Statement: Soaring household gas prices affirm volatility of fossil fuels

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LOS ANGELES — As Californians across the state receive their January household gas bills, many are shocked to find these bills have doubled in the last month. 

In a statement, SoCalGas estimated a typical peak monthly bill of $65 from last winter will probably come in close to $160, and a $130 bill will be closer to $315, up approximately 142%.  San Diego Gas & Electric Co. projected a similar trend, estimating households that paid $105 last winter can expect a $225 bill this January. 

California gas companies blame the soaring prices on colder than average temperatures, which increased demand for heat, as well as supply and distribution constraints.  

In response to the high prices, CALPIRG State Director Jenn Engstrom issued the following statement: 

“The soaring price of household gas serves as a stark reminder that fossil fuels are a volatile commodity that we need to move away from using.  As climate change leads to more severe weather, the energy demand for increased heating is expected to rise.  For the average person, that means that when they need heat the most, it will be most expensive.

“Energy conservation can provide some relief. We recommend turning down your thermostat 3 to 5 degrees, turning down the temperature on your water heater and washing your clothes in cold water. But the long-term solution to high gas prices is to stop using gas entirely.

“Electricity prices, while also impacted by seasonal supply and demand, are less volatile than fossil fuel prices because they rely upon generation from a diverse array of power sources, including renewables. Electrifying our home heating and appliances will not only save families money in the long run, but it also is better for the climate and our health.”

Consumers can learn more energy conservation tips with CALPIRG’s Citizen’s Guide to Reducing Energy Waste. For those looking to replace gas-powered products with electric ones, Americans are now eligible for a raft of new incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act for  everything from electric induction cooktops to heat pump water heaters and space heaters.

staff | TPIN

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