Nicor Gas has filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission to reduce its monthly gas cost to 55 cents, a 20% reduction since December 2020 and 10% reduction month-over-month. The new rate will be effective Feb. 1, 2022.
Current natural gas costs reflect the impact of supply shortages and higher demand in the winter of 2021, which the company has been working to mitigate during this heating season. The new lower gas cost in February is the second consecutive monthly reduction that Nicor Gas has passed along to its customers.
The company files a gas supply charge with the ICC every month. This is the per therm price customers pay for natural gas delivered by Nicor Gas and comprises more than 50% of the typical residential customer’s bill. The supply and demand of natural gas, coupled with dropping temperatures and economic inflation, have affected the commodity’s market price worldwide. As a regulated utility, Nicor Gas does not profit from the sale of natural gas; the price Nicor Gas pays to purchase it is a direct price passed on to its customers without markup.
Nicor Gas’ recent gas supply reduction is due in part to proactive measures the company has taken through its storage system reserves that have helped ensure further reliability and mitigate price risks. When temperatures drop well below freezing, like those experienced across much of the Midwest, Nicor Gas’ infrastructure has the capacity to deliver safe natural gas via a modernized pipeline system and storage facilities. The company’s storage facilities also provide critical reserves. Had it not been for storage, more than one million homes and businesses in Northern Illinois would have been without this essential energy source in 2019 during the polar vortex that brought the coldest days recorded in a two-day period.
“Nicor Gas customers expect and deserve natural gas service that’s clean, safe and reliable every day, including during winter weather and the cold temperatures that we are currently experiencing,” said John O. Hudson III, president and CEO of Nicor Gas. “We’ve all been affected by the pandemic but our commitment to our customers’ wellbeing has never wavered. Our focus since before the pandemic has been compassion for our customers who need help and providing extra assistance options.”
Energy assistance provided in 2021
Last year, the company directed more than $50 million in energy assistance to customers through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Percentage of Income Payment Plan and the Sharing and Energy Aide programs. Additionally, Nicor Gas partners with The Salvation Army through the Shield of Caring program to provide natural gas bill payment emergency assistance and support for other basic needs, including housing, rental and groceries to help beyond utility bill payment assistance.
For more information and to learn how to apply for these programs, visit NicorGas.com/EnergyAssistance.
Increased usage serves winter heating needs
As cold weather persists with many mornings well below freezing from November through March, natural gas usage has increased to keep homes and businesses warm and comfortable. Additionally, demand for natural gas service across the U.S. has increased significantly throughout the pandemic as more families work and students learn from their homes.
While natural gas remains the best value for home heating needs, costs typically increase in the winter when heating systems work harder and run more often to keep homes and businesses comfortable.
To help manage winter heating bills, consider some of these weatherizing and energy saving tips:
- Regularly replace air and furnace filters; most filters should be cleaned or replaced every 60-90 days. A clean filter will allow the system to run more efficiently.
- Open window coverings during the day to allow sunlight to heat your home naturally, and close curtains at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
- Keep furniture, drapes, stuffed animals and other objects away from heating sources.
- Adjust timer controls and programmable thermostats. Some older thermostats may not have an internal clock and need to be adjusted manually.
- Winterize the home by finding and sealing leaks and replacing older, less energy efficient gas appliances.
- Repair windows that don’t close properly and replace single-pane windows with more efficient ones.
For more ways to save, including a do-it-yourself home weatherization checklist, visit NicorGas.com/DIY, where you can also schedule a free virtual home energy assessment and access Nicor Gas’ preferred provider network.
For more information about Nicor Gas, visit nicorgas.com.
Submitted by Jennifer Golz, Manager, PR & Media Relations, Corporate Communications