Shocking gas bills bring restaurants to the brink of closure

it is strictly an issue of incompetence.
I have a spread sheet listing of electric and gas usage / costs since we built this house - 20+ years of data.

last year our electric costs were slight lower/month, and our gas costs were slightly higher/month. apparently our utility suppliers are smarter at contracting costs than the average bear utility that now has 3x - 10x higher costs.

Um, these are restaurants we are talking about.

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The issue is utilities can be hugely off in their risk/price management and then customers see their bills rise in a way that no small business can forcast. Texas after the freeze/blackout, this instance in California.

In DC, restaurants would get a visit from pepco followed by a$30k bill because the meter was not set right. Their mistake and I had to pay. THeir argument was “You had the benefit of the electricity”. And the incompetence of your organization. And you only can appeal to the PUC which is on the side of the utilities.


That must be nice! I’m wondering in how many industries is it that simple.

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Whose incompetence caused the shockingly high gas bills (which has basically been occurring in all residential and commercial bldgs in Southern California, AFAIK)?

First the price increases were due to weather caused distribution problems, then Russia invaded Ukraine, Russia supplies much of Europe, sanctions against Russia caused an anticipated shortage continued the price increases.

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Thanks for the response. I’m not sure what any of that has to do with “incompetence?”

I’d recommend you look into how electric and gas companies secure supplies of their product.
some do it smarter than others.

shocking . . CA . . . sorry, not further info needed.

Are you implying that businesses are incompetent for not anticipating a gas increase? Or are you suggesting that had a restaurant anticipated a gas increase, they could have done what exactly? Cooked less food for customers or charged higher menu prices for their customers due to the gas increase?

utility/gas suppliers do “contracts” for the supply of their “raw material”
those who anticipate, do well.
those who fail to anticipate, double/triple/quadruple their pass through costs.

Blaming “incompetence” is a bit tone deaf response to the problems facing restaurant owners.

For CA, it was a combination of failing to plan and an unexpected shock to the system.

SoCal Gas failed to prepare for a cold winter and more natural gas was exported to Europe after Russia cut off gas pipelines amid the war in Ukraine.

But that doesn’t change the fact that restaurant owners (not homeowners) now need to be able to navigate higher gas prices.

Blaming this problem (crippling gas prices for restaurant owners) on the “incompetence” of utility companies is a bit like saying “see, you should’ve used a larger cup to carry your milk” only after the milk has already spilled on the floor.

Restaurant owners need solutions, not a target on who to blame.


But… but… but… then ya can’t blanket-blame the entire state of California and its crazy ways – where’s the fun in that? :wink:


There’s so much one can make fun of about CA.

Why choose the low hanging fruit. What’s fun in that …


Uhhh I have a huge gas bill for January so what was I supposed to do in January in LA, it was rainy and cold? In fact it was so rainy and so cold that socal Edison couldn’t anticipate the demand for gas. I’m sure they have multiple people to pay for such forecasting but they still failed. Am I incompetent for not having an alternative heating solution in my house? Or am I incompetent for being able to understand how an opaque system of gas contracting by utility works when affected by global shortfalls caused by a Russian invasion?

Can I ask if you just decided not to turn on your heat over December, January, and February in your house?

I’m assuming that you’ve had a fair share of failures or outcomes that were not optimal for yourself throughout your life does your failure to plan for things outside of your control make you incompetent?

I am genuinely interested in your responses, just seems that your outlook seems to be lacking a bit of altruism.


my experiences are based in reality.
your huge gas bill is the result of your utility to contract for good supply prices - and they had to go purchase on the spot market.
Russia has zilch comma zero to do with their failure.

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congratulations - you’ve now identified the problem.
elect some different politicians.


Easy to postulate on commodity price direction. Buy European gas futures!! Russia cuts energy delivery to eurozone! The world sanctions Russia! Nord pipeline sabotage!


Warmest Euro winter on record in 2023. Euro nat gas prices now lower than pre-special military operation. Oops

Analysts and forecasters who hedged last year in anticipation of ever escalating fuel prices, incompetent?


H’mm I seem to remember that The U.S. is sitting on some of the biggest (if not the biggest) natural gas reserves in the world. Looks to me like a combo of both incompetence AND malice.
(Malice in the form of "A Butterfly died on a pipeline in Russia. Quick we must raise prices everywhere in the U.S.)


I used to have pge when i was in santa cruz . A very stiff comany . Now I am receiving power from pacific power here up north. They are very lenient. I signed up for equal pay . They average your yearly energy bill . So its not so high in the winter. I have been averaging 200 a month heating 2 buildings . If your down and out they will break up the payments even further .