(CBS) – Customers of Peoples Gas should brace for an increase or two.
First off, Peoples Gas will increase your bill by 41 cents per therm, which will mean the gas bill the average household will rise more than $50 in March. The utility says it's necessary to cover climbing costs for natural gas.
Peoples Gas is also requesting an increase of $5 a month, starting next year.
The utility says it needs that monthly increase to cover maintenance. It says this winter's frigid polar vortices caused a strain on the system and its pipes.
The Citizens Utility Board condemned the cost increase to customers.
Peoples Gas and Nicor said customers can get help with heating bills by applying for federal LIHEAP funds, or Share The Warmth grants, two programs available to low-income families to help pay heating costs. The programs are administered by the Community and Economic Development Association in Cook County, and the Community Action Partnership of Lake County.
Customers also can call Peoples Gas at 866-556-6001, or North Shore Gas at 866-556-6004 to ask about payment plans and energy efficiency tips to lower their bills.
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