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News Releases

Peoples Gas North Shore Gas

For Release: 09/06/2006

Peoples Energy Helps Customers Prepare for Winter

Urges residents to take advantage of weatherization and programs to manage gas bills; Reminds low income residents that financial assistance is now available

CHICAGO, IL - Peoples Energy today reminded customers that winter is just around the corner and now is the time to prepare for colder temperatures. The company urges residents to take advantage of programs and services that can help customers use energy wisely, stabilize their bills and manage their accounts during an environment of potentially higher natural gas prices nationally.

"We want customers to start to plan for the winter months now," said Rodrigo A. Sierra, Vice President of Communications and Government Relations. "Even while temperatures are still warm, customers should enroll in the Budget Payment Plan, start to weatherize their homes and seek financial assistance if they need it."

This month the gas charge for Peoples Gas is 58.59 per therm -- down from 62.48 cents per therm in August 2006 – and lower than 92.24 cents per therm in September 2005. The gas charge for North Shore Gas is 59.06 cents per therm – down from 60.55 cents per therm in August -- and lower than 93.64 cents per therm in September 2005. Projected gas price impacts for the coming winter will be available soon from the Energy Information Administration.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is now open to residents whose gas service is disconnected, those with disabilities and senior citizens. Customers who fall into these categories should apply immediately. The program will be open to all other eligible customers on November 1. The program offers grants to help customers reconnect service, pay their bills and keep service connected. To apply for LIHEAP, Peoples Gas customers should call the CEDA Hotline at 1-800-571-2332 and North Shore Gas customers should call the LCCA at 1-847-249-4330. Be sure to visit www.peoplesenergy.com for an updated list of application sites and revised eligibility guidelines.

The Peoples Energy Share the Warmth fund, administered by the Salvation Army, is an effective program that provides one-time matching grants of up to $200 per eligible household. Customers up to 200% of the poverty level are eligible and are encouraged to apply beginning on November 1. To apply, call the Salvation Army at 1-773-725-1100 and schedule an appointment.

The company is hosting a fund-raising bike ride and breakfast on Sunday, Sept. 10, to raise additional funds for the Share the Warmth program. The "Gear Up for Winter" Festival begins at 7 a.m. at the Peoples Gas shop located at Division Street and Elston. Breakfast, sponsored by Ann Sather Catering, begins at 8:30 a.m. The 6-mile or 10-mile bike routes will wind through the Wicker Park, Humboldt Park and Ukrainian Village neighborhoods. The cost to participate is $25 and is tax deductible. Please call 312 240-3682 to register.

The company offers a variety of bill payment options to help customers manage their bills. Visit PeoplesEnergy.com to enroll in the Budget Payment Plan that helps to stabilize bills year round. Customer bills may still fluctuate from month to month based upon usage and gas prices.

Peoples Energy strongly endorses the benefits of weatherization that can help customers save up to 20% on energy bills:

  • In winter, lower the temperature on your thermostat. Each degree lowered can save you between 3% to 5% on heating costs.
  • Caulk and seal around plumbing pipes and around frames of windows and doors.
  • Request regular furnace and air conditioning tune-ups.
  • Close fireplace flues when not in use. This can be the single biggest loss of energy.
  • Visit peoplesenergy.com for additional weatherization tips.

Peoples Energy, a member of the S&P 500, is a diversified energy company consisting of four primary business segments: Gas Distribution, Oil and Gas Production, Energy Assets and Energy Marketing. The Gas Distribution business serves about 1 million utility customers in Chicago and northeastern Illinois. Visit the Peoples Energy Web site at www.peoplesenergy.com.

For More Information, Contact:

  • Rod Sierra (Media)
    312-240-4567
     
  • Doug Ruschau (Investor Relations)
    312-240-3818