News Releases

North Shore Gas

For Release: 10/07/2011

LIHEAP Expands New Program to Aid Low-Income Utility Customers

Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) Caps Utility Costs

Waukegan, IL – The federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is expanding enrollment eligibility for its Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) to aid qualified customers. PIPP, which began as a limited-enrollment pilot program in September of 2009, is now open to all customers who qualify.

Created by Senate Bill 1918, PIPP is funded through the State of Illinois' Supplemental LIHEAP Fund. The program targets households with incomes up to 150 percent of the poverty level guideline. Families who qualify for LIHEAP funding will also be eligible for the PIPP program. This program adds an additional resource for families who are struggling to pay energy costs.

PIPP creates a payment plan option for low-income customers to pay an affordable amount each month (no more than 6 percent of their income) for their natural gas and electricity, caps the amount those customers pay for utilities, and expands an energy-efficiency program. As an added incentive, the program also provides arrearage reduction in exchange for on-time monthly payments.

PIPP also encourages participants to reduce usage and participate in conservation and energy efficiency measures. The program will take advantage of the American Recovery and Investment Act (ARRA) funding by educating customer about ways to conserve energy and by making energy efficient repairs to their homes. Customers with the highest bills and lowest incomes will be targeted to receive weatherization services funded by the federal government.

"Now families have the ability to choose the best option for their energy assistance resource," said Adrienne M. Jones, director, Government and Community Relations. "We are encouraging customers to apply and take advantage of PIPP or other options to help stabilize their bills and manage their accounts during this tough economic environment."

The PIPP program will be administered in Lake County by the Community Action Partnership of Lake County which also administers LIHEAP. Customers can apply for either program at one location. To apply and find the location of the closest application site, North Shore Gas customers can call the Community Action Partnership of Lake County at 1-847-249-4330.

Customers can also visit for a list of application sites and guidelines, as well as for tips on keeping warm, energy conservation and options for managing their energy bills.

About North Shore Gas

North Shore Gas, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE: TEG), is a regulated natural gas delivery company that serves approximately 158,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers located in 54 communities within the northern suburbs of Chicago. For more information about North Shore Gas visit the company's website:

For More Information, Contact:

  • Bonnie Johnson
    Manager, Public Relations
    312-907-7333 (Cell)