Blog Posts By:

Sabrina Clevenger,
Associate, Illinois PIRG

Last week in Chicago, temperatures were in the single digits in the worst cold snap since 2019. [1] With these low temperatures, Chicagoans take refuge inside, forced to rely on heat. And as long as the state relies on fossil fuels, city residents rely on Peoples Gas. This month’s heating bills are sure to bear the mark of this cold snap. But what happens when Peoples Gas charges more than a substantial portion of its customers can pay?

In mid-November, Peoples Gas released its third quarter report for 2020 detailing the ongoing status of its massive pipe replacement program. One takeaway from the report is that the Peoples Gas pipe replacement program is still behind schedule and over-budget, as it has been every quarter in the almost three years it has been making quarterly reports.

On Friday, August 20, Governor Pritzker released a set of new energy principles for Illinois, “Eight Principles for a Clean & Renewable Illinois Economy.” Much of the attention surrounding the announcement has been on proposals to hold ComEd and Exelon more accountable, which is understandable, given the current scandal. But, the announcement also included support for a policy Illinois PIRG has been advocating for years: ending the 2013 law granting a bill surcharge that Peoples Gas and other gas utilities are using to spend billions of dollars outside of the normal regulatory process.

Health organizations across Illinois sent a letter urging Senators Durbin and Duckworth to priortize including protections for emergency workers in the next stimulus packet, due to be finalized by the end of the month.