Due to ongoing market volatility, residential natural gas rate increased 19% between November and December
As wholesale natural gas prices nationwide continue to soar higher and as cold weather leads to higher gas usage for heating, San Diego Gas & Electric is offering customers tips and tools to help them save on their energy bill, while cautioning that natural gas prices could rise even higher into January 2023.
This week, SDG&E is sending direct emails to customers to keep them apprised, so they can plan accordingly as costs are rising across all utilities – energy, water and wastewater. Customers are encouraged to visit a dedicated webpage at sdge.com/MyEnergy for bill-saving and energy management resources.
“SDG&E remains committed to working with our customers as prices for a variety of goods and services, including natural gas, continue to surge across the nation,” said SDG&E Vice President of Customer Services Dana Golan. “It’s important that we help customers prepare as much as possible for colder weather and higher winter energy bills and that we provide access to financial assistance.”
According to a recent article published by National Gas Intelligence, a “perfect storm” – frigid temperatures across the West, low storage inventories, and other factors impacting supply and demand– wholesale natural gas prices are at “historically high” levels.
The cost SDG&E incurs to buy natural gas in the wholesale market on behalf of its customers is a direct passthrough, with no profit margin – meaning that if SDG&E pays $1 for natural gas in the commodity market, that’s what SDG&E customers pay. The price for natural gas is adjusted monthly on customers’ bills to reflect the latest market conditions.
Between November and December, the residential natural gas rate jumped by 19% because the commodity price for natural gas went up significantly. Based on the latest market dynamics, current forecasts indicate that prices could go even higher into January when the weather in our region is typically the coldest, and gas usage is generally the highest, potentially putting more upward pressure on customers’ bills.
Energy Savings Tips
Block the chill: Caulk and weather-strip around drafty doors and windows. Use a door sweep, door sock or towel at the bottom of doors with a gap.
Keep Your Furnace Clean: Check furnace filters once a month and replace them regularly. A dirty air filter can increase your energy costs and cause problems with your equipment.
Wash with Clothes with Cold Water: Using warm water instead of hot water can cut a load’s energy use in half; using cold water will save even more. Plus, cold water helps your clothes last longer
Lower Water Heater Thermostat: Lowering the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F, if possible. This will save energy and avoid scalding.
SDG&E remains committed to helping customers who are struggling to pay their bill. Information about assistance programs, ranging from bill discounts, bill payment plans and debt relief, can be found at sdge.com/assistance.