Most major Illinois gas utilities are again increasing their prices, the lingering effects of extreme cold that hit the nation for a brief period over the winter and caused prices in Illinois to skyrocket.
A few utilities lowered prices, but most natural gas customers will see their rates go up. And for many the prices are double, even triple what they were last spring. The price per therm you’ll pay for natural gas in May, also known as the Purchased Gas Adjustment, or PGA, is shown in the chart below. It includes PGAs from this month, last month and May 2020 for comparison. Hover your mouse over the graphic to show prices.
Illinois Gas had the largest increase, about 10 cents, from last month’s 21.63 cents per therm. Peoples Gas customers will see a jump in price of about 7 cents to 53.23 cents per therm, and North Shore’s rate also increased slightly to 44.07 cents per therm. Consumers Gas, Liberty Utilities and MidAmerican all increased their rates by a few pennies. MidAmerican currently has the highest price per therm at 67.18 cents.
Ameren and Mount Carmel both lowered their rates from April–drops of one cent and 15 cents, respectively. Despite a price decrease, Ameren’s current rate of 65.84 cents is still more than double what the utility was charging last May–29.93 cents.
The price per therm for Nicor Gas held constant from last month at 53 cents.
These dramatically high rates are a result of a winter storm that hit large sections of the country in February. Bitter cold froze natural gas pipelines and wellheads in the South, limiting the country’s gas supply and simultaneously increasing demand.
CUB is monitoring prices offered by alternative gas suppliers in the wake of the storm, but everyone who lives in Nicor Gas territory or North Shore/Peoples Gas territory should pick up their bills to see if they are overpaying with an alternative supplier. If you do have a supplier and you’re overpaying, call the company and ask to cancel the offer and go back to the utility. (Call CUB’s Consumer Hotline, if you have any questions: 1-800-669-5556.)
And if you’re having trouble paying your bills, please contact your utility immediately. Consumer protections are in place to help consumers pay their bills and avoid disconnection. (Read our fact sheets in English and Spanish.)