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Californians weigh in on high natural gas bills

SACRAMENTO – 

Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa), along with members of the California Senate Republican Caucus, called for oversight on recent natural gas bill increases. Today’s hearing on high utility prices is a result of the California Senate Republicans’ request. 

 In recent Districtwide Surveys, Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), Senator Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta), and Senator Ochoa Bogh, heard horrifying stories of how these high utility bills were impacting their constituents. Below are some of those stories:

 John: “My wife and I are retired and now on a fixed income. Our average gas bill for the last 12 months was $89. Our February 2023 bill was $631.”

Ben: “Natural gas increase of over 500% in one month. Reducing all costs including food, clothes budget, and all discretionary spending for our family.”

 Curtis: “Our bill went from $150 a month to $860 a month. Unaffordable!”

Marianne: “We are seniors and are already struggling to buy groceries, gas and utilities. We just got a $540 gas bill, $240 Electric bill & now have to leave our heater off completely and freeze.”

James: “I’m retired on a fixed income. My gas bill went from $135 in December to $355 in January. Pretty hard to budget for that kind of increase!”

 Dawn: “I have no life now with the cost of living! My gas bills for the past 12 years averaged $15 in spring/summer and $40-50 in winter. This winter the monthly bill was $387!!! How’s that even possible?”

Aaron: “Just to keep the house at 67 degrees now costs almost $500 per month, which is up almost $300 from last year! Had to cut food and leisure costs dramatically to just keep the status quo. This is awful.”

Dana: “Huge issue. Gas has gone up 300%. Electric (bill) has gone from $225 per month to $625 per month. Our thermostat is kept at 58 degrees. I must delay retirement due to the higher cost over all.”

Ana: “Outrageous. I shouldn’t have to live in a 60 degree home. I’m a hard working taxpayer. These policies will eventually force me to move out of state.”

Rashad: “Businesses like mine need help! My gas bill went from $1,000 to $5,000!!! How are businesses like mine suppose[d] to survive!!!”

Alyson: “I had never seen a gas bill higher than about $30 and my January bill was $100. I’m a renter, so I can’t just change appliances.”

Terri: “As a senior citizen, I am on a fixed income. Budgeting for increases is difficult. The cost of new medications along with triple gas and electric rates is leaving no room for the increase in vital medications.”

Colleen: “I am 79 years old and freezing.”

California Senate Republicans are committed to cutting costs for families and today’s oversight hearing was secured as a direct result of their efforts in the state legislature. In addition to the request for oversight that was fulfilled, California Senate Republican lawmakers also secured early relief for high natural gas bills after a push to the state’s Utilities Commission.