good news for our customers at a time when many families are facing difficult economic times,” said Richard M. Morrow, vice president of customer services for The Gas Company.  “We want to help our customers stay warm this winter and encourage them to call if they need bill payment options or assistance.”

        The Gas Company also announced today that it is increasing assistance funds available to qualified customers.  The Gas Company’s Gas Assistance Fund provides up to $100 per customer for bill assistance during the winter.  Sempra Energy, parent company of The Gas Company, is contributing $350,000 to expand the fund to a total of more than $500,000.  The program is open to income-qualified customers who are experiencing temporary financial hardship.  The program runs from the beginning of February through the end of April, or until funds are depleted, and is administered by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

        For customers in need of assistance in paying their natural gas bills or in making their homes more energy efficient, The Gas Company offers a range of programs and services.  To enroll in these programs and services, or for more information on how to reduce winter gas bills, visit The Gas Company’s Web site at, or call (800) 427-2200.

        The Gas Company 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 20.3 million consumers through 5.7 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.