Prepare to Pay: Nicor Proposes Massive Rate Hike

By Grant McCormick, The Chicago Times

January 06, 2023

NAPERVILLE, IL – Nicor Gas has filed for a hefty rate increase that will further empty consumer’s pockets in northern Illinois.  According to a Nicor filing, the company is requesting to increase rates by $321 million, which if approved, would force consumers to pay an extra $9.30 per month starting next January.

“Nicor’s rate-hike request is a gut punch to consumers who are in their second consecutive winter of painfully high gas bills. Enough is enough. CUB will review Nicor’s excessive request and we will fight every penny the utility can’t justify.” said David Kolata, Executive Director, Citizens Utility Board in a press release.

The CUB press release also pointed out that this is the fourth rate hike Nicor has requested since 2017. Nicor had asked in 2017 for a $208 million increase followed by $230 million in 2018 and $293 million in 2021.

“Nicor Gas customers have seen their delivery rates increase by about 77 percent, or more than $500 million, in the last five years. That includes the largest gas rate hike in Illinois history: $240 million in 2021. Now, Nicor–whose parent company rakes in billions of dollars in profits–is back at the table asking for another record rate hike from its customers.” said Kolata.

Kolata also warned consumers using alternative suppliers will still be charged Nicor’s delivery charge, which makes up about a third of consumer bills.  Consumers should beware of sales representatives claiming the rate hike can be avoided by choosing an alternative gas supplier.

According to CUB, Nicor is Illinois’ largest gas supplier serving 2.2 million residential, public sector, and business customers.  Southern Company, which owns Nicor, reported a recorded $3.6 billion in profits for the first nine months of 2022.