While Southern California Gas Co. customers will be paying 68% less for natural gas this month than in January, prices are still well above their levels from last year.
Relief may be on the way sooner than expected: The California Public Utilities Commission will meet Thursday to consider whether to accelerate payments of the California Climate Credit.
The credit was put in place to offset higher energy costs for consumers due to a cap-and-trade program through which the California Air Resources Board sells carbon pollution permits to industrial greenhouse gas emitters.
The payments, which typically happen in April and October, may be moved up to February. They are designed to cover the cost of a government program meant to cut carbon emissions, though, not to respond to higher wholesale natural gas prices, a CPUC spokesman confirmed.
The 2023 Natural Gas California Climate Credit will amount to $50.77 for SoCalGas customers, around average for customers of the four utilities covered, per the CPUC website.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers will not receive a credit for their electric bills, as the CPUC does not regulate public utilities. The average electric credit payment for customers of private utilities will be around $62, typically split into two installments.
The payment schedule may be moved up this year. Republican state senators wrote a letter Monday to the commission urging it to expedite the distribution of California Climate Credits.
The CPUC will “consider accelerating the Climate Credit that customers receive on their bills in order to provide much needed support,” the commission said in a statement.
At another meeting Feb. 7, the commission will “explore potential measures to mitigate the impact of natural gas and electric market volatility,” according to the statement.
In the meantime, Southern California residents can follow these tips to stay warm while conserving natural gas.