NAPERVILLE, IL. – January 12, 2023 – Beginning Monday, Jan. 16, income-eligible Nicor Gas residential customers can apply for a grant of up to $250 a year through The Salvation Army’s Shield of Caring program. The program is dedicated to assisting families that are past-due on their monthly natural gas bill and have a financial hardship such as a job loss, illness, military deployment, disability or other circumstance.
Last month, Nicor Gas announced an additional commitment of $5 million to the program to support customers struggling to pay their monthly natural gas bill or needing assistance with other basic necessities. The Salvation Army founded the program in 2021 with the support of Nicor Gas through an initial $5 million contribution to help those impacted by the global health and financial crises.
Residential customers with a household gross income in the last 30 days below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level can apply at www.shieldofcaring.com. If a customer is eligible to receive assistance grants from other programs, such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or the Sharing Program, they should apply for a grant from these programs first to maximize their benefits.
Customers who still have a past-due account balance after receiving assistance from those programs may be eligible to receive a grant of up to $250 a year under the Shield of Caring program.
During the first program year, The Salvation Army distributed $1.75 million in grants to support 8,000 customers with bill payment assistance and 9,500 families received basic needs support including winter coats, food boxes and emergency disaster services.
Since 1983, Nicor Gas has been proud to support The Salvation Army through its Sharing Program that offers bill payment assistance to eligible residential customers in need. The Sharing Program continues to operate as it has for nearly 40 years, with one-time annual grants of up to $500 for income-eligible residential customers.
Nicor Gas offers a variety of programs to help customers pay their natural gas utility bills. To better connect customers with available support options, the company is debuting the new Community Assistance Navigator. This free online resource provides customers with individualized recommendations including bill payment support, basic needs assistance and energy efficiency offerings. Customers can visit nicorgas.com/ccc to learn more.
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 2.3 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit 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 4.3 million natural gas customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with approximately 600,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other businesses include investments in interstate pipelines and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit southerncompanygas.com.