LOS ANGELES, March 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is encouraging customers to use its text- and email-based bill alerts and online bill comparison tools to help them take control of their natural gas bills.
While cold snaps earlier this winter led to increased natural gas usage for many, some SoCalGas customers may also have had longer than 30-days' use on their bills due changes in meter reading schedules. The company reconciles bills so that customers are never billed for more gas than they've used. Still, bills can sometimes be complex, and SoCalGas offers easy-to-use online tools to help customers understand them. Customers simply log in or register for My Account on socalgas.com to use these tools.
"We recognize that gas bills can sometimes be confusing, and concerning if they suddenly go up," said Gillian Wright, SoCalGas vice president of customer services. "We want our customers to get the information they need to have confidence that their gas bill is correct, and understand what they are getting charged for."
To understand their energy usage and charges, customers can log in or register for My Account at socalgas.com and select "Ways to Save" then go to "Compare Bills" and view "Bill Highlights" to see why their bills may have changed. There, customers can find energy and bill analysis tools that allow them to analyze differences between bills, understand the effects of weather on energy use, see the number of billing days on the bill, and even create customized energy savings plans.
The more than four and a half million customers who have Advanced Meters are able to access even more detailed information about their hourly and daily gas usage and costs through the "Analyze Usage" online tool within the My Account, "Ways to Save" section. These customers are also eligible to sign up for weekly Bill Tracker Alerts—texted to their phones or sent via email—to track their projected gas bill during the billing cycle. Customers can enroll in Bill Tracker Alerts and other billing and payment-related notifications through "Manage My Account," "Manage Alerts," within My Account.
Customers who wish to check their meter readings themselves are encouraged to do so. Instructions on how to read meters are available at www.socalgas.com/pay-bill/understanding-your-bill/how-to-read-a-natural-gas-meter. Those with Advanced Meters as well as traditionally-read meters can read their meters themselves to check their gas usage and readings.
SoCalGas also offers resources to provide assistance with paying bills. Through the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program, income-eligible households receive a 20-percent rate discount on their monthly gas bill. Also, the Gas Assistance Fund (GAF) may be able to provide customers with a one-time grant for the amount of the gas bill, not exceeding $100. SoCalGas' Medical Baseline Allowance offers an additional allowance of natural gas at a lower rate to qualified households where a member has a life-threatening illness, is seriously disabled, or requires more heat in winter due to a serious health condition.
Customers can learn more and apply for these and other programs by visiting www.socalgas.com/for-your-home/assistance-programs/ or by calling (800) 427-2200.
Eligible customers may also receive no-cost home weatherization services through the Energy Savings Assistance Program. Apply online at www.socalgas.com/for-your-home/assistance-programs/esap/form/index.shtml or call (800) 331-7593 English and Spanish.
All SoCalGas customers can find rebates on qualifying energy efficient appliances or home upgrades by going to www.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 and should have their account number handy for faster service.
About Southern California Gas Co.
Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 145 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
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SOURCE Southern California Gas Co.