Dr. Ruiz presses SoCalGas for answers on gas price hike

Doctor with stethoscope
Valley News - Health

Calls on company to better prevent future increases for consumers

Washington, D.C. – On March 10, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-25) pressed the Southern California Gas Company for answers after a sudden increase in gas bills rocked consumers across Southern California this winter. In a letter to SoCalGas Chief Executive Officer Scott Drury, Ruiz called on the executive to provide information on the steps the company is taking to protect customers from future price increases.

“This price increase was a painful shock to many SoCalGas customers in my district. While prices have decreased in February and March, I have heard from many of my constituents about how January’s price increases continue to affect them,” Ruiz wrote. “I am deeply concerned that January’s price increase remains a burden for many, especially those on a fixed income. I understand that many factors that caused the high prices are outside of SoCalGas’s control; however, any price increase must be justified and not the result of unfair business practices.”

In December 2022, SoCalGas announced on its website that customers would see a “shocking” price increase on their gas bills for January 2023. As a result, some families in Southern California saw an increase of up to 240% in their natural gas bill.

“My bill has more than doubled twice in the last two months, $293 to $528, even though I used less gas,” Benjamin, a constituent from Beaumont, said. “It is financially breaking to the middle-class family.”

“Just opened our latest SoCalGas bill: 175% MORE than the same period last year. Please consider investigating this as price gouging,” David, a veteran from San Jacinto, said. “We’re in our late 70s and on a fixed retirement and will find it difficult to make ends meet if this continues.”

Now, as gas prices are decreasing, Ruiz is urging the company to find solutions that better protect consumers in the future. Full text of the letter can be found online at https://ruiz.house.gov/sites/evo-subsites/ruiz.house.gov/files/evo-media-document/2023-03-10_letter_socalgas-price-increase.pdf.