AARP Illinois Guide on What to Ask Petitioners About High Home Gas Prices

Posted on 01/19/22

Saleswoman introduces herself to senior woman at the door

AARP Illinois has heard from concerned members that their home gas bills have doubled or tripled over the last few months. This year, home gas bills are expected to reach record highs, and the bottom line is that customers are being taken advantage of by natural gas companies.

AARP Illinois is fighting for you by advocating to keep home gas prices low.

When petitioners come knocking on your door this month asking you to support a candidate, we want you to be prepared to ask the tough questions about high home gas prices affecting Illinois ratepayers.

For a decade now, Peoples Gas, Ameren Gas and Nicor Gas have been adding to customer bills each month to help pay for upgrades and maintenance. The amount collected by the companies is extreme and the list of what can be paid for is nearly limitless. This extra money has lined the pockets of gas company executives, while hurting Illinois families, for far too long.

AARP Illinois knows that increases on monthly utility bills are an important pocketbook issue for Illinois residents, and especially for older adults on fixed incomes whose ability to pay for necessities or save for retirement may be impacted.

AARP Illinois has easy-to-use resources to help you prepare for conversations with petitioners who may soon be visiting your home, asking for your support of a candidate running for office to represent you. With high home gas prices already taking a toll on Illinois ratepayers, it’s especially important to get your concerns across to legislators who can help.

Click here for a printable fact sheet with more information that you can share with petitioners about the high home gas surcharge impacting Illinois ratepayers.

And below are some questions to ask petitions about high home gas prices when they come knocking:

  • My home gas bill has gone up this month. What will the candidate do about the high home gas surcharge hurting Illinois families?
  • In October, 1 in 5 Peoples Gas customers were behind on their bills, collectively $121 million in debt. Furthermore, people of color are disproportionately affected. What will the candidate do to make sure Illinoisans can afford to heat their homes through the winter?
  • Gas companies told legislators that this surcharge would cost customers $1.14 per month, and the average customers is now paying more than $13.50 per month. What will the candidate do to make sure gas companies are held accountable for this extreme increase?
  • The surcharge was approved for urgent safety repairs like replacing old pipes, so why have utilities used it to cover their capital spending over the past 5 years? How will the candidate ensure gas companies are held accountable when spending my money?
  • Governor Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago City Council have already called to end the surcharge. Will this candidate pledge to do the same?

This story is provided by AARP Illinois. Visit the AARP Illinois page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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