Home energy assistant program underway

10/26/2017, 9:59 a.m.
Long before thermostats turn from cool to heat, Nicor Gas is working to make energy as affordable as possible for ...

Long before thermostats turn from cool to heat, Nicor Gas is working to make energy as affordable as possible for its customers. But when temperatures drop, some household budgets cannot keep up with the demands of using more natural gas to heat their homes. Nicor Gas wants to remind customers who may be eligible for financial assistance of programs available that could help offset winter heating costs.

Enrollment for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is underway and will continue through May 31 or until funds are exhausted.

Currently, households with low-income seniors (60 and older) and people with permanent disabilities can apply. Beginning Nov. 1, low-income households with children under six years of age or those with services already disconnected can apply. And beginning Dec. 1, program registration will be open to all households with income up to 150 percent of the federal poverty guideline, or about $36,900 for a family of four. In Illinois, LIHEAP is administered by the Illinois Department Commerce and Economic Opportunity. For more information or to locate a local application agency, call 877-411-9276.

LIHEAP eligible households may also take advantage of the Percentage of Income Payment Plan. PIPP households pay a percentage of their income toward their utility bill, and receive a reduction in outstanding utility bills for every on-time payment made.

Other energy assistance program available to Nicor Gas customers are:

· Nicor Gas Sharing Program provides one-time annual grants to qualified residential customers. The program is administered by the Salvation Army and funded through direct contributions from Nicor Gas employees and customers who can make donations via their monthly gas bill payment.

· Nicor Gas Budget Plan provides a convenient way for customers to plan for and pay their monthly natural gas bill. Customers pay a consistent amount every month for a 12-month period, allowing a credit balance to build up and help offset winter bills that may be higher due to increased natural gas usage.

· Nicor Gas’ energySMART program helps customers manage their costs by lowering out-of-pocket expenses for energy efficiency improvements through rebates and a preferred contractor network, and free home energy assessments and energy saving products. For more energy-saving tips visit nicorgasrbates.com.

Every family deserves reliable energy at a price they can afford. For more information about each of these program or help managing natural gas costs, visit www.nicorgas.com/residential/energy-assistance.