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March gas rates skyrocket

20140303_2014GasPrices_blogIllinois natural gas users all woke up to a more expensive reality over the weekend. March gas rates for the utilities shot up, prompting CUB to call for the increases to be investigated.  

Peoples Gas customers will see their rates climb to a whopping 93 cents per therm.  North Shore will be at 88 cents per therm, and Nicor customers face a lower, but still significant, hike to 68 cents per therm. 

The March monthly rates represent 80, 55, and 33 percent increases from the last month!  Even Ameren customers will see their rates increase about 9 percent, to about 63 cents a therm. 

Under law, utilities do not profit off the actual price of gas. They are supposed to pass those costs onto customers, with no markup. But there is a yearly review of the utilities’ gas buying strategies, and state regulators can order refunds if a company did not do all it could to shield customers from high market prices. (That’s why CUB is calling for state regulators to look into the price spikes.) 

In the meantime, read our guide here on simple ways you can take action and save money.