By Suzanne Le Mignot

(CBS) — The brutal cold of last winter is unforgettable and Peoples Gas is taking steps to make sure their customers are able to cope this winter, especially, the elderly, reports CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot.

“One of the best ways to do that is with a plastic sheet that goes over the window. It helps keep the cold air from coming in,” said Michael Laz with Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly.

They are also changing shower heads and faucet aerators to use less water.

“Our aerators use half the water. Our shower heads use half,” said Peoples Gas installer Eric Landon.

These are some of the changes homeowner Helen Hall is making to save money this winter. Hall is taking part in the winter weatherization program offered free of charge by Peoples Gas.

Hall says that last winter, both her boiler and stove went out.

“This is great, at least it’ll be a little warmer than it was last year,” she said.

Peoples Gas is partnering with Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly. The organization is dedicated to helping seniors in need. Cristian Zumarraga is a student volunteer.

“Last year, in Chicago, the weather was really bad and a lot of elderly people were getting sick and even dying,” said Zumarraga, who was glad to help out.

This is the eleventh year of the winter weatherization program and the second year it is helping the elderly.

“I think no one could have foreseen how brutal cold and record setting the temperatures we had last winter and what we’re trying to do is get our customers out ahead of that,” said Peoples Gas President Jonh Kleczynski.

According to Kleczynski, the average gas bill for this winter is predicted to be $900.

“If you do energy saving measures and use energy saving appliances, you can save about 10 percent on your bill,” he said.

One thing you may not know, Peoples Gas offers many of these services, free of charge, if you’re a customer.

Click here to see how you can schedule your free Energy Jumpstart appointment.