Gas meter
File Photo | Photo: mxmstryo (Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Nicor Gas customers will see a 10% reduction in gas prices for February, the company announced.

Nicor Gas, based in Naperville, filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission to reduce monthly gas prices to 55 cents per therm for February.

The new price is a 20% reduction since December, which was 68 cents per therm, and a 10% reduction from January, which was 61 cents per therm.

Gas prices skyrocketed this winter due to supply shortages and higher demand for the winter season.

Nicor Gas prices for January 2021 were 29 cents per therm and for this month they were 61 cents per therm — a 210% increase.

Jennifer Golz, a spokeswoman for Nicor, said the company has been working to reduce gas prices.

The new lower prices for February are the second consecutive monthly reduction that Nicor has passed.

Nicor files a gas supply charge with the Illinois Commerce Commission every month, Golz said.

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That charge is the per therm price customers pay for natural gas delivered by Nicor and consists of more than 50% of the typical residential customer’s bill.

Gas prices worldwide have been affected by supply and demand, dropping temperatures and economic inflation, Golz said.

Demand for gas across the country has also increased as more people work from home during the pandemic.

Nicor doesn’t profit from the sale of natural gas and the price Nicor pays to purchase it is a direct price passed onto its customers.

Golz said that Nicor’s recent gas supply reduction is partially due to measures the company takes through its storage system reserves.

“Had it not been for storage, more than one million homes and businesses in Northern Illinois would have been without this essential energy source in 2019 during the polar vortex that brought the coldest days recorded in a two-day period,” Golz said.

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Last year, Nicor provided over $50 million in energy assistance to customers through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Percentage of Income Payment Plan and the Sharing and Energy Aide programs.

Nicor also partners with The Salvation Army to provide gas bill payment emergency assistance and supports other needs like housing, rental and groceries, Golz said.

Golz offered the following tips to help manage winter heating bills:

  • Regularly replace air and furnace filters; most filters should be cleaned or replaced every 60-90 days. A clean filter will allow the system to run more efficiently.
  • Allow sunlight to heat your home naturally, and close curtains at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
  • Keep furniture, drapes, stuffed animals and other objects away from heating sources.
  • Adjust timer controls and programmable thermostats. Some older thermostats may not have an internal clock and need to be adjusted manually.
  • Winterize the home by finding and sealing leaks and replacing older, less energy-efficient gas appliances.
  • Repair windows that don’t close properly and replace single-pane windows with more efficient ones.
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“Nicor Gas customers expect and deserve natural gas service that’s clean, safe and reliable every day, including during winter weather and the cold temperatures that we are currently experiencing,” said John O. Hudson III, president and CEO of Nicor Gas.

“We’ve all been affected by the pandemic but our commitment to our customers’ wellbeing has never wavered. Our focus since before the pandemic has been compassion for our customers who need help and providing extra assistance options,” Hudson added.

Customers can visit www.NicorGas.com/EnergyAssistance to learn more about extra assistance programs.