Good news for Peoples, North Shore Gas non-heating customers!

Peoples and North Shore Gas non-heating customers will see lower bills.

Peoples and North Shore “cooking gas” customers will see lower bills beginning this month.

As a Chicago renter who only uses natural gas to cook, I’ve often asked, “Why is my bill $50!?” I only use a few therms a month, and gas prices are in the neighborhood of 50 cents a therm—relatively low compared to past years.

I’m hoping that’s about to change. One of the silver linings to a recent $64 million rate hike is that non-heating customers like me will actually see their bills go down.

Until this month, residential Peoples and North Shore Gas customers paid a flat “customer charge” of about $22 a month—that’s before they used any gas at all.

For non-heating customers, who are typically billed bi-monthly, that customer charge made up the bulk of the bill.

Under the new rate structure, however, I’ll pay a customer charge of about $14—a savings of around $8 a month, or $16 on the bi-monthly bill. That’s good news for me and other non-heating customers.

But CUB is still appealing the rate hike, because we thought it was excessive.  In fact, our analysis shows Peoples Gas owes its customers a rate cut of nearly $2 million. Unfortunately, the current ruling means Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas heating customers will see their customer charges increase to about $27 and $24, respectively.

While non-heating customers will see an increase in the distribution charge—the per-therm charge for the delivery of the natural gas itself—that increase is far outweighed by the decrease in the customer charge.

See CUB’s fact sheet for a full listing of Illinois natural gas rates.

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About Patrick Deignan

CUB Communications and Media Planner
This entry was posted in Natural Gas, Saving Money and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Good news for Peoples, North Shore Gas non-heating customers!

  1. Bob Flanary says:

    My plan is to go all electric. I am planning to eventually install a geothermal heat pump and replace my gas oven with an electric one. Gas stoves put a lot of pollution into your home and they are a significant cause of home fires. An all electric home heated with a geothermal unit is considerably less expensive in terms of utility costs than one heated with gas. The $25 per month customer charge (you pay tax on the customer charge) is excessive and is a result of the gas lobbyists getting their way. A fair customer charge would be $10 per month or less.

  2. Chicagoan says:

    Just got my new bill – I have been complaining about this for years (In fact, that’s why I joined CUB in the first place!) Thanks CUB for getting this done.

    Thanks also to Annette for confirming the change and pointing out the article here!

  3. Jim Chilsen says:

    No problem, glad we could help! Patrick, on our staff, is a cooking gas customer and he noticed the big difference in the customer charge when he was updating our fact sheet on gas rates.

  4. Raekwon says:

    Nice! Thanks for the info!

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