Colder temps cause rise in demand, natural gas costs
From press release
NAPERVILLE, Ill.—With the New Year bringing colder temperatures, natural gas prices have begun to increase with demand for space heating. The six-month heating season runs from October through March, and starting in December, gas prices have begun to rise above last year’s cost. According to Energy Information Administration (EIA), with cold temperatures gripping much of the country for the first half of December, the heating season is well under way with large storage withdrawals and higher prices during peak demand periods.
Nicor Gas is encouraging customers to make use of various programs which may ease household heating costs. Beyond budget and financial assistance options available through Nicor Gas, financial assistance, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), provided by the government is still available while funds last.
Nicor Gas has filed a January gas supply charge (GSC) of 68 cents per therm with the Illinois Commerce Commission, up 18 cents compared to December. The cost Nicor Gas pays for natural gas is passed through to customers with no mark-up as Nicor Gas does not make a profit on the cost of natural gas. Nicor Gas’ gas supply costs continue to be among the lowest in the nation.
As we enter the second half of the winter heating season, we want our customers to know there are programs available to help them manage their natural gas bills. Beyond financial assistance programs which have a household income threshold, the Nicor Gas Budget Plan is offered to help level some of the ups and downs of winter’s natural gas prices,
said Kevin Kirby, vice president of Customer Care for Nicor Gas.
Bill management assistance
The Nicor Gas Budget Plan is available to help customers plan ahead while minimizing the impact of natural gas price increases that usually take place during the colder months of the winter heating season. Payments are spread out over a 12-month period and periodically adjusted to correct for future gas prices and expected usage. Customers interested in signing up for the Budget Plan can call 1-888-Nicor4U (642-6748) or visit www.nicogras.com and click on
Managing Your Gas Costs.
Using energy wisely
Nicor Gas also offers many helpful resources, including the Energy Depot. The Energy Depot is accessible through Nicor Gas’ Web site at www.nicorgas.com and can be used to generate a personal energy profile as well as calculate the annual energy costs for customers’ complete range of home energy systems and appliances. Customers can also access tips on how to save money on their natural gas bills in
Keeping the Warmth in and the Cold Out,
a free guide on how to use energy wisely.
Financial help is available
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the State of Illinois. The program is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and assists households with incomes of up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level pay their energy bills. For more information about the program, visit www.liheapillinois.com or call the toll-free LIHEAP information line at 1-877-411-9276.
The Nicor Gas Sharing Program offers one-time annual grants to customers who currently earn between 150-200 percent of the federal poverty level. The program, administered by the Salvation Army, is funded by direct contributions from customers, employees and Nicor Gas. Customers who wish to make a donation and help other customers in need can do so via their monthly gas bill. If your natural gas bill is electronically transferred, you can call 1-888-Nicor4U (642-6748) or log on to your account at www.nicorgas.com to pledge a Sharing contribution. To apply for assistance from the Nicor Gas Sharing Program, customers should visit their local Salvation Army office.
Additional information about these programs can be found at www.nicorgas.com or by calling 1-888-Nicor4U (642-6748).
From the Jan. 13-19, 2010 issue.
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