We want to make it as easy as possible for you to read and understand your natural gas bill each month. If you have questions about how your bill is calculated or what's included on it, the following information should help clarify.
First, let's look at a sample natural gas bill.
Sample Natural Gas Bill
1. Contact information
2. Account summary shows your previous balance and payment, plus current charges.
3. Due date and bill amount.
4. Bar graph provides at-a-glance usage comparison.
5. Gas usage information.
6. Important messages and ways to manage your gas bill.
7. For customers enrolled in CARE, the discount is reflected as a separate line item on your bill.
8. We offer paperless billing and payment through "My Account."
How Natural Gas Bills are Calculated
Natural gas rates are made up of two primary charges:
- Natural gas delivery service: the "delivery" (or "transmission") charge.
- The cost of the natural gas itself: reflected in the "procurement" charge.
Some people think that SoCalGas® produces natural gas, but we don't. For our residential and smaller business customers, we buy natural gas from producers and marketers at the best possible prices on the open market, meaning we don't benefit from higher natural gas prices.
The wholesale natural gas prices we pay are based on market supply and demand. They're not marked up by SoCalGas, and are shown on your monthly bill as the "commodity charge." SoCalGas' delivery service charge covers the cost of transporting natural gas through our pipeline system. It is approved annually by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and is not impacted by the price of natural gas.
With monthly pricing, natural gas rates are based upon a 30-day forecast of natural gas market prices. This gives customers a better picture of the current price of natural gas, and means they no longer have to wait for annual adjustments to their bills to make up for differences between the 12-month forecast price and the actual price paid by SoCalGas on a monthly basis. For more information, see the latest SoCalGas rates .
Billing Term Definitions
- Baseline: Amount of natural gas billed at the lowest residential rate.
- Billing Factor: Adjusts for differences in elevation, delivery pressure and the heating content of natural gas.
- Climate Zone: Weather zone in which a customer lives. Colder zones receive more baseline allowance.
- Customer Charge: Charge to recover costs of natural gas delivery, including reading meters, preparing bills and processing payments.
- Natural Gas Commodity Charge: Cost of natural gas purchased by SoCalGas on behalf of its customers.
- Misapplied Payment: A debit or credit given to correct payment(s) processed to a customer's account in error.
- Payment Due Date: Payment due date shown on the front bottom portion of the bill is for current charges only; it does not stop collection activity on an unpaid previous balance.
- Public Purpose Surcharge: Charge to fund Public Purpose Programs such as California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE), Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP), energy efficiency and research and development. CARE customers are excluded from paying the CARE portion of the surcharge.
- Rate: Identifies the rate schedule used to calculate your bill. You may review these rate schedules at a local office of SoCalGas or at socalgas.com.
- State Regulatory Fee: A fee used to fund the California Public Utilities Commission. Each customer's fee is determined by the number of therms used.
- Therms: Standard unit of measuring heat energy.
- Transportation Charge Adj: An adjustment to transportation charges that applies to all customer classes that participate in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, and customers who are exempt under the United States Constitution or California Constitution as referenced in Section 896 of the Public Utilities (PU) Code.
- Utility Users Tax: Tax charged by some cities and counties based on the amount of the current monthly natural gas bill. These cities and counties require SoCalGas to collect this Utilities Users Tax for them.
Natural Gas Conversions
- 1 cubic foot = 1,050 Btu
- Therm = 100,000 Btu
- Ccf = 100 cubic foot, or 1 therm
- Mcf = 1,000 cubic feet = 10.20 therms
- MMcf = 1 million cubic feet
- Bcf = 1 billion cubic feet
- Decatherm (Dth) = 10 therms = 1 million Btu
- Mmbtu = 1 million btu = 10 therms
Baseline Therm Allowance
As determined by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), under the direction of the State Legislature, "baseline therm allowances" are the amounts of natural gas needed to meet the minimum basic needs of the average home. SoCalGas is required to bill these "baseline" amounts at its lowest residential rates. The goal of these "baseline" amounts is to encourage efficient use of natural gas.
Third Party Charges
See contact information below for billing questions and charges on your natural gas bill from third-party vendors:
- Commerce Energy (formerly ACN) 1-877-226-3649
- Home Emergency Insurance Solutions (HEIS) 1-888-302-0137
How to View or Print Your Bill
The easiest way to view or print a copy of your most recent or past bill is to register or log onto My Account.
- Log on to My Account or Register today!
- Go to View and Pay My Bill.
- Click on the bill you'd like to see
- There, you can view and print out your account history — up to two years.
Or, you can call our automated service line 24 hours a day, at 1-800-772-5050.
Requests made through our phone line will take approximately three to five working days to complete. Billing information can only be sent to the mailing address on record.