Press Release from Nicor Gas - Winter Heating Season Has
For More Information Contact: Richard Caragol,
National experts forecast an 18% increase in residential
gas cost over last year. Nicor Gas customers should
take appropriate steps to manage their heating costs this
winter as natural gas prices remain volatile. The U.S.
Energy Information Administration (EIA) is predicting an 18%
increase in residential gas cost over the same period,
October -March, of last year.
Nicor Gas has filed an October gas supply cost (GSC) of
$0.81 per therm with the Illinois Commerce Commission, down
3 cents compared to September. The increase predicted
by the EIA will apply to only one part of customers' bills,
natural gas cost or gas supply cost (GSC).
Customer bills are broken down into three parts; GSC,
delivery charge, and taxes. The largest part of a
customers' bill, 75-80%, is the cost of natural gas which
Nicor Gas makes no profit on as this cost is passed along to
customers without mark-up. The delivery charge,
15-20%, is the cost to deliver the gas, maintain and upgrade
the transportation system, respond to emergencies, provide
customer service, as well as other operating expenses.
The remaining portion of customers' annual bill, 5-10%, is
state and local taxes.
"As natural gas prices are volatile, it is difficult to
predict with any certainty what gas costs will be during the
heating season. Nicor Gas believes in the importance
of providing a variety of bill payment programs, financial
assistance options, and energy efficiency tools and tips
that will allow customers greater control of their energy
usage and cost," said Kevin Kirby, Vice President Customer
Care for Nicor Gas.
Bill Management Options
Nicor Gas Budget Plan
The Nicor Gas Budget Plan provides a convenient way for
customers to pay their natural gas bill every month as well
as a great payment option for customers who like to plan
ahead. Payments are spread out over a 12-month period
and periodically adjusted to correct for future gas prices
and expected usage. Customers interested in signing up
for the Budget Plan can caII1-888-Nicor4U (1 888642-6748) or
visit the company Web site at
Deferred Payment Arrangement (DPA)
Customers who have fallen behind on their bills should
contact Nicor Gas immediately. A deferred payment
arrangement allows customers the ability to catch up on
their past due amounts over a specified period of time
spreading the cost of payments across future bills.
Contacting Nicor Gas early and establishing a DP A will
maintain customers service without disruption.
Eligible customers who are currently disconnected for
non-payment can contact Nicor Gas for the opportunity to
have service restored by paying one-third of the total past
due balance and be set up with payment arrangements to
payoff the remaining balance over the next four months.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Plan (LIHEAP)
LIHEAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services and the State of Illinois and is administered
by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family
Services. This year funding was increased by the federal
government to provide help to more families. To qualify,
household monthly income cannot exceed 150 percent of the
federally established poverty level. For more
information or to apply for assistance, go to
www.liheapillinois.com, or call the toll-free LIHEAP
information line at 1-877-411-WARM (1-877-411-9276).
Using Energy Wisely
Customers can access an entire host of online tips and
www.nicorgas.com that can help guide them on how to use
Nicor Gas is one of the nation's largest gas distribution
companies. Owned by Nicor Inc. (NYSE: GAS) a holding
company, Nicor Gas has provided safe and reliable natural
gas services for over 50 years. The Company serves more than
two million customers in a service territory that
encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois,
excluding the city of Chicago. For more information on Nicor