DOWNEY, Calif. (KABC) -- SoCalGas customers may get some relief when paying their natural gas bills as early as next month.
The hike in natural gas rates has had many customers wondering when they'll catch a break.
Throughout January, Eyewitness News brought you the voices of people surprised to see their gas bills jump, sometimes regardless of using less of the resource. On Monday, SoCalGas President Maryam Brown said this was all because of an unusual supply-and-demand event.
READ ALSO | Residents fear SoCalGas customers will 'freeze to death' trying to save money to pay sky-high bills
"We've been very concerned for our customers," Brown said.
The price the company paid for natural gas was up this month to $3.45 per therm - which is four times higher than the same time last year and 11 times higher than that of 2018.
Meanwhile, national prices, like those from the Henry Hub pipeline, were dipping to levels not seen since June 2021.
"The issue is that the infrastructure in the West has been constrained, that we've had limitation," Brown explained. "A limitation of being able to bring natural gas into the West because the pipelines are already full and there was less storage in the northern parts of the state and that affected prices here, but we do think that it was acute, a period of time, and we're seeing those costs come down."
Brown said along with grants from the gas assistance fund for eligible applicants, customers can expect to see their annual springtime Cap-and-Trade program credit earlier this year.
A SoCalGas' unveiling of the first renewable hydrogen microgrid and home on Monday, California's Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis said we're at the mercy of the fossil fuel industry until we rely on other resources.
"Taking control of our energy future by investing in renewable energy is the best thing we can do for every working family in the state of California," she said.
A SoCalGas spokesperson told Eyewitness News the company expects to make an announcement this week about a significant drop in natural gas rates.