Southern California Gas Co.
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 2, 2006 – Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) customers can expect lower heating bills this winter as compared to 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 The Gas Company.
Residential customers of The Gas Company can expect the average winter monthly bill for 75 therms of natural gas to be about $80-$85, as compared with $98 last winter. Apartment dwellers will see an average monthly gas bill for 30 therms of natural gas of about $35, as compared with $40, and small businesses that use 300 therms of natural gas per month, will see an average monthly gas bill of about $325 to $345, as compared with $407 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 natural gas bills are expected to be lower this winter, Gas Company officials said conserving natural gas and using energy efficiently are key to helping keep winter bills low.
The Gas Company 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 of up to $200 on qualifying high-efficiency natural gas furnaces, water heaters 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.
The Gas Company 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 The Gas Company’s Web site at www.socalgas.com.
The Gas Company is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 19.8 million consumers through 5.6 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.