Over the past year, you’ve undoubtedly noticed increasing prices of many everyday goods and services such as groceries and gasoline. Similarly, natural gas prices have also increased. From January through September 2022, wholesale natural gas prices more than doubled what they were compared to last year during the same time period according to the NYMEX Natural Gas Contract Settlement Price History.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas prices are expected to remain elevated through the remainder of 2022. Higher gas prices can mean higher gas bills for Illinois customers, especially during winter when usage increases.
Although there are many ways to manage your natural gas consumption, one way to protect your budget is to sign up for the Fixed Bill plan. The Fixed Bill plan guarantees you’ll pay a flat monthly bill amount regardless of changes in gas prices or weather.* Click here to review the plan.
Why are gas prices increasing?
Supply and demand are the primary drivers of natural gas prices. For many years, U.S. natural gas production was strong enough to meet increasing demand. Current events, however, have caused additional demand for natural gas and reduced the available supply. Some of the factors leading to the increased demand include:
• Higher demand for natural gas to produce electricity – especially for summer air conditioning.
• Increased exports of liquefied natural gas.
• Geopolitical uncertainty.
• Increased usage as businesses return to normal from the pandemic.
When will gas prices go back down?
- Because there are a number of factors that affect supply and demand, there is no way to definitively know when or how natural gas prices will change in the future.
My Fixed Bill plan is near expiration and the new Fixed Bill monthly price being offered is so much higher. Why is it so much higher?
If you have been on a Fixed Bill Plan, you have been protected from changes in wholesale natural gas prices during your contract term. Your new Fixed Bill monthly price reflects changes in wholesale natural gas prices which have been increasing.
Energy Assistance Options
If you are worried about paying your bill or missing a payment due to financial hardship, there are financial assistance options available to you. Please visit https://www.nicorgas.com/energyassistance and https://keepwarm.illinois.gov/ for a comprehensive list of energy assistance options.
Illinois Energy Solutions is not the same entity as your gas delivery company. You are not required to enroll with Illinois Energy Solutions. Beginning on 9/1/2022, the Nicor Gas gas supply cost rate is $1.24 per therm. The utility gas supply cost will expire on 9/30/2022. For more information go to the Illinois Commerce Commission’s free website at www.icc.illinois.gov/ags/consumereducation.aspx.
*Enrollment eligibility is subject to Illinois Energy Solutions’ credit and payment policies, and other eligibility requirements. The Fixed Bill Plan is subject to Illinois Energy Solutions’ terms and conditions of service, which can be found at www.illenergysolutions.com. The Fixed Bill plan may be higher than the price of traditional utility service at any time during the term of your agreement, but your price for natural gas will not change as you are guaranteed the Fixed Bill flat monthly price you’ve enrolled on for twelve months. There is no early termination charge associated with this Fixed Bill plan. Illinois Energy Solutions does not currently have a qualifying Commission-approved guaranteed savings plan under which it can serve customers who have received financial assistance under the LIHEAP program in the previous 12 months or who currently are on PIPP.