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FAQ

  • Where and how can I pay my utility payment?

    Payments may be made 24 hours a day online, or by phone (562) 570-5700, using Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards. In addition you can pay in person at the Long Beach City Hall, Lobby Level, 333 W. Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, using cash, cashier's check, money order, check, or Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards. It is important to note that customers facing a pending turn-off for non-payment are still responsible for taking their payments directly to City Hall at 333 W. Ocean Blvd. prior to the payment deadline in order to insure there is no interruption of utility services.

  • Where do I send my City of Long Beach utility payment?

    Send payments with your account number on the check to:

    City of Long Beach
    P.O. Box 630
    Long Beach, CA 90842-0001

  • How can I get a duplicate bill?

    You can you can get a statement online, or request a computer-generated copy of your bill by calling our Customer Service number at (562) 570-5700.

  • When is my account considered past due?

    Your utility bill is due and payable upon presentation and is considered past due if not paid within 15 days of the date prepared. The date the bill was prepared is printed on your bill.

  • Does the City provide Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf (TDD) or services for the visually impaired?

    Hearing-impaired customers can call (562) 570-6693 to be connected to TDD equipment. The visually impaired can request an alternate format bill by calling (562) 570-5700.

  • Does the City provide multilingual services?

    Customer Service Representatives who speak Spanish can be reached by calling the Commercial Services Bureau at (562) 570-5700.

  • Does everyone pay a security deposit when turning on a gas service?

    Yes. The exception is if you have satisfactorily established credit with an existing City of Long Beach utility account in the last 12 months. In this instance a deposit requirement will be waived. To establish credit you must not carry a balance forward from one billing period to the next. Security deposits are held on your account for a 12-month period. If at the end of the 12-month period, if your bills have been paid promptly, the deposit will be credited to your account.

  • What is a baseline allowance?

    The baseline allowance is the first tier of gas usage for residential customers, which is charged at the lowest rate. Any usage above the baseline allowance is billed at the higher non-baseline rate.

  • What is a medical baseline allowance?

    The City of Long Beach provides an additional baseline allowance for eligible residential customers who require use of natural gas for certain medical conditions. To receive this additional allowance, a doctor must verify your medical condition. You can call Commercial Services Bureau at (562) 570-5700 to request a form.

  • Who is responsible if there is a gas leak?

    If the leak is in the gas meter or Energy Department piping after the meter, the Energy Department is responsible and the customer will be reimbursed for the amount of gas lost as a result of the leak. However, if the leak is past the meter and Energy Department piping, the customer is responsible. The customer will not be reimbursed for gas lost as a result of a leak in the customer's piping system.

  • What if I do not believe my gas meter is accurate?

    In order to ensure accurate bills, when the meter reads are entered into the computer, the system automatically flags accounts where the amount of gas used is either much higher or much lower than normal usage. These accounts are then reviewed manually to determine if the usage seems unreasonable. If the account suddenly varies widely from a steady pattern, the account is further investigated.

    After the meter read has been verified, and a field inspection completed, if you still feel your meter is inaccurate, you can request that the meter be tested. After the read has been verified, and Long Beach Gas & Oil has completed a field investigation, a $35.00 demand test deposit is required to have your meter tested. The law requires the meter to be accurate to within two percent. If it is within the two percent parameter, or if it is registering low, you lose the demand test deposit. Should the meter read high by more than two percent, your bill will be adjusted for the previous six months and you will receive a refund of your demand test deposit.

  • How do I read my water meter?

    Knowing how to read your water meter will help you keep an eye on your conservation efforts and keep your water bill lower. Monitor your water usage by reading your meter regularly. You'll find your meter is located in a concrete box near the street curb or in the alley by your residence.

    There are two types of meters: the straight meter and the round meter.

    Types of Meters

    Straight Meters

    To read the straight meter, look at the figures shown above the word "cubic feet." The example reads 080632. The sweep hand indicates that the meter is functioning.

    Round Meters

    To read this meter, begin with the smallest numbered dial and read each dial in ascending order (counter clockwise), If the hand is between numbers, use the lower number. The example reads 21437. The "one foot"dial indicates that the meter is functioning.

    To Check Your Usage:

    1. Write down your reading.
    2. In a week or so, check again and subtract this reading from the previous recording to determine your consumption during this period.
    3. Then divide your consumption by 100 to determine the number of units you've used. (Remember: 1 water unit = 100 cubic feet = 748 gallons of water).

    We read meters on different days of the month. To compare your consumption, be sure your readings are taken on the same days as those noted on your utility bill. For information about when your meter(s) are scheduled to read, please call Utility Services at (562) 570-5700.

  • How do I check my gas meter?

    Your gas meter is an accurate automatic measuring instrument. It keeps track of how much gas flows through it by counting the filling and emptying of four compartments inside its metal case. Since each compartment fills with just the same amount of gas every time, the measuring is very accurate and because one compartment is emptied as another is being filled, the flow of gas to your range or heater is smooth and uninterrupted.

    Round Meters

    Here's how to read your meter. Read the large dials only. (The small dials at the top are for test purposes.) On each dial, a hand points between two numbers. The meter is read from right to left.

    Utility Meter 1 Utility Meter 1
    Cubic Feet
    Meter Reading Step 1

    1,000 THOUSAND

    Take the number that the first
    pointer has just passed

    (In this example: 4)

    Meter Reading Step 2

    100 THOUSAND

    Then the number that the second
    pointer has just passed

    (In this example: 6)

    Meter Reading Step 3

    10 THOUSAND

    And the number that the third
    pointer has just passed

    (In this example: 4)

    Meter Reading Step 4

    1 THOUSAND

    And take the number the last
    pointer is nearest.

    (In this example: 5)

    Finally, add two zeros... (4645 + "00")

    TOTAL: 464500 cubic feet of gas

    Straight Meter

    To read a straight meter, is just like reading the odometer in your car. The meter is read from left to right.

  • How much Gas do I use?

    One reading does not tell you how much gas you used.

    1. Put your first reading on line 1 below, with the date and time
    2. Take another reading several days later, and enter it on line 2
    3. Subtract reading 1 from reading 2: this tells you the number of hundred cubic feet (CCF) of gas used during the time between the readings

      Meter Reading Date Time CCF of gas used since last reading
    1        
    2        
    3        

    Natural gas is metered in hundred cubic feet- CCF and is sold to our customers in therms. The CCF registered by the meter are multiplied by the BTU rating of the gas to determine the number of therms billed.

    An example: 45 CCF x 1.034 (Btu conversion factor) equals 47 therms The BTU rating will be adjusted monthly based on the average heat value of the gas obtained during the previous month.


    BTU = British thermal unit - one therm equals 100,000 BTUs

  • Why is my City of Long Beach Utility Bill so High?


    Make sure your last month's payment has been received and posted to your account

    The first thing you will want to do is make sure your last month's payment has been received and posted to your account. On the lower portion of your bill, after the heading “current bill subtotal” your current bill charges are indicated. If your “current bill subtotal" is less than the “total amount due,” the difference is an unpaid prior balance. This amount was carried forward and may explain your “high bill.”

    Determine which service has increased

    The next thing to consider is which service you are being billed for has increased. Your billing consists of a breakdown of how the bill was calculated for each service we bill. The total is on the far right side of the bill. Usually it is the amount of your gas or water that has increased.

    Once you have determined which service has increased, see the “Evaluate Your Conservation Effort” field at the bottom of your bill. If we have comparable usage to the same billing period a year ago it will be displayed here. Gas shows your total usage and your average daily usage in therms. Water shows your total usage in 100 cu. ft. and your daily usage in gallons. If your usage is comparable to last year, a high bill may be attributed to a rate change. View current gas rates. View current water rates.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:

    The competitive “spot market” for natural gas was established in 1986 as a result of evolving deregulation of the natural gas industry. When the price of natural gas increases nationwide, so will the price Long Beach pays, therefore, you can track the cost of gas on your bill.

    During the winter heating season, you will use more natural gas to heat your homes and businesses. View energy tips that will help keep gas utility bills as low as possible.

    Remember that if your meter was estimated this month, the actual meter read next month may result in higher or lower usage.

    If your gas usage is considerably higher than last year, or if your water usage is considerably higher than last year, see below.

    If your GAS usage is higher than the corresponding time period a year ago:


    • Was the temperature this year colder than last year? Find the “from” and “to” time period billed for on your bill under “Billing Period". This time period may have been cold and rainy as compared to last year when it may have been warm and dry. Temperature variations from year to year will result in either an increase or a decrease in gas usage.
    • Have you had new gas appliances installed?
    • Did you have visitors or did the number of people living in your household increase from last year? Was there an illness in the household that may have required increased gas usage for heating or water heating?
    • Look at last month's bill; was the usage lower than normal? This may indicate that your meter was read or estimated incorrectly last month. If your meter read is low one month, an accurate meter read the next month will result in a higher than normal bill.
    • Again, look at last month's bill, was it estimated? If a bill is estimated it will say so on the lower part of the bill you retain for your records. If a bill is estimated it may be estimated too low, which will result in a higher bill next month when the meter is read correctly.
    • Were you on vacation during the corresponding time period last year?

    After reviewing the above information, if you still believe there is no explanation for the higher bill, please call our billing office at (562) 570-5700. A Customer Service Representative will assist you in submitting a high bill request.

    If your WATER usage is higher than the corresponding time period a year ago:


    • Do you have a dripping faucet or leaking toilet? Even a small leak can increase your water bill considerably.
    • Do you hear water running at night when all your appliances are off? This may indicate an underground break in your water line.
    • Has the weather been unseasonably warm and you have been doing more outside watering? It may be that it was cooler and rainy the same time period last year and you were not outside watering yet.
    • Did you have visitors or did the number of people living in your household increase from last year?
    • Did you install new landscaping or a pool and/or spa? Did you refill your swimming pool?
    • Look at last month's bill; was the usage lower than normal? This may indicate that your meter was read incorrectly last month. If your meter read is low one month, an accurate meter read the next month will result in a higher than normal bill.
    • Again, look at last month's bill, was it estimated? If a bill is estimated it will say so on the lower part of the bill you retain for your records. If a bill is estimated it may be estimated too low, which will result in a higher bill next month when the meter is read correctly.

    After reviewing the above information, if you still believe there is no explanation for a higher bill, please call our billing office at (562) 570-5700. A Customer Service Representative will assist you in submitting a high bill request.

  • How do you determine the amount of therms I use?

    We multiply the metered volume of hundreds of cubic feet (CCF's) by the BTU factor to determine the amount of therms used.

  • What is the energy content and why is it important?

    The City of Long Beach receives natural gas from several gas suppliers, including interstate and intrastate pipelines and local gas processors. Because the chemical composition of each supply differs according to the source of the supply, properties such as energy content (or heating value) also differ.

  • How do I Convert Master Meter to Individual Meters?

    Are you considering converting your natural gas master-metered apartment building to individual unit meters? If so, Long Beach Energy has assembled the following information about the New Service process to assist you with this conversion. The steps are listed in sequential order. Install individual house lines to each unit.


    1. Apply for permits in the Development Services Department (562) 570-6651.
    2. Obtain plumbing approvals on gas lines.
    3. Pay all installation fees.
    4. Owner to put each new account in owner's name. For information on what is required for owner to sign their tenants for the service, contact Meter Management at (562) 570-5700 option 3.
    5. Notify each tenant to establish utility service:
    6. Set a deadline date with tenants to contact (562) 570-5700 to establish utility service.
    7. Owner will be billed for service until tenant or owner notifies the office to change names.
    8. Long Beach Gas and Oil access is required to verify house line and light pilots.