Nicor Gas assistance programs.
Customers of Nicor Gas who are on a fixed income or who meet low income qualifications may be qualified for a number of assistance programs. If you need help paying your bills and managing expenses, consider their various resources. Resources range from financial assistance programs for energy bills to the company providing referrals. Much more is also available. Details on the various services and options are below.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has two components. One is for a crisis, such as a disconnection. The other is to pay ongoing Nicor Gas bills. Qualifying low-income households may be able to receive grants or financial assistance in one annual payment to be used for paying their energy bills. LIHEAP is a federal government funded initiative that provides cash assistance to residents across Illinois who can’t otherwise afford to pay their bills.
Nicor Gas is always encouraging its customers who are disabled, seniors, or low income to ask for help. Especially those customers who have had their natural gas service disconnected for non-payment, or who are on the verge of having it shut off, can look into these government programs such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and/or the Reconnect Program (see below).
The Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) is a state of Illinois program. It was created by the Department of Commerce and Economic Development in a partnership with Nicor and other utility companies. The program may be able to allow eligible customers to maintain their utility service by paying a percentage of their monthly income towards their heating and cooling costs. PIPP was designed to provide customers with a so called level payment plan. It may also provide individuals the ability to eliminate past-due balances and fees on their account.
Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program, or IHWAP, is paid for by the federal government. Low income homes may be able to receive free energy conservation updates to their home. Call your local LIHEAP office or community action agency, or dial 1-877-411-9276.
Nicor Gas payment plans and solutions
If your gas has already been shut off, then the Reconnect Program can help qualifying customers restore their natural gas service through a payment plan and maybe even help with the deposits. Usually one third of the bill will need to be paid immediately, with the balance due in monthly installments.
The Sharing Program is administered by the Salvation Army, in partnership with Nicor and other non-profits in the state. This is another resource that may be able to provide a one-time cash grant to residential customers who do not qualify for any other federal government assistance. So individuals whose income is too high may qualify for aid from the Sharing Program.
Military personnel who live in Illinois have access to a special Nicor Gas benefit program. Assistance is offered to activated reservists and national guard personnel who reside in the company’s service territory. Qualified applicants or members of the military will need to provide documentation of their service to ensure eligibility. Call 1-888-642-6748.
Nicor Gas Payment Arrangements are offered for people who are not current with their natural gas bill. Customers may be qualified to enter into a payment arrangement with the energy provider. While the terms may vary, almost all agreements will require the customer to make a down payment on their account. After that occurs, the reminder of the bill will need to be paid over a pre-determined timeframe, which is usually four months. That amount will be added to your account. Call Nicor at 1-888-642-6748 to discuss or enter into a payment plan.
Most customers can use a very of the resources mentioned above. For example, the reconnect program can be offered along with federal government and LIHEAP aid. Always call Nicor as soon as possible to explore all options.
By Jon McNamara