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The Cost Of The Cold

February 04, 1988| Compiled by researcher Tracy Thomas

Record low temperatures have meant record high gas bills for many Los Angeles residents this winter. The following statistics show gas use and average bills for the period from Dec. 13 to Jan. 13. Gas usage expressed in therms:

FOR AVERAGE SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS

Winter '87-'88

Gas used: 157

Gas bill: $109

Winter '86-'87

Gas used: 108

Gas bill: $58.50

FOR HOUSEHOLDS IN THE UPPER THIRD OF GAS USAGE

Winter '87-'88

Gas used: 210

Gas bill: $160

Winter '86-'87

Gas used: 145

Gas bill: $91

Factors that can make one household a high user of gas, in addition to setting the thermostat at higher temperatures:

Age of house (older homes often are less energy-efficient)

Size of house (the bill will be higher if there is a greater area to heat)

Location of house (if it is on a hill, for example, it may be more exposed to weather conditions)

Amount of glass (many windows don't hold in heat)

Special needs (such as a pool or spa to heat)

SOURCE: Southern California Gas Co.

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