Some tips to save money

With the holiday season coming up, it’s a reminder that cool winter weather lies ahead. Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has a series of tips for homeowners to save money on their utility bills.

Gas Co. officials said cold weather usually translates to an average three- to seven-fold increase in natural gas usage, leading to higher bills, compounded by the higher cost of natural gas during the winter.

“This winter, we are seeing a potential for an upward rise in natural gas wholesale market prices nationwide, with natural gas prices much higher this October compared to last year,” Brian Prusnek, director of customer programs and assistance at SoCalGas, said in a statement.

SoCalGas offered the following safety tips:

— Set thermostats to 68 degrees during the day and 55 at night, if health permits, a move that case save up to 10 percent on heating costs;

— Clean or replace furnace filters if needed;

— Test air ducts for leaks, which can lead to heating cost increases of 10 percent to 30 percent;

— Install proper caulking and weather-stripping; and

— Fix leaky faucets and pipes.

According to SoCalGas, heating can account for more than 50 percent of a customer’s total natural gas bills, with water heaters potentially accounting  for another 25 percent.

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