CHICAGO, July 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Amid high energy prices, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) on Thursday urged consumers who are struggling to pay their utility bills to immediately call their utilities to find out more about the protections available to stay connected to the service. Some of these warranties expire July 31.

“It’s been a tough year for utility customers, and it’s so important that people keep the lines of communication open with their utilities,” said CUB’s director of communications. Jim Chilsen said. “Call your utilities to find out about available energy assistance and special payment plans to pay off your debt, and ask about energy efficiency programs that can help soften the blow of those high prices.”

Energy prices are at unprecedented levels for natural gas and electricity customers. ComEd and Ameren summer electricity prices have increased by 60-120%. Natural gas prices offered by state utilities are up to 130% higher than last year.

CUB and other consumer advocates negotiated with utilities to create protections to help people stay connected. But many of them end July 31. Here’s a summary of some protections, broken down by major state utilities:

  • ComEd, Ameren, Nicor ​​Gas, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas said they would not disconnect low-income customers due to non-payment, thanks to July 31. Specifically, this covers customers who, in 2022, applied for or are receiving benefits through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or the Income-Percentage Payment Plan (PIPP).
  • ComEd: LIHEAP or PIPP customers can receive 12 month Deferred Payment Agreements (DPAs), no down payment, available through July 31. All other residential customers can purchase DPA for up to 12 months with 10% down payment up to July 31.
  • America : Qualified Ameren Illinois customers who are behind on their energy bills can set up an 18-month repayment plan with a 10% down payment through July 31. After July 31most customers with outstanding balances will need to pay a 25% deposit before they can set up a monthly payment plan.
  • Nicor: Customers can sign up for an 18 month Deferred Payment Agreement (PAD) with no down payment required.
  • Peoples Gas/North Shore Gas: LIHEAP/PIPP customers or applicants are eligible for an 18-month DPA with no down payment required via July 31. All other residential customers can sign up for 25% ODA for 18 months up to July 31.

CUB encourages consumers to call their utilities to inquire about their eligibility to access protections before they expire. Utility contact details:

  • ComEd 1-800-334-7661
  • American 1-800-755-5000
  • Nicor 1-888-642-6748
  • Gas of the Peoples 1-866-556-6001 and Gas North Shore 1-866-556-6004

For more information on high energy prices, visit

CUB is Illinois’ primary oversight body for not-for-profit public services. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small business customers. Since then, it has saved consumers more than $20 billion helping to block rate hikes, secure refunds, and fight for clean, low-cost energy. For more information, call CUB’s Consumer Helpline, 1-800-669-5556, or visit its website,

SOURCE Citizens Utility Board

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