The Gas Company customers save through bill-assistance program

New CARE income guidelines expand eligibility

Jun 5, 2006

Media Contact:
Peter Hidalgo

Southern California Gas Co.

(877) 866-2066


       LOS ANGELES, June 5, 2006 – More income-qualified customers now are eligible to receive a 20-percent discount on their Southern California Gas Company (The Gas Company) natural gas bill, due to new income guidelines that have gone into effect for eligible customers enrolled in the money-saving, state-sponsored California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program.

       There still are 481,000 residents in The Gas Company’s service area who are financially eligible but have not yet enrolled in the CARE program, according to The Gas Company.

       “We are committed to making sure that eligible customers interested in enrolling in CARE benefit from the 20-percent savings on their natural gas bill," said Michelle Mueller, The Gas Company’s vice president of customer service.  "We have partnered with community groups throughout our service region to ensure that 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, $88.48 annually with the discounted rate.  More than 1.2 million customers throughout The Gas Company’s service area have enrolled in the CARE program.

       Eligibility for the CARE program is based on household size and annual income.  The new income guidelines are based on the federal poverty levels adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  More customers now qualify for the program.

       The new income guidelines effective June 1, 2006, based on pre-tax annual income are as follows:

                                 Number of People    Previous Income    New Income Guidelines
                                   Per Household          Guidelines        (Effective June 1, 2006)
                                       1 or 2                   $27,700                   $28,600
                                          3                      $32,500                   $33,600
                                          4                      $39,200                   $40,500
                                          5                      $45,900                   $47,400
                                          6                      $52,600                   $54,300
                                         Add $6,900 for each additional household member

       Many Gas Company customers will receive a CARE application in the July bill offering an opportunity to enroll.  To learn more about CARE and to download an application, customers can visit The Gas Company’s Web site at

       For an application or for more information, customers can call The Gas Company’s toll-free assistance lines:  For English, (800) 427-2200, for Spanish language assistance, (800) 342-4545, for Mandarin language assistance, (800)-427-1429, for Korean language assistance, (800) 427-0471 and, for Vietnamese language assistance, (800) 427-0478. 

       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 assistance 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 19.8 million consumers through 5.6 million meters.  The company’s service territory covers 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