Questions about Gas/Water Usage

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. For current gas rates Click here. For current water rates Click here.

    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. For energy tips that will help keep gas utility bills as low as possible Click here.

    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:
    A.

    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.

    B. Have you had new gas appliances installed?
    C.

    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?

    D.

    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.

    E.

    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.

    F. 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:
    A. Do you have a dripping faucet or leaking toilet? Even a small leak can increase your water bill considerably.
    B. Do you hear water running at night when all your appliances are off? This may indicate an underground break in your water line.
    C. 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.
    D. Did you have visitors or did the number of people living in your household increase from last year?
    E. Did you install new landscaping or a pool and/or spa? Did you refill your swimming pool?
    F. 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.
    G. 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.