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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 3:57 am | Fair 48º


Gas Co. Forecasts 20% Drop in Customers’ Winter Heating Bills

Utility credits the decrease to a decline in natural gas costs, and announces expanded low-income assistance.

A decrease in natural gas costs will mean lower utility bills for Southern California Gas Co. customers this winter — a 20 percent drop from last year, utility officials announced Monday.

The average monthly residential winter bill (for 75 therms of natural gas) is expected to be about $70-$80, down from $89 last year, utility officials said. The recent drop in natural gas commodity prices is a result of high gas storage inventories nationwide, abundant supplies in gas-producing regions and lower demand in the industrial sector. Under California’s regulatory framework, The Gas Co. passes the wholesale price of natural gas through to customers without mark-up.

“The lower gas commodity prices are good news for our customers at a time when many families are facing difficult economic times,” said Richard M. Morrow, vice president of customer services for The Gas Co. “We want to help our customers stay warm this winter and encourage them to call if they need bill payment options or assistance.”

The Gas Co., meanwhile, said it would be increasing assistance funds available to qualified customers. The utility’s Gas Assistance Fund provides up to $100 per customer for bill assistance during the winter. Sempra Energy, the utility’s parent company, is contributing $350,000 to expand the fund to a total of more than $500,000. The program is open to income-qualified customers who are experiencing temporary financial hardship and runs to the end of April, or until funds are depleted. The program is administered by United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

Click here for more information on how to reduce winter gas bills or to enroll in programs and services, or call 800.427.2200.

Tim Mahoney is district manager of Southern California Gas Co.

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