LOS ANGELES, Oct. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In advance of national Energy Efficiency Day on October 2, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) reminds customers that taking a few simple steps can help conserve energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money on utility bills. SoCalGas energy efficiency programs delivered more than 180 million therms in energy savings for their customers over the past five years, enough natural gas usage for 403,000 households a year. These advances have also helped save SoCalGas customers more than $198 million in utility bill costs. In 2018 alone, SoCalGas' energy efficiency programs saved customers $57 million.
"SoCalGas prides itself on being a leader in energy efficiency and helping to reduce emissions," said Dan Rendler, director of customer programs and assistance at SoCalGas. "By offering our customers innovative programs and services that assist them in using gas more efficiently, we are helping them reduce their energy costs and improve the environment. As we recognize Energy Efficiency Day, SoCalGas continues its commitment to provide programs and services that promote energy efficiency and drive energy affordability."
Customers can take advantage of hundreds of rebates on energy-efficient appliances. Applying for these rebates can be done online in a matter of minutes. Among the most popular are smart thermostats. These devices 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 two million loads of laundry.
The utility also offers SoCalGas Marketplace, where customers can find and compare energy efficient products. Customers can save $50 on select smart thermostats and Energy Star natural gas dryers, up to $600 on select water heaters and up to $750 on select pool heaters. Customers can also save money on low-flow showerheads, including those with thermostatic shut-off valves that temporarily cut water flow once the water has become hot.
Over its lifetime, an energy efficient appliance will save customers thousands of dollars in energy bills—approximately $1,500 with a tankless water heater, $550 with a natural gas furnace, $200 with a storage water heater and $125 with a smart thermostat.
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. 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."
Temperatures in Southern California typically turn cooler in November and can remain cold through March. Lower temperatures are usually accompanied by an increase in home heating bills, but there are ways to save money.
Customers can take these steps to reduce their natural gas use during cold weather to help keep energy costs affordable:
- 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.
For customers in need of assistance in paying their natural gas bills or in making their homes more energy efficient, SoCalGas offers a range of programs and services. To sign up for these programs and services, or for more information on how to reduce winter gas bills, visit SoCalGas' website at socalgas.com or call (800) 427-2200.
SoCalGas continues to be a leader in researching and developing new technologies that improve energy efficiency and protect the environment.
This year, SoCalGas was named a leader in promoting energy efficient construction by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The award acknowledges SoCalGas' commitment to promoting environmental protection and energy efficient construction through the California ENERGY STAR New Homes Program Marketing Support Bonus offered as part of its California Advanced Homes Program. The company also received this award in 2015 and 2017.
Energy Efficiency Day is a collaboration between regional and national organizations aimed at helping individuals and organizations save energy and save money. Customers can find out how to participate by visiting energyefficiencyday.org.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable natural gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Natural gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians— about 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas' vision is to be the cleanest natural gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that vision, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its natural gas system infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2014 through 2018, the company invested nearly $6.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its natural gas system to enhance safety and reliability. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an 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