Southern California Gas Co.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 5, 2007 -- With winter approaching quickly, Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) is offering tips for staying warm and energy efficient at the same time.
“Home heating and water heating make up about 85 percent of winter natural gas use,” said Michelle Mueller, vice president of customer services for The Gas Company. “The best way to reduce winter natural gas bills is to conserve energy.”
• When using the home furnace, lower the thermostat 3 degrees to 5 degrees (health permitting) and turn it off when not at home. This can help save up to 20 percent on heating costs.
• Up to 40 percent of a home’s heat loss takes place due to inadequate attic and wall insulation. Upgrade insulation to save up to 25 percent on heating costs
• Have air ducts tested for leaks. Seal any leak and save up to 20 percent on winter heating costs.
• Check the furnace filter monthly and clean or replace it, per manufacture’s recommendations, to save up to 2 percent on heating costs. This is particularly important this year due to ash and soot from the recent fires.
• Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows to save up to 5 percent on heating costs.
• Use an extra blanket and turn down the furnace thermostat at night as the weather turns cooler.
• Use cold or cool water when washing clothes to save up to 20 percent on hot-water costs.
• Run the dishwasher only when full.
The Gas Company offers rebates on qualified high-efficiency natural gas furnaces, water heaters, atic and wall insulation and other home improvement items. Energy -fficiency program information and applicatons are available at www.socalgas.com/energy efficiency.
Mueller said customers should be aware that severe cold weather in the United States can boost natural gas 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 the same as last year -- $80 to $90, as compared with $84 last winter. Apartment dwellers will see an average monthly gas bill for 30 therms of natural gas of about $30 to $40, as compared with $35, and small businesses that use 300 therms of natural gas per month, will see an average monthly gas bill of about $345 to $375, as compared with $354 last winter.
For eligible customers with limited income, The Gas Company offers a 20-percent rate discount on monthly gas bills through the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program and free energy-saving home improvements, including repair or replacement of qualifying home furnaces, through the Direct Assistance Program (DAP). During the months of December 2007 through February 2008, customers enrolled in the CARE program will see a further reduction in their average winter natural gas bills of up to 13 percent as a result of a California Public Utilities Commission decision.
For more information on conservation and simple home-improvement tips, as well as energy-efficiency rebates and assistance programs, customers should visit The Gas Company’s Web site at www.socalgas.com, or call The Gas Company toll-free at (800) 427-2200.
Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customer for more than 140 years. It is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 20.1 million consumers through 5.6 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.