Natural gas costs

SoCalGas to Pay Fine for Misleading Claim about Natural Gas

The utility used the term “renewable” in its marketing, which runs afoul of truth in advertising standards.    August 23, 2023

By Greg Zimmerman, senior contributing editor

California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta recently announced a settlement agreement with Southern California Gas Company that will likely result in the company paying tens of thousands of dollars in fines, according to Grist. At issue is SoCalGas using the term “renewable” in 2019 on its website, online ads, and company swag like hats and T-shirts. 

Bonta had filed a complaint in court alleging that SoCalGas was “misleading consumers about the environmental attributes of its principal product: natural gas.” According to the AG’s complaint, most natural gas, and specifically the vast majority of the natural gas SoCalGas sells, is not a renewable source of energy. Grist reports only about 0.2 percent of natural gas used in the US could be considered renewable. The natural gas SoCalGas sells is actually a fossil fuel, derived from methane. 

The proposed settlement prohibits SoCalGas from calling its product “renewable,” requires it to make a corrective statement, and pay $175,000 in penalties, half of which will be dispersed to the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. 

SoCalGas released a statement that said the company is “pleased to have cooperatively resolved this matter,” according to The Hill. The company has a goal of achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. 

Greg Zimmerman is senior contributing editor for FacilitiesNet.com and Building Operating Management magazine. 


Read next on FacilitiesNet