LOS ANGELES – Saving money in the winter months, those before and after holiday shopping expenses, can be difficult. But one place you might be able to save some money is on your winter heating bill.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is encouraging customers to sign up for free bill tracking alerts and other online tools to help keep heating affordable this winter. Customers typically use three to seven times more natural gas for space and water heating during the winter months, which can result in higher bills.
“Bill Tracker Alerts” allows customers to track natural gas use each week—instead of waiting until the monthly bill arrives—and can help customers use less natural gas and lower their bills.
With Bill Tracker Alerts, customers receive a text or email each week that includes their bill-to-date and the projected amount of their next bill. The Alert also shows their projected bill amount compared to their previous month’s bill and the same month in the prior year. Within the “Ways to Save” section of My Account, they can also visit “Analyze Usage” to see their daily, and even hourly, gas usage and costs. There is no charge to use the service, and it is available to every customer with an advanced meter.
“Natural gas is the most affordable way for people to heat their homes and water, and for more than two decades SoCalGas has been a leader in promoting energy efficiency programs and innovative ways to help our customers save on energy costs,” said Gillian Wright, SoCalGas vice president of customer services. “With the installation of advanced meters, our customers have more tools than they’ve ever had before to help manage their natural gas use and keep their bills affordable.”
Customers can enroll in My Account at socalgas.com/pay-bill/my-account. Once enrolled, they can easily access their gas usage information, pay bills, schedule service orders and sign up for Bill Tracker Alerts by visiting “Manage My Account: Manage Alerts.”
Tips to reduce natural gas use and keep bills lower include:
- Set your thermostat to 68 degrees during the day and to 55 degrees at night and when you are not at home. Lowering your thermostat three to five degrees can save up to 10 percent on heating costs.
- Install proper caulking and weather-stripping; this can save roughly 10 to 15 percent on heating and cooling costs.
- Wash clothes in cold water to save up to 10 percent on water heating costs.
- Clean or replace your furnace filters according to manufacturer recommendations.
- Have your air ducts tested for leaks. Leaky ducts can cost between 10 to 30 percent in heating and cooling costs.
- Turn down the temperature on your water heater.
- Take shorter showers to reduce your natural gas use.
- 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.
- Limit use of non-essential natural gas appliances, such as spas and fireplaces.
SoCalGas does not make a profit on gas consumption: the company works to buy natural gas when it’s cheapest, store it for later use, and deliver those savings directly to customers. That’s in part why today, SoCalGas has the second-lowest average bill among the 50 largest gas utilities in America, and natural gas continues to rank among the most affordable sources of energy.
Since 1990, SoCalGas’ energy efficiency and rebate programs have helped families and businesses save approximately $672 million on their natural gas bills. The company offers eligible customers no-cost home weatherization services through the Energy Savings Assistance Program by applying online at socalgas.com/for-your-home/assistance-programs or calling 1-800-331-7593. In addition, all SoCalGas customers can find rebates on qualifying energy efficient appliances or home upgrades by going to socalgas.com/save-money-and-energy.
SoCalGas also recognizes that customers face various hardships and encourages those who may be having difficulty paying their natural gas bills to contact SoCalGas to ask about payment arrangements or to find out if they qualify for other bill-assistance programs. Customers can request payment arrangements online or call SoCalGas at 800-427-2200. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.