SoCalGas - How to Read and Understand Your Gas Bill
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How to Read and Understand Your Gas Bill

Reading your gas bill

Take a quick tour through a sample gas bill and see what to look for.

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How can I get a duplicate bill or information on my latest bill?

The easiest way to view or print a copy of your most recent or past bill is to register or log on to My Account. You can receive, view and pay your bill online.

When you log on to My Account, go to View and Pay My Bill

There you can view and print out your account history -- up to two years. Just click on the bill you'd like to see. Register today!

Or, if you'd prefer, 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 3-5 working days to complete. Billing information can only be sent to the mailing address on record.

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Billing term definitions

Baseline -- Amount of gas billed at the lowest residential rate.

Billing Factor -- Adjusts for differences in elevation, delivery pressure and the heating content of gas.

Climate Zone -- Weather zone in which a customer lives. Colder zones receive more baseline allowance.

Customer Charge -- Charge to recover costs of gas delivery including reading meters, preparing bills, and processing payments.

Gas Commodity Charge -- Cost of gas purchased by The Gas Company 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 The Gas Company or at

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 who 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 gas bill. These cities and counties require The Gas Company to collect this Utilities Users Tax for them.

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Natural gas conversions

  • 1 cubic foot = 1050 Btu
  • Therm = 100,000 Btu
  • Ccf = 100 cubic foot, or 1 therm
  • Mcf = 1000 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

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About gas rates and how bills are calculated

Natural gas rates are made up of two primary charges:

  • Gas delivery service, which Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) provides - the "delivery" (or "transmission") charge; and,
  • The cost of the natural gas itself -- which is reflected in the "procurement" charge.

Many people believe 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.

The wholesale 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 costs 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.

We have posted the latest SoCalGas rates.

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Monthly gas rates vary based on monthly gas prices

Since 1997, the cost of natural gas that customers pay in their rates is based on a forecasted monthly price instead of a forecasted annual price. This allows rates to more closely follow current natural gas market prices.

With monthly pricing, 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.

Monthly Posting of Gas Procurement Price

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Does SoCalGas benefit from higher gas prices?

We do not produce natural gas; energy production companies produce natural gas. SoCalGas just delivers natural gas to its customers.

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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.

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Charges on your bill from a third party

For bill questions and charges on your gas bill from third-party vendors:

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My Account

You can pay your SoCalGas bill online, go paperless, set up monthly bill payments, receive reminders when your bill is ready and choose the date to pay your bill with My Account. Sign up today for 24/7 access.