LOS ANGELES, Dec. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As families are staying safe at home, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is encouraging its eligible customers to apply for the Gas Assistance Fund, a program that helps income-qualified customers pay their natural gas bill with a one-time grant of up to $200 per household. So far this year, SoCalGas' Gas Assistance Fund received over $370,000 and benefitted more than 3,400 households, including elderly, people with disabilities, and low-income families in need. In response to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, SoCalGas has donated an additional $200,000 to the fund to support hundreds more people this year. Since 1983, SoCalGas shareholders, customers, and employees have contributed over $23 million to the Gas Assistance Fund, helping more than 225,000 individuals and families.
"Natural gas is one of the most affordable utility bills, but in a year unlike any other, we recognize that many of our customers need an extra hand," said Gillian Wright, senior vice president and chief customer officer for SoCalGas. "With COVID-19 cases increasing once again, our customers are spending more time at home, but they can rest assured that the natural gas service they use to cook meals and stay warm will be reliable. We are grateful to our shareholders, customers and employees that have contributed to the fund this year, which has allowed us to support many families in need."
The Fund, administered by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles (United Way), helps low-income individuals and families in need pay their natural gas bills so they can cook, have hot water and heat their homes. United Way partners with nearly 80 nonprofit organizations throughout SoCalGas' service territory to distribute the grants. Those who wish to apply for a grant may do so by filling out an application with a participating United Way partner agency. The Gas Assistance Fund is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and eligible customers are able to apply until the funds are depleted. For a list of partner agencies, income guidelines, and additional program information, click here.
"We'll all be safer at home through this dangerous pandemic winter, but for our region's most vulnerable families, keeping warm can be a strain on a tight budget," said Elise Buik, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. "We are proud to partner with SoCalGas to help our neighbors with utility bills and give them one less financial burden this holiday season."
In light of the economic hardship facing many customers, SoCalGas has suspended service disconnections for our residential and small business customers. That means customers will not have their natural gas service turned off if they are unable to pay. In addition to the Gas Assistance Fund, SoCalGas offers other programs and services that can help customers manage home energy costs. Click here to learn more.
Since March, SoCalGas has donated more than $3.2 million to nonprofit organizations for COVID-19 recovery efforts, including supporting the region's workforce, feeding the hungry, providing bill assistance to customers, and more. The company has provided COVID-19 relief grants to more than 200 nonprofit organizations throughout its service territory during this time.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable 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. 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' mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy company in America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that mission, 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 gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2015 through 2019, the company invested nearly $7 billion to upgrade and modernize its pipeline 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