In colder months, households tend to use more natural gas for home heating and for water heating. During cold weather, it’s possible to use three to seven times more natural gas than summer months as your home heater responds to your thermostat settings and your water heater works harder to keep your hot water, hot. This past winter has been the coldest winter in the last five years.
Another factor for higher bills is the number of billing days included in a bill. There are typically 29-32 days in a billing cycle, depending on when meters are read for a particular area. There are situations that may change the number of billing days. For example, holidays can add up to four days to your billing cycle.
Why Cold Weather Impacts Bills
During colder months, heating is often the number-one energy expense for most customers. In fact, heating your home can account for more than half of your total natural gas bill. Colder weather also impacts water heaters since colder temperatures require it to work longer and harder. Water heaters can account for 25 percent of natural gas use.
5 Tips to Lower Your Natural Gas Bill
- Save up to 10 percent on heating costs by lowering your furnace thermostat by three to five degrees, if health permits.
- Clean or replace your furnace filters according to manufacturer recommendations.
- Have your air ducts tested for leaks. Leaky ducts can cost you between 10 to 30 percent in heating and cooling costs.
- Save roughly 10 to 15 percent on your heating and cooling bills with caulking and weather-stripping.
- Save up to 10 percent on water heating costs by washing and rinsing your clothes in cold water.
Find More Tips & Tools
Online Tools to Help You Understand Your Gas Bill
To understand your energy usage and charges, log on or register for My Account
and select "Ways to Save" And “Compare Bills” then view “Bill Highlights” to see details about your bill and usage. There, you can find energy and bill analysis tools that allow you to analyze differences between bills, understand the effects of weather on your energy use, see how many billing days in the month, and even create customized energy savings plans.
The more than 4 million customers who have Advanced Meters are able to access even more detailed information about their hourly and daily gas usage within "Ways to Save." These customers are also eligible to sign up for weekly Bill Tracker Alerts—texted to their phones or sent via email—to track their gas bill during the billing cycle. Customers can set up alerts if they exceed a certain usage or if their bill is over a certain dollar amount.
How to Read Your BIll
Learn How to read and understand the information presented on your monthly natural gas bill.
We want to make it as easy as possible for you to read and understand your natural gas bill each month. Learn how to read your bill here.
How Rates are Determined
Our rates are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), based on three components: procurement costs, transportation costs and a public purpose surcharge. You can read more about these costs and the approved rates on
this fact sheet from the CPUC.