SoCal Gas Urges Customers To Reduce Natural Gas Use

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Southern California Gas Co. issued an advisory Monday urging utility customers to immediately reduce their natural gas use.

The advisory program was ordered by the California Public Utilities Commission to address concerns about regional energy reliability this winter due to the moratorium on operations at the Aliso Canyon facility, which last year was the site of the largest methane leak in U.S. history.

“Without that, we’re having to rely on pipelines and other storage facilities in the region,” said Melissa Bailey, a SoCal Gas spokeswoman. “We’re pulling heavily from those other storage facilities.”

According to the utility company, more than 95 percent of Southern Californians use natural gas to heat their homes. About 60 percent of electricity used in homes comes from natural gas power plants.

Residential customers have been urged to reduce natural gas use by lowering thermostats to 68 degrees or below, wait a day to use natural gas appliances, and to wash clothes in cold water when possible.

The Duarte family of Santa Clarita said they’re planning a trip to Big Bear and will try to conserve natural gas even in that cold environment.

Shay Duarte said they’ll conserve heat by sleeping in “one big room with a lot of sleeping bags.”

Porter Ranch homeowner Dave Meyer said he’s willing to cut back on natural gas usage, in part to save money.

“Part of it’s the cost,” he said. “It’s expensive.”

Some industrial and business customers were warned of a possible notice to curtail service.

The advisory will remain in place until further notice.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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