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Bracing for winter? CUB is!

On Facebook this week we lamented what a difference three months can make when you're living in Illinois!

On Facebook this week we lamented what a difference three months can make when you’re living in Illinois!

At CUB we’re preparing for another busy winter. Are you ready?

In the first half of 2014, CUB’s crew handled 2,507 complaints/inquiries from gas and electric customers reeling from polar vortex price spikes. That’s a 79 percent increase from the previous year.

Despite this week’s burst of winter, the cold season isn’t expected to be as bad as last (hopefully). The federal government predicts gas/electric consumption and heating bills will be down a bit. But nobody thinks heating bills are low in Illinois. That’s where we come in.

In preparation for winter, follow CUB’s energy efficiency tips, join our free online utility-bill cutting service, CUB Energy Saver, and visit our special online Energy Efficiency center, a one-stop-shop for tips and incentives in Illinois. Also, most utilities provide financial assistance for families who are experiencing particular hardship paying utility bills. Check it out:

For all Illinois customers: 

  • The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, LIHEAP is designed to help eligible low-income households pay for winter energy service.

For customers in northern Illinois/Chicagoland

  • ComED CARE programs. ComEd’s programs provide financial assistance on electric bills for qualified  customers.
  • Peoples Gas Share the Warmth. Administered by the Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA), Share the Warmth provides heating grants to limited and fixed-income households. Eligible customers who make a payment toward their bills receive matching grants of up to $200. (North Shore Gas customers can click here).
  • Nicor Gas Sharing Program. Qualified residential customers can receive a one-time annual Sharing Grant of $350 or $400, with no requirement to pay back. The program is administered through the Salvation Army.

For customers in South or Central Illinois:

  • Warm Neighbors Cool Friends.  This Energy Assistance Foundation program provides year-round energy bill payment assistance and home weatherization to make harsh winters and hot summers bearable for families in need.  Eligible households can receive up to $700 a year to help pay for energy costs ($350 during the heating season and $350 during the cooling season).
  • Ameren Payment Assistance.  Ameren Illinois offers several forms of financial assistance, including  short-term, one-time payment extensions and fixed monthly payment agreements to settle past balances.