Articles under City of Chicago Notice
Contact: David Schwartz
October 14, 2021
Nationwide natural gas price spike expected to mean higher heating bills this winter
CHICAGO — As we head into winter, Peoples Gas is letting customers know that their heating bills will likely rise as the temperatures fall — due to a nationwide spike in natural gas prices.
The price of natural gas has more than doubled this year and currently sits at the highest level in a decade. The increase is due mainly to tight supplies and a worldwide increase in demand for natural gas.
An analysis done by Peoples Gas predicts the typical residential customer will pay $60 more a month this winter compared to last winter. The analysis assumes typical winter weather. Natural gas is a pass-through expense; Peoples Gas does not earn a profit on the gas it purchases for its customers.
Working on behalf of customers
Peoples Gas uses a proactive, multi-pronged approach to make sure customers have the reliable and affordable energy they need, while limiting the impact of sudden price changes. The company buys and stores gas when it is typically lower priced, locks in guaranteed natural gas contracts at fixed prices, and purchases gas in the market. This approach will lower this winter’s gas costs for Peoples Gas customers by an estimated 20%.
In order to help customers in the greatest need, bill payment assistance is available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Share the Warmth program. To see if they are eligible and apply, Peoples Gas customers can call the Community Economic Development Association (CEDA) at 800-571-2332, or go to cedarorg.net.
Separate from this financial assistance, Peoples Gas will work with any customer to arrange a payment plan that best fits their needs, and to set up Budget Billing that keeps bills stable from month to month. Customers can all Peoples Gas or go to peoplesgasdelivery.com to discuss available options.
Managing energy use
Customers can take steps to manage their energy use by turning down their thermostats, using programmable thermostats, sealing gaps around windows and doors, and scheduling an annual furnace tune-up. Peoples Gas also offers free energy efficiency consultations. For more low and no cost energy-saving tips, go to peoplesgasdelivery.com/savings/.
The Department of Water Management reminds us that we still need to deal with stormwater in the fall and winter months. Stormwater management can greatly reduce backups and flooding in basements when water and waste in overwhelmed sewers have nowhere else to go. By reducing your water output during storms, making sure only rain goes down the drain, disposing of fats, oils, and greases properly and disconnecting your downspout you can help keep our sewers flowing and water out of your basement.
- Sweep up leaves from driveways, sidewalks, and streets.
- Clean roof gutters and drains of leaves.
- Keep nearby catch basin grates clear of yard waste and trash.
- Don’t litter or dump anything in storm drains. Storm drains are for rain only.
- Avoid running a dishwasher or washing machine during storms.
- Use a commercial car wash or wash your car over grass or gravel instead of on a driveway or in the street.
- Do not dump fats/oils/greases in private drains. · Disconnect your downspout from the sewer system. See DWM’s website for a guide on downspout disconnection.
- Before winter, empty your rain barrel and store in a garage or shed.