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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.Nicor4U (642.6748). We're here to help and support you.

Current Energy Assistance Information

For Nicor Gas-specific energy assistance programs, the most accurate and up-to-date information will always be here on our website. Below you will find details on a few of the programs we offer for residential customers. 

$10 million in bill payment assistance is available for qualified residential customers as part of Nicor Gas’ COVID-19 Bill Payment Assistance Program

Income-eligible residential customers who earn up to 300% of the federal poverty guidelines, or about a monthly gross income of $6,438 for a family of four, are eligible to automatically receive a one-time grant of up to $300, while funding is available, to help pay their past-due account balance.

Funds available in the current COVID-19 Bill Payment Assistance Program provide grants up to $300 to customers who received LIHEAP or Nicor Gas Sharing Program assistance during the 2020-2021 heating season. 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 are applied to their account, a grant from the current COVID-19 Bill Payment Assistance Program grant will be automatically applied to a customer’s outstanding balance.

If eligible customers received a partial grant last year for arrearages (that may have been below the $300 limit) and if they are in need again, Nicor Gas is automatically applying an additional grant up to the $300 limit to their accounts. Eligible customers who have past-due balances now and didn’t receive a grant last year, will be credited the full $300.

To receive this Nicor Gas grant, eligible customers must first apply and be approved for a federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or Nicor Gas Sharing Program grant, below.

  • LIHEAP: Contact your nearest Community Action Agency to enroll in LIHEAP to obtain the one-time grant. Click here for more details.
  • The Nicor Gas Sharing Program: Contact your local Salvation Army office to enroll in the Sharing Program to obtain the one-time grant. Click here for more details.
The application period for LIHEAP continues through May 31. The federally funded energy assistance program helps low- and fixed-income families meet their energy needs during the winter heating season. 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 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, income guidelines are based on a sliding scale based on family size. For more information, or to locate a local application agency, call 877-411-9276 or visit liheapillinois.com.

 

Utility Disconnection Avoidance Program (UDAP)

More than $8.1 million is available to apply to past-due account balances through a second phase of the Nicor Gas Bill Payment Assistance Program. All residential customers with past-due balances $300 and greater will automatically receive a grant toward their account balances. The Utility Disconnection Avoidance Program expands the number of households eligible for relief to include current and former Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) customers who are at risk for utility service disconnection due to inability to pay. Those eligible may receive the additional one-time bill credit of at least $250 and up to a maximum of $5,000 through UDAP. Nicor Gas has applied UDAP credits totaling $10.1 million to nearly 14,500 eligible customer accounts.

Grants were applied to customer accounts Friday, May 7, as follows:

  • Residential customers $300 - $1K in arrearages received a fixed grant of $99.64
  • LIHEAP enrolled customers with account arrearages will automatically receive grants from Nicor Gas’ COVID-19 Bill Payment Assistance Program. 

Additional energy assistance programs for Nicor Gas customers include:

  • Nicor Gas Sharing Program provides one-time annual 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.
  • Nicor Gas Energy Aide Program provides one-time grants up to $250 eligible residential customers with past due balances. The grants to not need to be repaid. 
  • 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.
  • Nicor Gas residential customers also can enroll in a 24-month deferred payment plan until July 31. The Nicor Gas website has more information about residential billing and payment options, additional assistance programs and resources.

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. 

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.

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Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Qualifying low-income households can receive assistance in one annual payment for energy bills. LIHEAP assistance does not need to be paid back.

Important: The annual enrollment period for LIHEAP ends May 31, 2021

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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.

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Sharing Program

The Nicor Gas Sharing Program provides qualifying households with monetary relief for their natural gas bills. Eligible customers can receive a Sharing Grant of either $350 or $400. Elements of the Nicor Gas Sharing Program differ depending on age. 

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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 credability.org. (Usted puede visitar la versión del español Idioma del sitio haciendo clic aquí.)

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.

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