In March, Nicor's gas supply charge will rise will rise a hefty 33%, from 51 cents per therm to 68 cents. Nicor says the increase was necessary because of changing market conditions, and they won't make any more profit off of it, but are simply passing along their increased costs.
Nonetheless, the timing could hardly be worse, with record-breaking low temperatures recorded all across the Stateline.
Recognizing some people will not be able to pay their gas bills, Nicor is encouraging them to investigate some home heating options.
Nicor Gas Sharing Program: Administered by the Salvation Army, provides one-time annual grants of up to $450 to eligible households. Contact your local Salvation Army for details and eligibility requirements.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): A tate and federally funded program that assists eligible low-income households pay with their winter heating bills. Go to www.liheapillinois.com <http://www.liheapillinois.com>, or call the toll-free LIHEAP information line at 1-877-411-9276.
Nicor Gas Budget Plan: A bill management program that minimizes the "peaks and valleys" in bills by allowing customers to pay the same amount every month for a 12-month period. Customers interested in enrolling in the budget plan should call 888-Nicor4U (888-642-6748).
More information on these and other options can be found at www.nicorgas.com