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February natural gas prices decrease by 66 percent

MEDIA RELEASE

Feb. 1, 2023

Contact:  Lauren Gold Howland
Public Information Officer
Phone:     (562) 355-1201 
Email:     lauren.howland@lbutilities.org

LONG BEACH CUSTOMERS TO GET RELIEF FROM HIGH JANUARY PRICES

LONG BEACH, CALIF. (FEB. 1, 2023) — The February cost of natural gas for Long Beach Utilities customers decreased by 66 percent from January, bringing some relief to residents and businesses experiencing record-high gas bills this winter.

The natural gas wholesale market price for February is $1.2805, down from the January cost of $3.8101. The Cost of Gas line on customer bills reflects a direct pass-through of the cost the utility pays — Long Beach Utilities does not earn any profit on the gas commodity we provide.

The average Long Beach gas bill for January was about $300, though many saw much higher bills. With the favorable market price decrease, the average single-family home in Long Beach and Signal Hill will see a decrease of about $200 in their next bill.

“I know families across our community are feeling the pain of these high gas prices, and I’m happy to see the market price come down. Next month, our customers will have the lowest, or near-lowest, bills in all of California and that’s thanks to having a local utility,” said Gloria Cordero, president of the Board of Utilities Commissioners. “Long Beach Utilities continues to look at all our options to ensure long-term price stability and also offer short-term assistance to customers in need.”

All of California has seen a dramatic spike in natural gas prices this winter, with costs at a 20-year high. The price of gas doubled from November to December, and then tripled from December to January.

Facing the highest natural gas prices in Long Beach’s history, Long Beach Utilities took swift action to mitigate the impact on customers as much as possible.

These actions included:

  • Maximizing our withdrawals of less-expensive storage inventory, offsetting gas we would otherwise buy at the market rate
  • Taking advantage of an option in the local gas purchase contract with the state to save $4.5 million
  • Applying $1.3 million in unused reserves to soften customer impacts

Long Beach Utilities continues to monitor market prices and provide regular customer updates. In addition, we are taking a critical look at our gas purchasing strategies going forward to provide greater stability and customer protections.

Resources are available to help customers manage higher bills, including long-term payment plans and reduced rates for seniors, those with disabilities and other income-qualified customers.

For more information, click here.

While the Cost of Gas decrease is welcome news, February prices are still higher than this time last year. Long Beach Utilities encourages customers to continue conserving as much as possible.

Some helpful tips include:

  • Dial down the thermostat
  • Warm your home with natural sunlight during the day
  • Wash clothes in cold water
  • Take shorter hot showers
  • Bundle up with warm blankets, socks and sweaters

For more information on natural gas prices and helpful tools to estimate your bill, visit longbeach.gov/energyresources. For questions or concerns, call (562) 570-5700.

 

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