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Peoples Gas Seeks Record-High Gas Bill Increase for Customers

The Illinois Commerce Commission will vote next month on a proposal to increase rates for Peoples Gas customers that could result in the biggest hike seen in Illinois.

If passed, bills could increase $11.83 each month for the average customer starting next year.

“This is the first time in nine years we’ve requested a rate adjustment, and we need it to ensure the ongoing safety, reliability and environmental sustainability in the system,” said Peoples Gas spokesman David Schwartz. “The pipes in Chicago’s heating system date back to the 1800s. They are rapidly corroding; they need to be modernized.”

Meanwhile, environmental activists are calling on the ICC to start investing in alternative methods of energy.

“We don’t think consumers should be having to spend more money to rebuild fossil fuel pipelines,” said activist Caroline Wooten. “We have solutions. There are induction stoves, there are heat pumps. … We want to be investing in that rather than investing in fossil fuels. We need to start now if we’re going to transition, and we want it to be planned.”

Dozens of activists showed up to Thursday’s ICC meeting to make their final plea before the commission votes on Nov. 16.

“The world is changing. Our understanding about the gas system should change with it. If it doesn’t, Illinoisans will pay the price,” JC Kibbey of the Illinois Natural Resource Defense Council told commissioners.

Source: NBC Chicago