Colder climates to blame for higher natural gas bills

Cold Snap Endangers California Citrus Crop

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Icicles created by drip irrigation are illuminated by a cars headlights as they hang from an orange tree January 17, 2007 in Orange Cove, California. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency as an estimated 70% of California's citrus crops have been damaged by a severe cold snap that is bringing below freezing tempuratures to California's central valley. The cold is expected to continue through January 21.

The freezing temperatures in Southern California in recent weeks have carried a price. Expect to pay more on your natural gas bill.

“When the weather gets cold as it has with our record-breaking cold snap, we want to keep our homes warm and sometimes we don’t realize how much gas we’re using,” said Javier Mendoza, spokesman for the Southern California Gas Co.

Mendoza said that during the winter months, customers can use up to three times more natural gas than during the summer.

How can consumers reduce their bill? Use a thermostat you can program to shut off the heat when you’re not at home, and when you are there consider putting on a sweater or a blanket.

Southern California Gas Co. said its customers can monitor how much natural gas they use on their monthly bills or online. The company also has programs to help low-income customers pay their bills, increase their homes’ energy efficiency and reduce the amount of natural gas they use. 

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