LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Most customers have been shocked with their SoCalGas bills following a steep rise in prices this winter.
The utility announced this week that some relief is on the way.
While prices will remain higher than they were a year ago, they are dropping significantly from the record-high rates seen in January.
The utility says wholesale rates it pays to obtain gas in the commodity market are dropping by 68% from January's record highs.
That doesn't quite translate to an equal drop in bills, because those customer rates also includes costs such as transportation and public fees. But SoCalGas says if, for example, you paid $300 for your January bill, you would pay around $135 in February for the same usage.
Last year the average February household bill was $99.
If you were shocked when you opened your most recent bill, you're not alone. Customers are reporting seeing their bills double and in some cases nearly triple.
Customers seeing skyrocketing SoCalGas bills
Here are some tips to help you reduce gas usage:
Lower your thermostat by 3 to 5 degrees. That can save up to 10% on heating costs.
Install proper caulking and weather-stripping around doors and windows. It can save you up to 15%.
Another 10% can be saved by washing clothes in cold water.
Turn down the temperature on water heaters.
Limit the use of non-essential natural gas appliances, like spas and fireplaces.
SoCalGas offers more tips and programs to help you pay your bills here.