Colder-than-Normal Temperatures Result in Higher Heating Costs
March 6, 2014
NAPERVILLE, Ill. – March 6, 2014 – Due to some of the coldest temperatures in nearly a decade, consumers are using more natural gas than they have in recent years to stay warm and comfortable. The increase in usage coupled with the rise in natural gas costs likely will lead to higher heating bills.
In March customers will see a gas supply charge (GSC) of $0.68 per therm. The $0.17 increase in the monthly gas supply charge from the previous month was filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission and represents changes in market conditions. The GSC reflects the actual cost of natural gas supplies the company purchases and passes along to customers without any markup.
Nicor Gas is encouraging customers who qualify for financial assistance to apply for funds available through a number of programs, including the Nicor Gas Sharing Program, designed to help struggling individuals and families manage their energy costs.
The program, administered by the Salvation Army, provides one-time annual grants of up to $450 to eligible households. The benefit, funded by direct contributions from customers, employees and Nicor Gas, is determined by several factors that include household income and size.
Customers also may apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a state and federally funded program that assists eligible low-income households pay with their winter heating bills. For additional information about the financial assistance program, go to www.liheapillinois.com, or call the toll-free LIHEAP information line at 1-877-411-9276.
Customers also can take advantage of a number of resources that can help them control their heating costs. One of them is the Nicor Gas Budget Plan, a bill management program that minimizes the "peaks and valleys" in their 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).
To limit the impact of higher energy use in homes and businesses, customers can take advantage of the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program. The program, which helps to manage costs by lowering out-of-pocket expenses for energy efficiency improvements and energy consumption, helps customers gain more control on how much natural gas they use and save. In addition to cash rebates up to $1,200, the program is now offering a new loan opportunity that allows eligible customers to finance the cost of energy-efficient equipment and improvements for their homes and conveniently apply those costs to their monthly Nicor Gas bills.
For more information about bill payment options, financial assistance and energy efficiency programs, visit the Nicor Gas website at www.nicorgas.com.
About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), is a natural gas distribution company that serves more than 2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit www.nicorgas.com.
About AGL Resources
AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services, midstream operations and cargo shipping. AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states. The company also serves approximately 630,000 retail energy customers and approximately 1.2 million customer service contracts through its SouthStar Energy Services joint venture and Pivotal Home Solutions, which market natural gas and related home services. Other non-utility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers through Sequent Energy Management, ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities, and ownership of Tropical Shipping, one of the largest containerized cargo carriers serving the Bahamas and Caribbean region. AGL Resources is a member of the S&P 500 Index. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.