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More than $4 million remain in COVID-19 Bill Payment Assistance Program

Resources and assistance options available, customers do not have to wait for disconnect notice

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Sept. 24, 2020 – Nicor Gas is reminding its residential customers that more than $4 million remains available to assist those who may be affected by the ongoing pandemic and have a past due balance. More than 20,000 Nicor Gas customers with accounts that were in arrears have been recipients of the one-time grant of up to $300 as part of the COVID-19 Bill Payment Assistance Program.

“As the seasons change, it is important our customers and communities know we’re here to help keep their homes warm and families safe,” said John O. Hudson III, president and CEO of Nicor Gas. “The pandemic continues to evolve and so do the resources we are making available to our customers to ensure they receive the safe, clean, reliable and affordable natural gas they deserve.”

To qualify for the COVID-19 Bill Payment Program, customers must first enroll in LIHEAP or the Nicor Gas Sharing Program. Customers with account balances do not need to wait for a shut-off notice to apply. Once customers are qualified for either one of the programs and funds applied to their account, the COVID-19 Bill Payment Assistance Program grant will be automatically applied to a customer’s outstanding balance, up to $300. 

Income guidelines are on a sliding scale based on family size. LIHEAP registration is currently underway and available to households with income up to 200% of the federal poverty guideline, or about $52,400 annually for a family of four. For single member households, the maximum gross monthly income to qualify is only $2,127.

The Nicor Gas Sharing Program provides annual grants up to $400 depending on income and family size. Residential customers with a Nicor Gas bill may qualify if their gross monthly income is below 300% of the federal poverty guideline, or $6,550 per month for a family of four – that’s $78,600 annually. The Sharing Program is administered by The Salvation Army and funded through direct contributions from Nicor Gas customers and employees.

“We have seen an unprecedented increase in the number of individuals seeking help with making ends meet,” said Harold Rice, Jr., CEO and president of CEDA, one of the largest Community Action Agencies in the country that serves Cook County, Illinois residents. “We recognize the urgent, critical need our neighbors have as they are struggling to pay utility bills, and we remain committed to ensuring every family has peace of mind during these challenging times.” 

For more information or to find a local Community Action Agency, visit nicorgas.com/energyassistance.

Other Nicor Gas customer support programs include:

  • The Nicor Gas Energy Aide Program: Eligible customers also can receive an Energy Aide grant up to $250 toward past due balances. This grant is administered by select local agencies, and customers are not required to pay back the grant.
  • Paying balances in monthly installments, no down payment: Nicor Gas is offering customers the opportunity to pay off past due account balances in 24 monthly installments, without a down payment. This self-service option is available 24/7 by visiting the My Account webpage or by calling Nicor Gas at 888.Nicor4U (642.6748). Residential customers who currently have an active payment agreement may renegotiate their terms to 24 monthly installments, and terms may be renegotiated if a customer’s financial situation changes or they default after enrollment.
  • Service disconnections: Nicor Gas voluntarily has suspended service disconnections for non-payment for residential customers through March 31, 2021. Additionally, Nicor Gas will waive reconnection fees and restore service for residential customers who were disconnected for nonpayment up to one year prior to June 18, 2020 upon request by the customer.
  • Options for commercial and industrial customers: Nicor Gas also is offering commercial and industrial sales service customers an opportunity to enroll in more flexible payment arrangements for a limited period. For more information, visit the COVID-19 Business Resource Center

For information about COVID-19 and your natural gas service, visit nicorgas.com/covid-19.

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About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.2 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 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 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with 774,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at southerncompanygas.com

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Media Contact:
Jennifer Golz
o: 630.388.3737  |  c: 331.222.8716 |  jgolz@southernco.com