Update: 3/20/2020 11 a.m.
Our customers’ wellbeing is central to every decision we make at Nicor Gas, especially as the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on our communities continue to unfold. In addition to voluntarily suspending service disconnections until May 1, we are adhering to the Illinois Commerce Commission order that was issued March 18 to waive late payment charges until May 1. Both these decisions help ensure that those who can’t pay their bills or whose jobs are affected by COVID-19 do not face the added hardship of interruption of services or consequences for late payments. We are assessing the needs of our communities on an ongoing basis to make sure we’re providing all the support we can, and when normal billing resumes, we will work with our customers to help them handle past-due obligations in a manageable way. In the meantime, we remind customers to visit nicorgas.com to learn more about financial assistance or payment programs available.
NAPERVILLE, Ill. – March 14, 2020 – In recognition that the evolving landscape surrounding the new coronavirus (COVID-19) may cause financial hardship for its customers impacted by employment changes or business slowdown, Nicor Gas voluntarily has suspended service disconnections for non-payment, effective immediately for both residential and commercial customers through May 1.
“As our communities face increasing challenges caused by the fallout of COVID-19, we know they will need our support,” said Melvin D. Williams, president of Nicor Gas. “We’re going to do our part by ensuring that every family and company in our community has the fuel they need to continue heating their homes, cooking their food, taking warm showers and running their businesses.”
Nicor Gas also wants to remind customers of energy assistance options available to support those impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. These include:
The Nicor Gas Sharing Program provides one-time grants to qualified residential customers. The program is administered by the Salvation Army and funded through direct contributions from Nicor Gas employees and customers who can make donations via their monthly gas bill payment.
The Nicor Gas Budget Plan provides a convenient way for customers to plan for and pay their monthly natural gas bill. Customers pay a more consistent amount by estimating natural gas usage and natural gas prices for the next year and adjusting quarterly to allow a credit balance to build up and help offset bills that may be higher during the winter heating season.
Nicor Gas’ Energy Efficiency Program helps customers manage their costs by lowering out-of-pocket expenses for energy efficiency improvements through rebates for energy efficient equipment, energy assessments and free energy-saving products. For more energy-saving tips, visit nicorgas.com/residential/ways-to-save.html.
For more information about each of these programs or help managing natural gas costs, please visit nicorgas.com/residential/billingandpaymentoptions/energy-assistance-programs.html.
Additionally, the application period continues through May 31 for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP). The federally funded energy assistance program helps low- and fixed-income families meet their energy needs during the winter heating season. Eligibility is based on several factors, including fuel type, geographic region, household size and income. The program also has reconnection assistance, which offers an additional monetary benefit to LIHEAP customers whose service is disconnected.
The program is open to all households with income up to 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, or about $38, 625 for a family of four. In Illinois, LIHEAP is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. For more information, or to locate a local application agency, call 877-411-9276 or visit liheapillinois.com.
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 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 approximately 700,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. 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 southerncompanygas.com.
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