The heating season is here, and Nicor Gas wants to remind customers who may be eligible for financial assistance to take advantage of funds that could help offset winter heating costs. Beginning Nov. 1, the enrollment period for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) opens to the general public.

Administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, LIHEAP is a federal block grant that provides resources to states to help low-income families meet their energy needs. The program, which provides heating assistance to low-and fixed-income residents, including working families with young children and senior citizens, allows a one-time annual payment to help offset a consumer’s energy costs. For more information about LIHEAP or to locate a local application agency, residents can call 877-411-9276 (WARM).

LIHEAP eligible households also are able to take advantage of the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) program. Under PIPP, eligible households pay a percentage of their income toward their utility bill, supplemented by a monthly benefit. Participating households are eligible for a reduction in outstanding utility bills for every on-time payment they make. LIHEAP and PIPP are funded as part of the stopgap funding plan signed into law by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.

Other energy assistance programs available to customers are as follows:

The Nicor Gas Sharing Program provides one-time annual grants to qualified residential customers. Administered by the Salvation Army, the Sharing Program is funded by direct contributions from Nicor Gas’ customers and employees. Customers can make donations via their monthly gas bill payment.

The Nicor Gas Budget Plan helps minimize “peaks and valleys” in natural gas bills, making household budgeting much easier. Customers pay a consistent amount every month for a 12-month period – allowing customers to build up a credit balance to help offset winter bills that may be higher due to increased usage.

The energySMART Program helps to manage costs by lowering out-of-pocket expenses for energy efficiency improvements and energy consumption, allowing customers to gain more control of how much natural gas they use and consequently save on energy costs.

For more detailed information about programs available to Nicor Gas customers, visit

About Nicor Gas

Nicor Gas is one of seven natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.1 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit


About Southern Company Gas

Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company.  Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.5 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in seven states and more than 1 million retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate gas pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at