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Priority Enrollment for Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) Begins Sept. 1

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Aug. 29, 2016 – As the seasons change and temperatures begin to fall, Nicor Gas wants to remind senior and disabled customers who may be eligible for financial assistance to take advantage of funds available that help offset winter heating costs. Beginning Sept. 1, qualifying customers can apply for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) prior to the general enrollment period. Families with children five or under and customers with interrupted services can enroll beginning Oct. 1. General enrollment for all other qualified customers will begin Nov. 1.

Administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, LIHEAP is a federal block grant that provides resources to states to help low-income families meet their energy assistance needs. The program, which provides heating assistance to low- and fixed-income residents, including working families with young children and senior citizens, allows a one-time annual payment to help offset a consumer’s energy costs.

Under the income guidelines for LIHEAP, a household’s combined monthly income for the 30 days prior to application may not exceed 150 percent of the federally established poverty level as shown in the chart below. For more information about LIHEAP or to locate a local application agency, residents can call 877.411.9276 (WARM).

Illinois LIHEAP Income Guidelines
Family Size
 30 Day Income
Annual Income
 1  $1,485  $17,820
 2  $2,003  $24,030
 3  $2,520  $30,240
 4  $3,038  $36,450
 5  $3,555  $42,660
 6  $4,073  $48,870
 7  $4,591  $55,095
 8  $5,111  $61,335

The Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) program also will be available starting Sept. 1 for LIHEAP eligible households. Under PIPP, eligible households pay a percentage of their income toward their utility bill, supplemented by a monthly benefit. Participating households are eligible for a reduction in outstanding utility bills for every on-time payment they make. LIHEAP and PIPP are funded as part of the stopgap funding plan signed into law by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.

Another program available is the Nicor Gas Sharing Program, which provides a one-time annual grant to qualified residential customers. Administered by the Salvation Army, the Sharing Program is funded by direct contributions from Nicor Gas’ customers and employees. Customers can make donations via their monthly gas bill payment.

The Sharing Program includes special programs designed for disabled veterans and customers in crisis situations. Eligible customers earning between the 150 percent to 300 percent Federal Poverty Level (FPL) can receive a Sharing Grant up to $350 or $400 depending on their age and account balance.

Nicor Gas customers have been able to apply for Sharing assistance through the Salvation Army since 1983. Over the last two years, the program has assisted more than 2,200 households in northern Illinois.

Customers are required to apply in person at a local Salvation Army office. For those who have been approved for a Sharing grant, the Salvation Army will make payments to Nicor Gas on their behalf.

Sharing Eligibility Guidelines
 Family Size
Minimum Gross Monthly Income (%150) Maximum Gross Monthly Income (%250)
Max. Gross Monthly Income (%300) Crisis Only
 1  $1,485  $2,475  $2,970
 2  $2,003  $3,338  $4,005
 3  $2,520  $4,200  $5,040
 4  $3,038  $5,063  $6,075
 5  $3,555  $5,925  $7,110
 6  $4,073  $6,788  $8,145
 7  $4,591  $7,652  $9,183
 8  $5,111  $8,519  $10,223

For more detailed information about programs available to Nicor Gas customers, visit www.nicorgas.com.

About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of seven natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.1 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 Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.5 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in seven states and more than 1 million retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at www.southerncompanygas.com.

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Media Contact
Jae Miller
o: 630.388.2208
c: 224.239.9354
janmille@southernco.com