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Cold winter = refund on gas bills

Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas customer will receive a $33.5 million refund this year due to the unusually cold winter.

Customers should expect to see a monthly credit on their bill, starting this month and ending in December.  Total average refunds will reach $29.50 for Peoples customers and $23 for North Shore customers, according to the companies’ parent, Integrys Energy Group.

The refund is due to a cost adjustment mechanism requested by utility companies that was approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in 2008 and affirmed by the Illinois Supreme Court this year.  Based on these regulatory measures, customers receive refunds on gas bills when weather is colder than normal.  On the other hand, if temperatures are warmer than normal, companies can collect more in subsequent months, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In total, by the end of this year, Peoples Gas will have refunded almost $50 million and North Shore Gas will have refunded nearly $9.2 million since 2008.

Who would have thought there was a silver lining to this terrible winter?