SAN DIEGO — Natural gas prices are expected to decline for the second month after reaching a historic high in January, San Diego Gas & Electric announced Tuesday.

The March price for the commodity is set to drop by about 83% from January levels, dropping to about $0.60 from $3.45 per therm. This month’s prices will also be about a 45% decrease compared to last month.

For SDG&E customers, this decrease could shave off as much as $140 in their gas bills compared to January, according to the company.

The volatility in the region’s natural gas market over the last few months has been largely driven by the partial closure of a major third-party pipeline, compounded by high demand for heat as an unusually cold winter hit California and a limited state storage of the commodity.

Overall gas deliveries to the western United States were down by about 4% in December compared to November, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, with one of the major providers — the Permian Highway Pipeline — began a partial closure for maintenance. The pipeline has since been restored to full capacity.

As the majority of western state’s natural gas supply comes from other parts of the United States and Canada, this reduction put additional pressure on other natural gas deliveries as demand spiked with December’s winter storm — pushing prices for the commodity up earlier this year.

“This substantial reduction in gas prices is wonderful news for customers,” SDG&E Vice President of Customer Services Dana Golan said in a release. “We are pleased to see meaningful relief coming for families and businesses. We remain focused on providing support and connecting customers with resources and financial assistance to help get them through this challenging time.” 

In addition to lower natural gas prices, SDG&E said that customers could also see an reduction in their electric bills with the implementation of this year’s California Climate Credit.

The California Public Utilities Commission moved up the time frame of the credit installments compared to previous years in order to provide winter utility bill relief for residents.

A $60.70 credit will be applied to electric customers’ March statements. Last month, natural gas customers received $43.40 in credit.

SDG&E encourages customers experiencing financial difficulty to take advantage of the assistance options offered by the company, including bill discounts, debt relief and payment plans.