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The current LIHEAP season will end on Aug. 15, 2024. View more details here.

Energy Assistance Programs for Residential Customers

We believe everyone has the right to clean, safe and reliable natural gas. You deserve peace of mind when it comes to paying your bill. If you’re experiencing financial hardship and aren't able to pay your bill, explore the available energy assistance funds through the below programs or agencies. For additional help understanding your options, finding the right grant or understanding your bill, please call 888.642.6748. We're here to help and support you.

Did you know? Income-eligible customers also can submit applications for waivers of deposits and late payment fees through our self-certification form here without having to be approved for LIHEAP.


The federally funded energy assistance program helps low- and fixed-income families meet their energy needs during the winter heating season.  Contact your nearest Community Action Agency to enroll in LIHEAP to obtain the one-time grant.

LIHEAP enrollment will have the following priority periods for enrollment:

  • October 2, 2023 - Seniors, customers with disabilities and families with children under 5
  • November 1, 2023 - Customers who are disconnected or in imminent threat
  • December 1, 2023 – Open enrollment for everyone else

Percentage of Income Payment Plan

Through PIPP, eligible Nicor Gas customers pay a percentage of their monthly income to maintain utility service. The PIPP offers an affordable payment plan and a chance to eliminate past-due balances.

Currently closed for new PIPP applicants but people already enrolled on PIPP will continue on the program as normal.

Energy Aide Program

The Nicor Gas Energy Aide Program provides qualifying households with monetary relief for their natural gas bills. Eligibility is based on several factors, including household size and income.

Shield of Caring Program

The Shield of Caring Program provides up to $250 in grants for customers with past-due balances that meet income requirements.

Sharing Program

Our Nicor Gas Sharing Program, funded by our employees and customers and administered by The Salvation Army, offers bill payment assistance to income-eligible customers, including seniors and veterans.

Community Connection Center

The Nicor Gas Community Connection Center is a FREE service that connects you with a variety of support options including bill payment assistance, energy-saving offerings, basic needs assistance and so much more. If you need help finding assistance options or understanding what you qualify for, check out our Navigator tool or contact our team!

Do I Qualify for Energy Assistance?

Different assistance programs have different requirements. The main difference is the household income limit for each program. The table below shows the maximum gross monthly household income amounts to qualify for energy assistance programs.


Energy Assistance Income Guidelines

Family Size

LIHEAP Maximum Monthly Income 200%

Sharing Maximum Monthly Income 300%

Energy Aide Maximum Monthly Income 350%

Shield of Caring Maximum Monthly Income 400%



















































Budget Plan

Nicor Gas Budget Plan provides a convenient way for customers to plan for and pay their monthly natural gas bill. Customers pay a consistent amount every month for a 12-month period, allowing a credit balance to build up and help offset winter bills that may be higher due to increased natural gas usage.

How it Works

We calculate your monthly payment by estimating your natural gas use and gas prices for the next 12 months. We also take into account your current account balance. This total is then divided by 12 to arrive at your monthly Budget Plan payment amount. During the summer months, your Budget Plan payment amount will typically be higher than your actual bill. Paying this higher amount allows you to build up a credit balance, which is then used to offset higher winter bills. On the other hand, there may be months when the amount billed to your account is higher than the payments you've made.

Reevaluating Your Budget Plan Payment

If you miss a Budget Plan installment and your account has an overall budget deficit, a late payment charge will be assessed. The late payment charge is computed on the late installment only, not on the accumulated deficit amount. If you fall two payments behind, you will be removed from the Budget Plan. You may be reinstated by paying any unpaid installments.

Additional Support

United Way

Dial 211 to speak with a representative from the Illinois United Way Referral Center to learn about organizations in your area that have available assistance. You can also visit their website here to enter your zipcode and find your local contact. A map of service areas can be found here.

Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP)

Qualified low-income households can receive weatherization assistance to save energy and money. IHWAP helps income-qualified customers access affordable energy services and increase the quality and comfort in their homes. Free measures and upgrades may include:

  • Air sealing
  • Attic and wall insulation
  • Furnace repair and replacement

Eligibility depends on the combined household income of everyone living in the unit. Households with a combined income at or below 150% of the federal poverty level using State and HHS funds and those at or below 200% of the federal poverty level using DOE funding are eligible. Nicor Gas offers similar services for customers with income levels up to 80% of Area Median Income.

Contact the Community Action Agency for your area with any questions, to check if you’re eligible or to apply for assistance.

ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions

If you or someone you know is having trouble paying bills, reach out to ClearPoint, a national, nonprofit credit counseling agency at 800.251.2227 (866.616.3717 for Spanish) or visit (Usted puede visitar la versión del español Idioma del sitio haciendo clic aquí.)

Need a payment arrangement? 

In addition to energy assistance programs, we offer flexible payment arrangements. 
Call us at 888.642.6748 to make a payment arrangement.