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Illinois gas utilities ring in the new year with higher rates

Illinois’ major gas utilities are kicking off 2021 by raising the price per therm for January. This across-the-board increase is on track with predictions made by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) at the beginning of this heating season.

The price per therm you’re paying for natural gas in January, also known as the Purchased Gas Adjustment, or PGA, is shown in the chart below. It includes PGAs from this month, last month and January 2020 for comparison. Hover your mouse over the graphic to show prices.

Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas had the largest increases, both jumping nearly 2 cents from December. Ameren increased its price by half a penny to 37.45 cents, and MidAmerican by just a tenth of a cent.

Nicor was the only major utility to not increase its rate. Instead, the northern Illinois utility kept its December price per therm: 29 cents. But from January 2020, Nicor’s rates have gone up 3 cents.

North Shore’s rates have gone up almost 8 cents per therm since the same time last year, and Ameren about 2 cents. Peoples Gas and MidAmerican maintained relatively similar rates to last January.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) anticipated this uptick in gas rates. In October last year, the organization predicted that natural gas bills across the Midwest could be about 8 percent higher than last winter. Warmer temperatures have moderated that prediction (it now stands at about 3 percent), but the EIA says it still expects higher prices in the coming winter months.  

Reminder: You cannot switch to another utility. Utility service territories are geographic: Your utility is determined by where you live. Nicor, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas can switch to alternative suppliers, but that market has been plagued by bad deals and rip-offs. The regulated utility prices, listed in this article, are probably your best bet.