California City home gets free natural gas conversion as part of new program

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CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. (KGET) — Today, the Southern California Gas Company debuted the first home in California City to participate in the San Joaquin Valley Affordable Energy Project.

The project converts selected households using wood and propane to natural gas by installing new gas lines and new home appliances. SoCalGas said the free upgrades will help customers save money on their energy bills and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change.

In 2018, the California Public Utilities Commission approved pilot projects in eleven underserved San Joaquin Valley communities, including California City.

“This program will provide dozens of families with more affordable, reliable energy for the long
term,” said Jeff Walker, vice president of customer solutions for SoCalGas. “Even better, it will give homeowners access to a full suite of energy efficiency programs that help keep their energy costs affordable and compared to propane, natural gas will reduce greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change.”

In addition to natural gas equipment upgrades, the new SoCalGas customers will now be eligible for
a variety of energy efficiency and bill assistance programs to help them conserve energy and save money, the company said.

In 2019, SoCalGas said its energy efficiency programs saved customers $55.6 million and reduced emissions equal to taking 57,000 cars off California roads for one year.

“The process has been smooth and easy,” said, Nicole Freehart, a California City homeowner who
recently had utility service installed. “The entire SoCalGas, Staples Energy and Self-Help Enterprise
teams were efficient and worked seamlessly to get the work completed. I am very happy with my gas service and new appliances.”

SoCalGas said it is still accepting applications from eligible homeowners for participation in the program.

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