LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3, 2018 – To help lower the risk of possible natural gas and electricity shortages this winter, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced the launch of a new energy conservation alert program designed to raise awareness about ways Southern Californians can reduce their natural gas use during periods of cold weather this winter.
Beginning December 1, SoCalGas will issue a “Dial It Down” Alert during periods of cold weather when local demand for natural gas for home heating, hot water, and cooking can increase rapidly and put a strain on the natural gas system. Dial It Down Alerts are similar to the Flex Alerts issued by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) that call on customers to conserve electricity for a specific period of time. If a Dial It Down Alert is issued this winter, SoCalGas will determine the duration of the conservation effort and will announce when the alert has ended.
To initiate a Dial It Down Alert, the utility will release a media statement and deploy messages through social media and on the radio calling on customers to reduce their natural gas use during peak usage periods. When a Dial It Down Alert is called, customers can take simple steps to reduce their natural gas use, such as:
• Setting their thermostat to 68 degrees when you are home and 55 degrees when you are not home. • Waiting until off-peak hours to use natural gas appliances;• Washing clothes with cold water; • Taking shorter hot showers; • Reducing the temperature on water heaters; • Running only full loads of dishes and clothes; • Using low-flow shower heads; • Keeping windows and doors closed when the heater is on; and • Dressing warmer.
To further encourage energy conservation this winter, SoCalGas will launch the SoCalGas Smart Therm Program later this month. The Smart Therm Program is a partnership between the utility and participating ENERGY STAR® Certified Smart Thermostat providers. Customers who enroll in the Smart Therm Program agree to allow their smart thermostat to be automatically adjusted by up to four degrees when energy conservation is needed. In addition to the energy savings associated with the lower thermostat setting, customers who enroll in the program will receive a $50 incentive, plus an additional $25 for staying enrolled through April 1, 2019. To enroll in the program, customers register their smart thermostats through the manufacturer’s website. They are then sent notifications through their smart thermostat, smart phone app, or over email ten to 12 hours before a Dial It Down Alert is issued, letting them know that their thermostats will be automatically adjusted.
In addition to the SoCalGas Smart Therm Program incentive, customers who purchase a smart thermostat can save an additional $75 by applying for a smart thermostat rebate from SoCalGas. The rebate covers models from Nest, ecobee, Honeywell, and others. To learn more or to participate in SoCalGas' Residential Rebate Program, visit socalgas.com/rebates.