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

Nicor has filed a $321 million rate hike request on Illinois customers — the fourth such request since 2017  — and People’s Gas has also filed a rate hike request with regulators.

Nicor Gas, which covers much of the northern Illinois area, made the request on Tuesday. The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) will render a decision on it.

Peoples Gas, which covers Chicago, made its $402 million request with the regulatory commission on Friday.

Nicor Gas previously asked for approximately $208 million in 2017, $230 million in 2018 and $293 million in 2021, according to the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), a non-partisan organization created by the Illinois General Assembly.

The latest approved rate hike was in 2021 at $240 million.

The CUB said Nicor Gas customers have seen their delivery rates increase by about 77%, or more than $500 million, in the last five years.

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Delivery rates, which take up about a third to a half of gas bills, are what Nicor charges customers to cover the costs of delivering gas to homes.

“The volatile natural gas prices combined with Nicor’s rapid rate hikes are causing hardship for the utility’s customers–we hear from far too many consumers across Illinois who are struggling to pay their bills and afford other necessities, like food, medicine and rent,” the CUB said in a statement.

The organization called for the state to begin moving toward “cleaner, more affordable alternatives” to natural gas.

Nicor said the rate hike is necessary due to inflation and global issues affecting their operating costs.

The company said it would raise residents’ gas bills by about $9.28 per month.