LOS ANGELES, Dec. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- With forecasts calling for average temperatures across Southern California to be in the 40s from Wednesday through at least Sunday, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today shared tips to help customers save on their energy costs. During cold weather, customers typically use three to seven times more natural gas for space and water heating, which can result in higher bills. Increased demand for natural gas can also strain local energy supplies.
There are many simple steps customers can take to reduce their natural gas use during cold weather to help keep energy costs affordable. They include:
- Set your thermostat to 68 degrees when you are home and 55 degrees when you are not 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.
More energy saving tips are located here.
Customers are also encouraged to sign up for free bill tracking alerts and other online tools to help keep heating affordable this winter. "Bill Tracker Alerts" are an easy way 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. Customers can enroll for Bill Tracker Alerts 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."
In addition, SoCalGas offers rebates on hundreds of home products that help save energy. Among the most popular are smart thermostats that can learn your schedule and temperature preferences and adjust the temperature in your home accordingly. They also allow users to adjust home temperatures with a mobile app or computer and can even use local weather conditions to help control energy costs. Last winter, customers who participated in a smart thermostat energy efficiency pilot program saved enough natural gas to dry 2 million loads of laundry.
Rebates on energy efficient appliances are also available. Customers can save $50 on select smart thermostats and Energy Star natural gas dryers, at least $100 on select water heaters and up to $200 on select central gas furnaces. Customers can also save money on clothes washers and low-flow showerheads, including those with thermostatic shut-off valves that temporarily cut water flow once the water has become hot.
Since 1990, SoCalGas' energy efficiency and rebate programs have helped families and businesses save approximately $672 million on their natural gas bills. SoCalGas customers can find rebates on qualifying energy efficient appliances or home upgrades by going to socalgas.com/save-money-and-energy.
SoCalGas does not profit from 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.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States, providing clean, safe, affordable and reliable natural gas service to 21.7 million customers in Central and Southern California. Its service territory spans 22,000 square miles from Fresno to the Mexican border, reaching more than 550 communities through 5.9 million meters and 101,000 miles of pipeline. More than 90 percent of Southern California single-family home residents use natural gas for home heat and hot water. In addition, natural gas plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas has served communities in California for 150 years and is committed to being a leader in the region's clean energy future. The company has committed to spending $6 billion over the next five years to modernize and upgrade its gas infrastructure, while also reducing methane emissions. SoCalGas is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas, a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative fuel created by capturing and conditioning greenhouse gas emissions from farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. The company is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company