Natural gas sticker shock: Southern Californians see bills surge this month

SYLMAR, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Many Southern California natural gas bills are suddenly becoming more expensive.

SoCal Gas has already warned customers: ‘January bills are likely to be shockingly high’

Lauren Davis is one of those shocked customers.

When she opened up her family’s gas bill this month, she found it was almost 25% higher than expected.

“I opened the bill and it was $330 and the first thing was, ‘What’s the temperature in our house?'” Davis said.

After taking a closer look, Davis found that she actually used less gas this year than she did in the same period last year.

But the cost of natural gas stocks nearly doubled, resulting in more cash out of their pockets.

“For a colder house, less gas is being used and it’s crazy,” Davis said.

When SoCal Gas warned customers about the expected surge in a website message in late December, the company said natural gas market prices in the West more than doubled between December and January.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the reasons for the price increase in natural gas included the following factors:

  • Widespread temperatures below normal
  • High natural gas consumption
  • Reduced natural gas flows
  • Pipeline Restrictions, Including Maintenance in West Texas
  • Low natural gas supplies in the Pacific region
  • SoCalGas announced Friday that it has contributed $1 million to its gas relief fund, which provides one-time grants of $100 to qualifying applicants.

    Davis said she doesn’t meet the income requirements. Instead, she had to draw on her family’s food budget. She worries about those with less flexibility, like her elderly neighbor.

    “I can live in 66 (degrees). She can not. She’s on oxygen, she can’t live into 66 and they are actually looking for a roommate. That’s the answer,” Davis said, adding, “Having a 94-year-old gets a roommate?”

    Among the tips SoCalGas gave to reduce natural gas usage was to avoid using it where it isn’t needed, such as when driving. B. on a gas fireplace, turning the thermostat down to three to five degrees and washing clothes with cold water.

    Copyright © 2023 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. Natural gas sticker shock: Southern Californians see bills surge this month

    Laura Coffey

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