LONG BEACH, CALIF. (MARCH 1, 2023) — Residents and businesses will see continued relief from high natural gas bills, with a second consecutive month of significant price decreases.
The cost of the gas commodity has dropped by 81 percent since California’s record-breaking highs in January, decreasing by 45 percent from February to March.
The natural gas wholesale market price for March is $0.7063, down from $1.2805 in February and $3.8101 in January.
“The March Cost of Gas is welcome news for our customers,” Long Beach Utilities General Manager Chris Garner said. “As we come out of this crisis, we are committed to helping our customers recover while working to ensure greater price stability going forward.”
Long Beach Utilities took swift action to assist customers most in need amid historically high December and January gas bills. In just the past two weeks, we have distributed $6 million in California Climate Credits to all gas customers, plus $1 million in one-time assistance to more than 6,500 customers in need.
All residential customers will see a $45 credit on their upcoming bill.
Those who have been approved for either the Low Income Gas Discount Program, Senior/Disability Discount Program or the Residential Gas Assistance Credit will also see one-time credits of $200, $150 and $100, respectively, on their next bill.
In February Long Beach Utilities, with the support of the City Council, allocated $7.5 million in one-time assistance, funded with excess utility users tax, or UUT, along with revenues collected under California’s Assembly Bill 32 Cap and Trade Program.
Applications for assistance are open until March 31. To apply, visit lbwater.org/billhelp.
All of California saw a dramatic spike in natural gas prices this winter, caused by colder than normal temperatures across the West Coast, interstate pipeline constraints and limited gas storage in California.
Long Beach Utilities purchases wholesale natural gas on the open market and the prices are largely dictated by supply and demand. The Cost of Gas line on customer bills reflects a direct pass-through of this cost — Long Beach Utilities does not earn any profit on the gas commodity we provide.
Lower market prices for the gas commodity in March can be attributed to:
- Anticipated decrease in demand for natural gas heading into spring weather
- Progress on repairs to a key interstate pipeline bringing gas to California
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.