Nicor customer refunds beginning this month

This month, Nicor Gas will begin issuing $72 million in refunds ordered by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) following a 10-year legal battle waged by CUB and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office.

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Nicor says the average homeowner will receive a total of about $30 paid out over the next 12 months, while business owners will receive about $100.

The refund won’t appear as a separate line item on bills, but will instead be factored in as a credit to the gas supply charge. Current Nicor customers who purchase natural gas from the utility—not an alternative supplier—will receive the refund.

Had it not been for a memo faxed to CUB by an anonymous Nicor whistleblower in 2003, the refund may never have happened. That fax led to an investigation by CUB uncovering Nicor’s scheme to mislead state regulators and ultimately bilk customers of about $300 million.

Nicor and CUB are appealing the ICC ruling before the Illinois Appellate Court—CUB to increase the refund and Nicor to reduce it. While those issues are worked out, the Appellate Court has issued a temporary stay on an $8 million portion of the refund Nicor disputes. For now, customers will begin to receive the remaining $64 million owed to them. CUB will keep you updated on Appellate Court action. 

Note: Thank you to all the people who commented on this post. We agree that the refund amount should be higher, and that’s why we’re continuing the fight before the Illinois Appellate Court. (To answer another comment, the refund does include interest.) And we hear your frustration about the refund not going to former Nicor customers or customers who have switched to an alternative gas supplier. That was part of the ICC’s final ruling. However, if a customer returns to Nicor Gas as his or her supplier at any point during the 12-month period of the refund, that customer would receive a pro-rated portion of the refund for the remainder of the 12 months.

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22 Responses to Nicor customer refunds beginning this month

  1. Shirley says:

    I have a $90.00 deposit on hand this most current bill. Where s my refund since July?

  2. Shirley says:

    I have a $90.00 deposit on hand this most current bill. Where s my refund since July?

  3. Pingback: Keeping up with $1.5 billion in Illinois rate-hike battles |

  4. Dawn Knill says:

    Since July, any new news on the Con Ed refund? Are they awarding a percentage of a total
    gas used, or how do they figure the refund?

  5. Andrew says:

    I called Nicor to schedule an upgrade of my meter (installing back-up generator). The service representative, Kathy, stated that Nicor will mail the application to start the process. I have to fill it out and then mail it back to them. Nicor will review it and then mail me a response. Subsequently, an appointment will be sheduled to replace the meter. By then hell will have frozen over and weather impacted work cannot be completed. When I asked if this application can be downloaded from the Nicor website, the answer was NO; if it can be completed on line, the answer was NO; If Kathy knew of the how long this process may take (normally, ususally, on the average, based on past Nicor data, based on actuaries, MBAs, service employees, tea leaves reading …), the response was NO ONE KNOWS. I guess the only thing left in “customer service representative” is the “representative” part, because the customer service was non-existent. Is Nicor really such a paleolithic, backward organization? Perhaps this and other complaints will force Nicor to evolve into a 21st century company.

  6. Diane Taylor says:

    NICOR issued my husband a check in April for $91.25 because of some court decision. He deposited it and now they have charged it back to our account because we received help from LIHEAP. Now they are going to disconnect our gas unless we pay the additional $91.25 with our current balance of $142.00.

  7. Frank says:

    Will the company pay interest on the money from the date they collected it until they refund it?

    • Jim Chilsen says:

      Hi Frank: Thanks for your question. Just checked with the legal team. The refund amount DOES include interest.

  8. Sandy Dean says:

    YES..How do previous Nicor customers get reimbursed?.!

    • Jim Chilsen says:

      Hi Sandy. Thanks for your question. The refund is only going to current Nicor customers. It was part of the ICC’s final ruling. We’ll update the blog with a note at the end to address some questions by consumers.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Are you serious!! If you are presently signed up with another supplier you won’t get the money they gouged from you? It’s only been a year since I signed with another company BECAUSE IT’S SAVING ME $$! Certainly they can’t hold back all the previous years when I was paying Nicor. This smells of blackmail to me – punishment for signing up for a cheaper plan. This country is going downhill fast!!

    • Jim Chilsen says:

      Thanks for your comment. We hear your frustration! That was part of the ICC’s final ruling.

      • David says:

        That’s terrible! In just signed with an alternate supplier and I’m waiting for my first bill from them. Is there a date at which customers must be a customer of Nicor to get the refund?

      • Jim Chilsen says:

        Hey David: We just found out from Nicor that if a customer returns to Nicor Gas as his or her supplier at any point during the 12-month period of the refund, that customer would receive a pro-rated portion of the refund for the remainder of the 12 months.

  10. INGRID CLARK DOBBS says:

    Just like they wanted cash when I paid my bill , I want cash for my payment

    • Jim Chilsen says:

      You and me both! In such refund cases, it is typical for the money to be flowed back to the consumer as a credit on bills. If I were in charge I would prefer cash in hand–but I’ll gladly take the credit!

  11. Roy says:

    That’s mighty generous of Nicor, but we were gouged for way more than that in the Winter of 2000 – 2001 and I have the copies of my billing to prove it. How can they get away with such outright thievery of their customers and get away with it?

    • Jim Chilsen says:

      Thanks, Roy. Your comment just reinforces why we’re fighting for a higher refund before the Illinois Appellate Court. You know, Nicor tried for years to avoid a refund, and at one point said customers owed it $6 million. So the $72 million is a step forward. But we’re not satisfied. We’ve already battled for 10 years, and we’ve got fight left in us!

  12. David says:

    I just signed up with a consortium supplier and should be getting my first bill any day now. Will I be getting the refund?
    David

    • Jim Chilsen says:

      Thanks for your question, David. Under the ICC ruling, the refund is only going to people who have Nicor as their gas supplier. That’s frustrating for people who have switched to another supplier. Hopefully, your savings will be greater with the new company.

  13. Pat says:

    How do previous Nicor customers get reimbursed?

    • Jim Chilsen says:

      Hi Pat. Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, the refund only goes to current Nicor customers. That was part of the ICC’s final ruling.

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