The California Public Utilities Commission fined the Southern California Gas Company a little more than $8 million for failing to issue and prorate timely monthly customer bills, causing customer bills to be higher than usual and extending the billing period for many SoCalGas customers.
In May of 2017 a formal investigation was opened by CPUC to determine if SoCalGas violated billing practices from 2014 to 2016.
The investigation was brought to light due to an informal investigation following approximately 700 billing-related complaints received by CPUC.
It was determined by CPUC that SoCalGas violated three Gas Tariff Rules 12.A, 14.A, and 14.D.
About $4.7 million will go to customers who received delayed bills during the winter of 2015 and 2016 in the form of a one time $100 credit to their SoCalGas accounts.
“This fine sends a clear message that we expect utilities to comply with the billing provisions in their
tariffs, and that if they do not, we will take appropriate enforcement action,” said Commissioner
SoCalGas made the following statement regarding the fine:
“SoCalGas is reviewing Tuesday’s decision by the California Public Utilities Commission.
The completion of our advanced meter project has all but eliminated estimated bills. In addition, SoCalGas customers now have access to real time data about their natural gas use and bills.
We maintain that our billing practices during the period in question were consistent with our CPUC approved tariffs. No customer was overbilled, and the CPUC did not find otherwise.
We will make a determination about whether or not to further appeal the decision following our review.”