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Nicor Gas offers more than $10M in bill payment assistance

The natural gas distributor said the program provides eligible residential customers financially affected by the ongoing pandemic.
Paying your bill
Paying your bill(KOTA)
Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 10:51 AM CDT
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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (WIFR) - Nicor Gas is providing more than $10 million in bill payment assistance to customers through its COVID-19 Bill Payment Assistance Program.

In an announcement Friday, the natural gas distributor said the program provides eligible residential customers financially affected by the ongoing pandemic with bill payment assistance.

“We recognize that many of our customers across the communities we serve are still facing economic uncertainty and hardship caused by the pandemic,” John O. Hudson III, president and CEO of Nicor Gas said. “Our hope is this $10 million in bill payment assistance provides the customers who need it most with some relief that the clean, safe, reliable natural gas they expect will be there, freeing up family funds to put food on the table and meet additional needs.”

The Nicor Gas COVID-19 Bill Payment Assistance Program began with $7.5 million in funding when the program started last year in response to the pandemic. Since then, more than $6 million in financial assistance has been distributed to eligible residential customers, including the latest round of more than $2 million since March 1 that has been automatically credited to 15,000 customer accounts, according to Nicor Gas.

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, according to Nicor Gas.

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.

A stipulation approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission will allow Nicor Gas to request approximately $8 million in additional funding for the COVID-19 Bill Payment Assistance Program. Once approved by the ICC, grants up to $500 will be available for the hardest hit customers who are facing possible service disconnections. The additional bill payment assistance also will support commercial customers and reconnection assistance for eligible residential customers, according to Nicor Gas.

In addition to these programs, Nicor Gas residential customers 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.

For information about the Nicor Gas COVID-19 Bill Payment Assistance Program, visit here.

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