SoCalGas Warns Customers of Shockingly High Gas Bills

Kamari Esquerra

If you want to keep your home cozy and warm this winter season be prepared to pay a hefty price. 

“There’s no easy way to put this – January bills are likely to be higher than usual,” SoCalGas said in an email to customers on Monday. “An unprecedented cold snap caused natural gas market prices on the West Coast to more than double between December and January to a staggering 128%, the gas company continued. As a result, SoCalGas customers can expect to pay more than double what they did this time last year.  

To put the price into perspective, the company says “If your residential peak winter bill was around $65 last winter, you can expect to see bills closer to $160 this year. Similarly, if it was around $130 last winter, customers can expect to see bills around $315 this year.” 

And it’s not just gas bills. Electricity bills will also be going up. 

“So as of January 1, there was an increase in our rates, and we expect that increase to raise the average bill for residential customers by about $11.780, the percentage is about 7.2%,” said Ron Gales, SCE Spokesperson. 

Natural gas is the source of about 22% of Southern California Edison’s electricity, so when gas prices go up – electricity prices go up too.

“And it’s not just California Edison, these are affecting utilities up and down California and in the West Coast,” said Gales. “A lot of it has to due with (the fact that) we’re having an unnaturally cold winter, so there’s much more demand for natural gas and that’s driving up the price.”

But there still are ways to save. By changing the times you run appliances and adjusting your heating and cooling system, you can enjoy lower rates. And when it comes to staying warm this winter, you can save up to 10% on heating costs by lowering your furnace thermostat by five to eight degrees. 

Both So Cal Gas and Southern California Edison offer assistance programs for customers who need help paying their bills. For more information and to apply for assistance programs, SoCalGas customers can visit the link here. Southern California Edison customers can visit the link here.

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