Concerns mount over Peoples Gas proposed $402M rate hike in Chicago

CHICAGO - Pressure is mounting on Chicago City Council members as they face concerns from consumer advocates regarding a proposed rate hike by Peoples Gas, totaling $402 million.

Advocates are expressing their apprehensions about how this significant increase will impact already struggling families in Chicago.

"I’ve heard from a lot of Chicagoans overwhelmed by their bills. Some customers are forced to choose between keeping enough food on the table and keeping the heat on. Nobody should have to make this choice – especially not from a company rolling in record profits," said Ivonne Rychwa, Outreach Director of the Citizens Utility Board (CUB).

Advocates are urging City Council members to formally express their opposition to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) regarding this rate hike proposal.

"For years, Peoples Gas has been making bills unaffordable by adding fees and surcharges--and now it's asking for this historic rate hike," said Rev. Veronica Johnson, Outreach Director for Faith in Place and a pastor on Chicago’s South Side. "So, year after year, customers see bigger bills, residents who cannot pay see bigger debt, and Peoples Gas shareholders pocket bigger profits."

The ICC is scheduled to rule on the rate hike request next Thursday.