Chicagoans paid a 67 percent premium for heat last winter
By Steve Daniels, Crain’s Chicago Business. May 21, 2019
It was the second straight winter that customers of Peoples Gas, the utility for the city, paid a hefty premium for heat. The difference was 67 percent, a slight improvement from the 80 percent margin in the winter of 2017-18.
This was despite the fact that the average suburban household, with a larger home, consumed 6 percent more gas than the average Chicago residence in the five months from November to March, according to data provided by both Peoples and Nicor.
Nicor, too, gained approval from the state in early 2018 for a $93.5 million rate hike, which was reflected in the costs customers paid last winter. Another $180 million rate hike is pending before the Illinois Commerce Commission, which must rule by October.
A resolution pending before the City Council calls on Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state regulators to “restore necessary oversight of this troubled program, and take adequate action to protect Peoples Gas customers and the public interest.” The resolution, sponsored by Ald. George Cardenas, 12th, was approved in committee and could be on the docket at the council’s next meeting, May 29.
But aldermen are looking for guidance from new Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has yet to take a public position on the resolution or the general issue of Peoples Gas’ spending and Chicago heating bills.
To read the full Crain’s story, click here.