GRANADA HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Responding to incensed Angelenos who say their gas bills have spiked after the massive Aliso Canyon gas leak, a SoCal Gas spokesman on Wednesday said the utility has not raised rates on customers due to the leak.
"We cannot change our rates without first going to the Public Utilities Commission," SoCal Gas spokesman Mike Mizrahi said.
Many SoCal Gas customers gathered on Tuesday night in Granada Hills to discuss their concerns of dramatically higher bills just as the utility is dealing with the massive Aliso Canyon natural gas leak.
At that meeting, L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander called for an investigation into whether the utility was charging customers more as a way to offset costs of the leak.
Even displaced Porter Ranch residents said they are paying more for gas at their vacant homes.
"If you have a vacant home and your bills double and you're not even there, something's not right," Englander said. "It doesn't add up."
But Mizrahi said customers need to take closer look at their usage. He said many people have cranked the heat as temperatures have dropped.
"Those people, like the councilman and others, who believe we're gouging or jacking up our rates, really don't understand how our business works," Mizrahi said.
Still, customers such as Eileen Diaz of Granada Hills are skeptical. She said her gas bill has nearly doubled to $103.
She said she wants documentation of exactly why she's paying so much more.
"You feel like you're being robbed," she said. "If they can't give us a concrete answer, I'll keep fighting it."
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