SoCalGas Reports Natural Gas Market Improving, Decreasing Costs

Kamari Esquerra

Gas prices are going down – natural gas prices that is.  

In a press release, SoCalGas reports “after a significant drop from unprecedented January natural gas commodity prices, market prices for March 2023 are currently trending closer to 2022 prices” meaning customers can expect to see lower costs in their next natural gas bills and their electricity bills.  

“About 20% of the energy that Southern California Edison delivers to our customers comes from sources that use natural gas to generate that energy,” said Ron Gales, SCE Spokesperson. “So when the price of natural gas in energy markets goes up, the price of energy that’s fueled by natural gas also goes up.”

Southern California Edison customers saw a 7% to 8% increase in their electricity bills last month. So Cal Gas customers saw a 240% increase in their natural gas bills. Now with natural gas markets improving, costs for some utilities are coming down and additional relief is still on the way. 

“Our residential customers and our small business customers are going to be getting a credit on their bill,” said Gales. “Every year, SCE gives what’s called a California Climate Credit. They give it once in April and once in October.”

This year, the California Climate Credit will come in March.  

“This year because utilities and the California Public Utility Commission recognizes that customers across California are having difficulty with rising costs of all kinds, SCE is moving up that distribution of the credit a month early,” said Gales. “Our residential and small business customers are going to see a $71 bill reduction on their March bill.”

SoCalGas customers were also notified of a $50.77 credit that will be applied to their bill. 

In a press release, Gillian Wright, Chief Customer Officer for SoCalGas said “It is still too early to tell if this positive trend will continue, but with warmer weather ahead, we do not expect to see price swings as large as we saw earlier in the winter”

“The rates are going to decrease a little bit next month, but the rates are going to stay the same,” said Gales. “The bills are a function really of customers being very conscious of how much energy they use.”

SoCalGas and SCE continue to encourage customers to conserve as natural gas markets remain sensitive to changing weather and maintenance updates.

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