Will your natural gas bill be affected by what's happened in Porter Ranch even if you don't live in the area? If you have followed the situation in Porter Ranch you know there was a natural gas/methane leak that has made life miserable for many of those who live in the upscale community.
For starters, many have complained of a laundry list of symptoms from headaches to respiratory issues. For another, many have had to relocate. Southern California Gas, which has apologized profusely for the leak and inconvenience created has offered several things. They are paying for relocation. There is a fixed formula. $7500 a month for moving and rent. Taxes and fees are paid on top of that. And, there is a food stipend of $45 a day per person for a family of four for a total of $180. Do the math and you're talking about $12,900 a month per family.
There are exceptions, but those are handled on a case by case basis.
As we've reported there are concerns about rental-house landlords taking advantage of the Porter Ranch situation by allegedly price gouging. The accusations are that they have been raising prices exorbitantly for homeowners looking for temporary homes while the gas leak is being fixed. The LA County Board of Supervisors has called for an investigation.
But, if you live outside the Porter Ranch area could you get hit with higher natural gas rates down the road if you are a Southern California Gas customer. Each time I ask the company, and I have more than once, I'm told that "it's too premature to talk about that." I'll ask, do you have some sort of insurance to cover all of these expenses? "It's too premature to talk about that." Maybe so, after all the bills are still stacking up, but I submit for your consideration the following thought. If the gas company is getting hit with all kinds of costs for relocation, food, expenses, legal fees and unexpected costs will the unintended consequence be that we will all pay more in our natural gas rates? Perhaps, Southern California Gas will answer that question someday soon. Right now it's, as they say, "too premature!"