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SoCalGas Boosts Residential Energy Efficiency to $3.7 Million

Following a commitment from state energy officials seeking to put more heft in natural gas-related energy efficiency programs, Southern California Gas Co. said Wednesday it will pay up to $3.7 million in rebates this year to eligible residential customers who buy more efficient gas appliances. The Sempra Energy utility said this was an increase of $1.1 million over last year's funding.

Rebates range from 15 cents/square foot for attic insulation to $200 for Energy Star-rated furnaces. Overall, the utility has set a three-year goal of 58 million therms in savings for its combined residential and business energy efficiency efforts from 2006 through 2008.

Last year, the utility said it made it easier for customers to receive rebates through what it called an "Instant Rebate" program in which customers received the rebates at retail appliance stores' checkout counters, avoiding an application process that in the past had taken six to eight weeks to complete. The utility's website carries more information (www.socalgas.com) under the residential and "save money" sections.

"Our increased funding helps meet the state's Energy Action Plan, which gives top priority to energy efficiency and energy-saving programs for meeting the state's increasing demand for energy," said Mark Gaines, SoCal Gas customer programs director.

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