Between December 2023 and March 2024, customers who sign up will receive a text message when there is a 20% or more increase in the monthly natural gas commodity cost, which impacts a portion of their bills
LOS ANGELES – November 14, 2023 – Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today introduced an optional customer text message called the Natural Gas Price Notice. Customers who sign up will receive a text message from SoCalGas when there is a 20 percent or more increase in the monthly natural gas commodity cost – which impacts a portion of their bills. The 20 percent or more increase is based on the average of the last three winter (November to March) seasons' monthly natural gas commodity prices. Starting Nov. 14, customers can complete the sign-up form to receive the Natural Gas Price Notices from December 2023 through March 2024, as applicable.
“We’re excited to be rolling out this new resource for our customers to help them make informed decisions about their energy usage this winter,” said Gillian Wright, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “While the U.S. Energy Information Administration is predicting a milder winter ahead of us, we continue to encourage customers to take advantage of the tools and options provided by SoCalGas to manage energy consumption and make energy-efficient home improvements to help lower bills.”
Customers can learn more and sign up for the Natural Gas Price Notice at socalgas.com/NotifyMe or through My Account and will receive a confirmation text message once their sign-up form is submitted.
SoCalGas does not set the price for natural gas. Rather, natural gas prices fluctuate based on national and regional markets. SoCalGas purchases natural gas in those markets on behalf of residential and small business customers, and the cost of buying that gas is billed to those customers with no markup, meaning SoCalGas does not earn additional profits from the sale of natural gas or higher supply prices.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a combination of out-of-state natural gas supply constraints, combined with early and persistent cold weather conditions across the West and low storage inventories in the western region, drove up commodity prices last winter. This October, the EIA reported that temperatures were expected to be warmer than last winter, which was unusually cold.
In addition to approving SoCalGas’ new text message notification, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted in August to increase the maximum storage level allowed at the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility from 41.16 billion cubic feet (bcf) to 68.6 bcf, “to enhance energy resiliency and protect ratepayers in Southern California from potential volatile wholesale natural gas prices this upcoming winter.” It also voted to lift limits on when Aliso Canyon could be used to meet customer demand.
The CPUC also continues to consider a request from SoCalGas to give customers earlier access to state climate credits to assist with winter bills, by accelerating delivery of those credits from April to February.
SoCalGas has a suite of programs and services that can help customers manage their natural gas usage to help save energy and money.
Eligible customers may sign up for a Level Pay Plan (LPP), for example, which averages their annual natural gas use and costs over 12 months. There are also assistance programs for eligible customers who are experiencing hardships.
SoCalGas's Ways to Save tool may also help customers with energy savings options through a personalized savings plan that offers a household energy analysis, customized energy-efficiency recommendations, bill comparisons, and energy usage comparisons that could help save on natural gas bills. Customers can also sign up for weekly Bill Tracker Alerts to monitor natural gas consumption, take steps to reduce usage, avoid bill surprises, and more.
For more information about SoCalGas’ new Natural Gas Price Notice, visit socalgas.com/NotifyMe.