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CUB’s monthly report on gas volatility: June 2024

Gas utilities file supply prices–called the Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA)–each month with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). Here’s what we uncovered in our review of June prices.

  • Compared with last month, six major utilities are charging prices that are higher, ranging from about 2 percent (Ameren) to 65 percent (Mr. Carmel). Two are charging prices that are lower, ranging from about 1 percent (North Shore) to 24 percent (Liberty). One gas utility, Nicor, is charging the same price it did in April and May: 34 cents per therm.
  • The prices are much lower than they were during the spike of a few years ago, thankfully, but in some cases they have jumped significantly since 2023. Compared with June of last year, prices for six of the utilities this month are higher, including an 18 percent increase (Ameren Illinois) on the low end and a whopping 280 percent jump (Consumers Gas) on the high end. Illinois Gas customers are for the third straight month suffering a high increase: 59 percent in April, 97 percent in May, and 128 percent in June. Three utilities are charging lower prices than last year, ranging from a 2 percent decrease for MidAmerican, a 13 percent reduction for Nicor Gas and a 54 percent drop for Liberty Utilities.

Below are the PGAs for June and how they compare with last year.

Ameren Illinois– 47.76 cents per therm (up about 18 percent from June 2023)
Consumers Gas– 50.55 cents per therm (up about 280 percent from June 2023)
Illinois Gas– 44.02 cents per therm (up about 128 percent from June 2023)
Liberty Utilities– 43.97 cents per therm (down about 54 percent from June 2023)
MidAmerican Energy– 44.84 cents per therm (down about 2 percent from June 2023)
Mt. Carmel– 25.38 cents per therm (up about 87 percent from June 2023)
Nicor Gas– 34 cents per therm (down about 13 percent from June 2023)
North Shore Gas– 34.18 cents per therm (up about 28 percent from June 2023)
Peoples Gas– 28.15 cents per therm (up about 20 percent from June 2023)

Note: Your utility is determined by where you live, so you cannot switch from one utility to another.

Under Illinois law, gas utilities are not allowed to profit off supply prices—they pass those costs from gas producers and marketers onto customers with no markup. State regulators annually review the utilities’ gas-management procedures to ensure the companies did a reasonable job with their gas purchases, given market conditions, to hold down costs for consumers as much as possible. Regulators can order refunds if they find the companies were imprudent, but that is a rare event.

A few tips about your gas bill:

  • See if you qualify for energy assistance. The application process for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is open until Aug. 15. To apply or learn more, visit www.helpillinoisfamilies.com or call the Help Illinois Families Assistance Line at 1-833-711-0374.
  • Keep the lines of communication open with your utility. If you are having trouble affording your gas bills, it is vital that you contact your utility. Ask if you qualify for energy assistance programs; see if you can set up a payment plan to give you a longer time to pay off your bills; and inquire about no or low-cost energy efficiency programs the company offers.
  • Beware of alternative supplier rip-offs. If a deal seems too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is. Read our tips. (Note: Only consumers in Northern Illinois have gas choice.)
  • Practice energy efficiency at home. For tips and information about helpful energy efficiency programs offered by your utility, visit CUB’s Clean Energy page.

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