Southern California Gas Co. Friday offered energy savings tips and tools to help customers save money on their utility bills during cold weather.
According to the utility, it's possible to use three to seven times more natural gas than in summer months as home heaters respond to thermostat settings and water heaters work harder to keep water hot.
"As the weather changes, so does our consumption of natural gas. In order to keep our homes warm, our heating systems are running more frequently resulting in an increased usage of natural gas. A few simple changes can help reduce energy bills,'' said Brian Prusnek, SoCalGas' director of customer programs and assistance.
"This is also the time to make sure all customers who are eligible for bill assistance and no-cost energy savings programs are aware of these resources which can further reduce natural gas bills,'' he said.
The utility recommends taking the following steps to reduce natural gas use and manage energy costs:
- Lower your thermostat three to five degrees, which can save up to 10% on heating costs.
- Install proper caulking and weather-stripping, which can save roughly 10 to 15% on heating and cooling costs.
- Wash clothes in cold water to save up to 10% on water heating costs.
- Clean or replace your furnace filters according to manufacturer recommendations.
- Have air ducts tested for leaks, which can increase heating costs by 10 to 30%.
- 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.
SoCalGas also encourages customers who are having trouble paying for their monthly natural gas bill to apply for the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program. Eligible customers receive a 20% discount on their monthly natural gas bill.
The Energy Savings Assistance program provides eligible SoCalGas customers with home improvements, at no cost to the renter or homeowner, that help conserve energy, reduce natural gas use and enhance the safety, health and comfort of the renter or homeowner.
To learn more about the utility's customer assistance programs, visit socalgas.com/assistance.
As part of its COVID-19 response, SoCalGas suspended service disconnections for residential and small business customers. That means customers will not have their natural gas service turned off if they are unable to pay.
For more information on SoCalGas's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.socalgas.com/coronavirus.