As the days get shorter and temperatures slowly drop, customers may see a rise in their natural gas usage. This increase in energy usage usually means an increase in monthly utility bills. Heating your home or business can be one of the top energy expenses, accounting for over 50 percent of the total natural gas bill. On average, customers may experience a three to seven times increase in their natural gas as heating systems work harder to keep the temperatures warm.
Current projections for this winter show higher natural gas prices nationwide as demand increases. SoCalGas wants our customers to know that we continue to make sure our residential and small business customers receive reliable natural gas at the lowest possible prices.
Customers can take these steps to reduce natural gas usage and lower energy costs:
• Set the thermostat at 68 degrees during the day and 55 at night, if health permits. Lowering the thermostat three to five degrees can save up to 10 percent on heating costs.
• Clean or replace furnace filters according to manufacturer recommendations.
• Test air ducts for leaks. Leaky ducts can cost between 10 to 30 percent in heating costs.
• Install proper caulking and weather-stripping; this can save roughly 10 to 15 percent on heating bills.
• Fix leaky faucets and pipes. Hot water leaks cause increased demand on the water heater which increases natural gas use. One drop of water per second can waste 500 gallons of hot water per year.
If you are having trouble paying your natural gas bill, you may qualify for one of the assistance programs options offered by SoCalGas. Customers may be eligible for one of many assistance programs including:
• California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE): Eligible participants can save 20 percent on their natural gas bill. Socalgas.com/CARE
• Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP): Eligible customers can save energy and money through professional home improvements at no cost. Socalgas.com/Improvements
• Residential Advanced Clean Energy Program (RES DI): Eligible customers residing in single-family homes can receive a complimentary walkthrough energy assessment and installation of energy technologies to help conserve and lower energy usage.
• Arrearage Management Plan (AMP): Eligible customers can apply to have their past due balance forgiven. Learn more at www.socalgas.com/forgiveness.
We encourage customers to call 1-800-427-2200 for more information.
You can also find more ways to save on natural gas bills at https://www.socalgas.com/save-money-and-energy/energy-saving-tips-tools/winter.