Reporting Nancy Harty
CHICAGO (WBBM) – Peoples Gas customers may see a spike in their bills next year after the company asked the state to approve a 10% delivery charge increase for Chicago customers and a 3% hike for those in the northeastern suburbs.
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It works out to be an extra $9 for Chicago customers and a $3 increase for those in the northeastern suburbs. The head of the Citizens Utility Board said they haven’t had a chance to thoroughly review the request but are concerned by it.
David Kolata states it comes during tough times for consumers and only a year after state regulators approved another hike for Peoples Gas.
Company Spokeswoman Bonnie Johnson said the increase is primarily to cover the cost of maintaining the 4,000 miles of natural gas pipeline in the city. She adds the Illinois Commerce Commission approved only 43% of their last request, which they made in 2009.
Regulators have 11 months to rule on the increase. Johnson said consumers can lower their bills by lowering the thermostat, adding insulation and using ceiling fans.