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Natural gas rates: What will you pay in May?

20140430_peoplesgasrates_fbIt’s a sad state of affairs when Chicago’s gas rates are down–but still at their highest May price this decade.

It doesn’t appear that utilities have posted final May prices on their websites, so CUB scanned tariff filings on the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) website to come up with some preliminary figures, at least until the utilities confirm them:

  • Peoples Gas: 84.58 cents per therm (down 29 percent from $1.19 in April).
  • North Shore Gas: 91.99 cents per therm (down 24 percent from $1.21 in April).
  • Nicor Gas: 68 cents per therm (after increasing 17 cents a therm from February to March, Nicor’s rate has stayed the same the last three months).
  • Ameren Illinois: 65.764 cents per therm (down from 66.66 cents per therm in April).

While we’re glad that prices (hopefully) are trending downward, these rates are still not exactly easy on the wallet. Peoples’ 85 cents per therm price is about 80 percent higher than its price this past January, and its rate last May, according to CUB’s Natural Gas Price Checker.

CUB recently released its Facts on Natural Gas Prices to help answer questions about why these prices are so outrageous and what to do to reduce the damage on your bill (spoiler: practice energy efficiency!). It’s more important than ever to arm yourself with the facts, especially as the market becomes ripe for rip-offs with these high rates.

The lower May rate hopefully signifies the beginning of the end for “polar vortex” natural gas prices. C’mon, it’s May: Time to start worrying about our electric bills!