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CUB reacts to $230 million Nicor rate-hike request

This is a statement by CUB on Nicor’s rate-hike request:

In the same year Nicor Gas won a $93.5 million rate hike, it’s now asking for a brand new $230 million increase. This is the largest natural gas rate-hike request CUB has seen in 35 years of fighting for Illinois consumers, and it’s fueled by an outrageous profit rate for shareholders of 10.6 percent. Nicor’s rate-hike announcement is one big lump of coal for suburban Chicago customers heading into the holiday season. We will fight every penny Nicor can’t justify.

Background:

  • On Friday, November 9, Nicor Gas filed for a $230,027,000 ($230 million) delivery rate hike. Nicor is the state’s largest natural gas utility, serving 2.2 million residential, public sector and business customers in more than 650 communities throughout northern Illinois.
  • The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) will rule on the request in about 11 months.
  • If the rate hike is approved, Nicor says the average residential customer will pay about $5.36 more per month.
  • According to CUB’s initial review of the filing, Nicor’s request will increase the residential monthly customer charge by about 29 percent, to more than $20 per month, and increase the per therm delivery charge by about 60 percent, to about 7.5 cents per therm.
  • This will impact delivery rates, which take up about a third to a half of gas bills. It’s what Nicor charges customers to cover the costs of delivering gas to homes—plus a profit.
  • Warning: Even customers who pay an alternative gas supplier still pay Nicor’s delivery charges. So customers should beware of any sales representative who says they can avoid the rate hike by going with an unregulated supplier. All customers would pay these higher rates.
  • Note: In January of 2018, Nicor was granted a $93.5 million rate hike.
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