Nicor, Peoples Gas propose income-based utility rates alongside record-setting rate-hike requests
Record-setting rate-hike plans from Peoples Gas and Nicor Gas would charge lower-income customers less and higher-income customers more.
People’s Gas’s profits have doubled in the past 6 years but rather than use some of that money they are going to raise the already high service fee by ~25%.
I have this CRAZY idea... instead of people subsidizing others with our rates.. how about these companies making BILLIONS in profits subsidize them by paying a little bit more out of their profits?
not a good idea. prices send signals about scarcity and we need to be encouraging conservation by all users.
if the poor need more money they should get it without basing it on their energy use. if they want to set the extra money literally on fire, that can then be their choice.
policy wise, this is about as dumb as giving people gasoline cards, which probably means it will happen
Some tidbits from the story.
Both Nicor Gas, which serves most of suburban Chicago, and Peoples Gas, which serves Chicago, have proposed new discounts for tens of thousands of residential customers as part of their record-setting rate-hike requests filed earlier this month. Chicago-based electric utility Commonwealth Edison says it will offer a “progressive” rate-setting proposal by next year.
But the discounts wouldn’t cost the utilities any money. Their other residential and business customers would pick up the tab for the subsidized customers.
The utilities are responding to a directive in December from the Illinois Commerce Commission, which was authorized in 2021 to reduce utility rates for lower-income households, funded by commensurately higher charges for those above the income threshold. The initiative was part of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Climate & Equitable Jobs Act, or CEJA, which also requires power plants to stop burning fossil fuels by 2045.
The ICC, with three of four sitting members appointed by Pritzker, voted unanimously last month to require large utilities to propose low-income discounts.
Peoples declines to lay out the potential cost and impact on unsubsidized ratepayers, saying it will file that information with the commission “in a few months."
But the effect could be dramatic.
With a combined customer and distribution charge of about $45 a month under Peoples’ proposed new rates, the discount would amount to about $18 each month, or $216 annually, the Citizens Utility Board says.
Anyone know of a good home container for storing and reselling natural gas? Asking because I'm poor.
Maybe instead of having the worst aspects of capitalism with bad regulations we can act like civilized people and actually have utilities operated and owned by the government?
Nebraska does it and they consistently have better reliability and cheaper rates.