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Old 10-23-2008, 04:05 PM   #1
Baggywrinkle
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Default Gas Companies Disconnecting Thousands

Gas Companies Disconnecting Thousands

Crain's Chicago Business | Steve Daniels | October 13, 2008 09:22 AM

On the brink of the cold-weather months, more than 56,000 natural-gas customers in the Chicago area remain disconnected for lack of payment. That's up 36% from last year, putting pressure on utilities and local officials to get disconnected households back online before winter begins in earnest.

Peoples Gas and Nicor Inc. are offering new programs to help customers who are behind on their bills. In a pilot that began last month, Peoples has stopped shutting off customers as long as they pay 60% of their monthly bill. For two weeks last month, Nicor offered to reconnect customers who paid half of their outstanding debt and agreed to a payment plan for the rest. Some 1,400 took advantage of the offer.

With the souring economy making it increasingly difficult for people to pay their bills, consumer advocates say the programs are not enough.
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:21 PM   #2
Jenny
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Default Re: Gas Companies Disconnecting Thousands

A few years ago this happened in Rotterdam a lot.

As people where freezing the parliament accepted a new law that forbade the compagnies ( who were privatised to accomodate free market ideology) to do that.

No one gets cut off no more nowadays.

Bills are being payed just a bit slower and all gained.
A win-win situation was created.
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:24 PM   #3
Sarahmay
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Default Re: Gas Companies Disconnecting Thousands

Yes, this will be a big concern this winter and perhaps our forseeable future until energy policy changes.
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:25 AM   #4
MMe M
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Default Re: Gas Companies Disconnecting Thousands

We are rural.

Our propane is delivered. We pay first, then they bring the gas. Lots o people are going to freeze to death this winter for lack of funds. Its ridiculous expensive for us when my husband is working, now im just kinda wondering which bank would be easiest. We only heat to 65 during the day and 52 at night. Its way too cold but our propane last year for only our furnace was 2800.00. All the other appliances and water heater are electric. Our furnace is new, a super high efficiency 92+ and we have done everything we can do as far as winterization. We were unable to go to a township meeting but they are now proposing a no burning of wood ordinance in this podunk, backwards, overtaxed, second generation hillbillies educated beyond their intelligence, area. We had a family member with a personal crisis so we couldnt go to the meeting. The one presenting and behind the ordinance has two big burn barrels in their front yard, we were informed.

I am fed the flip up. How much more bs does one have to endure? Ive met my quota.

Last edited by MMe M; 10-24-2008 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:47 PM   #5
Baggywrinkle
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Default Re: Gas Companies Disconnecting Thousands

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMe M View Post
We are rural.

Our propane is delivered. We pay first, then they bring the gas. Lots o people are going to freeze to death this winter for lack of funds. Its ridiculous expensive for us when my husband is working, now im just kinda wondering which bank would be easiest. We only heat to 65 during the day and 52 at night. Its way too cold but our propane last year for only our furnace was 2800.00. All the other appliances and water heater are electric. Our furnace is new, a super high efficiency 92+ and we have done everything we can do as far as winterization. We were unable to go to a township meeting but they are now proposing a no burning of wood ordinance in this podunk, backwards, overtaxed, second generation hillbillies educated beyond their intelligence, area. We had a family member with a personal crisis so we couldnt go to the meeting. The one presenting and behind the ordinance has two big burn barrels in their front yard, we were informed.

I am fed the flip up. How much more bs does one have to endure? Ive met my quota.
That is where we keep our temp also. But we have two
aces in the hole which make life tolerable We started
using kerosene space heaters for our active occupation area, and we are using Jim Phillips foam thermal johns which are absolutely incredible.

Learning from Miles Stair, we found a 225 gallon fuel oil tank free for the taking and converted it for bulk kerosene storage. #1 stove oil and it works great for light and cooking as well. Two hundred gallons of kero cost us 1000 and it goes right where we need it - like in
the bath for a shower. The rest of the living space be damned. 5 gallons of kero for heating lasts a week so we're good for the winter. We live in Washington so the winters are mild, but twenty degrees in the house is still miserable.

The other thing we do is use an Amish style propane pole lamp with a mantle for light and heat. We use a coleman propane tree topped with a texsport single mantle lantern - important point that - with the glass
removed and an appropriately wide cheap lamp shade
mounted on a five gallon propane bottle. I had our propane tank equipped with a wet leg so we could fill the bottle from our own supply. One five gallon bottle lasts months. Many Amish homes have a purpose built cabinet
on wheels to hide and secure the propane bottle. It works and works well, electric company **** off.


Last edited by Baggywrinkle; 10-24-2008 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:45 PM   #6
Shaeba
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Default Re: Gas Companies Disconnecting Thousands

That article doesn't surprise me in the least. Up until about 45 minutes ago I was part of that 36%. I hadn't had gas since July, which had only been a minor inconvenience until the last month. I wanted to pay last month on my Visa, but Nicor will only take Master Card and I don't have one. I finally had the cash to pay the ridiculous bill that was outstanding today. What irks me is that even after the service disconnect my bill was STILL going up $42 a month in their damned fees. Not much money to eat this month, unfortunately, but at least I'm not going to freeze, since the gas gets turned back on sometime tomorrow.

Additionally... NO customer service rep I spoke to even ADVISED me of the new program. They all told me I MUST pay the full amount. Wow... I really wish I had known about that. Damn, I should have read the boards before I called Nicor this AM

Last edited by Shaeba; 10-24-2008 at 03:47 PM.
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