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Chicago Natural Gas Companies
Inspire Clean Energy
8 min read
category: Sustainable Living
Who are the natural gas providers in Chicago?
When you are first looking for a natural gas provider, you'll want to know what your options entail. Other than price, there are many more factors to consider when comparing natural gas providers in the Chicago area. Price may be the first thing to compare. Still, consider some other factors, including offered contract lengths, customer service reputation, and whether the natural gas provider offers contracts that have fixed payments throughout the calendar year. A fixed-rate contract will have you paying a consistent monthly payment amount throughout the entire year compared to a monthly bill that is low in the summer months and extremely high in the winter months.
A brief search of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) returns a list of accredited natural gas providers in the Chicago area.
Here is a list of the natural gas providers to research and compare before signing a contract with a provider1:
- AEP Energy Inc
- Peoples Gas
- North Shore Gas Company
- Nordic Energy Services, LLC
- Century Energy Solutions, LLC
- Vanguard Energy Services
- Santanna Energy Services
- Illinois Energy, USA, LLC
- Illinois Energy Solutions, USA, LLC
- Nicor Gas Company
- We Energies
- Twin City Energy Services Inc.
- Land's Energy Service, INC.
These companies supply natural gas to the Chicago area and beyond. It may be in your best interest to investigate some of these companies to see which natural gas provider works best for you. You may want to look for a 12-month, 24-month, or 36-month contract or a fixed monthly payment that doesn't fluctuate dramatically from the summer to winter season. You might want to find a provider who may be a little more expensive when it comes to price per unit, but they are known for their world-class customer service. Whatever it is you are looking for, make sure to spend a little time comparing and contrasting these different natural gas providers in Illinois, particularly the Chicago area.
How much does natural gas cost in Chicago?
A typical unit of measurement used to quantify residential natural gas usage for billing is the 'therm.' You may have seen this word on your monthly gas bill, but have you thought about what a therm is? Essentially, a therm is a unit of measurement that measures your natural gas use over time. It takes one therm to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. One therm is equal to 100 cubic feet of natural gas. Gas providers typically charge a specific price per therm when they calculate your monthly gas bill2.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Chicago and the surrounding area have maintained a lower natural gas per therm than the national average since 2017.
- Price per therm of natural gas August 2017: Chicago $0.862, National $1.02
- Price per therm of natural gas August 2018: Chicago $0.86, National $1.05
- Price per therm of natural gas August 2019: Chicago $0.792, National $1.03
- Price per therm of natural gas August 2020: Chicago $0.763, National $1.03
- Price per therm of natural gas August 2021: Chicago $1.120, National $1.26
As you can see from these statistics, there is a significant increase from August 2020 to August 2021. One more critical factor to note about these statistics is that they include surrounding areas that may have lower gas prices and skew the averages lower when compared to the specific cost per therm in the city of Chicago alone. These statistics cover the following counties: Cook, Dekalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois. These stats also include Jasper, Lake, Newton, and Porter Counties in Indiana and Kenosha County in Wisconsin.
How much is the average gas bill in Chicago?
For the year 2021, the average resident in Chicago is expected to pay about $1,350 on natural gas for the year. That is an overall average increase of $170 per household when compared to 2020. If you are on a fixed-rate contract where the total annual cost of your natural gas usage is prorated throughout the year, you can expect to be paying somewhere around $112.50 per month. This is where locking in a rate with a natural gas provider for 24 or 36 months can help you save money by protecting you from price increases. However, the opposite can occur if prices fall dramatically from one year to the next and you are stuck paying the old rates. Some providers may provide a rate discount if you sign a longer-term contract, but it all depends on the provider3.
Is natural gas expensive in Chicago?
Currently, natural gas is more expensive than previously recorded in the last 10 to 12 years. The increase is due to extreme weather and a decrease in production that has resulted in smaller natural gas reserves. It is also important to note that although prices are increasing, Chicago and the surrounding area still maintain a natural gas price of 11.6% less than the national average as of August 20214.
Are natural gas prices going up in Chicago?
Yes. As of September 2021, natural gas prices have skyrocketed when compared to 2020 prices. Part of the reason for the price increases is the impact of Hurricane Ida. Additionally, a hotter-than-average summer filled with heat waves resulted in an already semi-depleted natural gas reserve consumption. Natural gas reserves have not been replenished at a typical pace due to the Coronavirus and laborer shortages. Natural gas production has been lower throughout the pandemic, and the effects are still being felt throughout the country.
As the most current statistics for specific natural gas prices for Chicago are not yet available, we can look at the national average cost to understand what kind of increases the average citizen is experiencing through their natural gas provider. The price of 10 therms in September 2021 was around $5.42. Compared to June 2020, the national average was $1.52 for 10 therms, and you can see a dramatic increase. There was also a brief spike around February of 2021, where natural gas prices hit around $12.18 per 10 therms. The spike in natural gas prices directly resulted from the deep freeze that hit Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. The deep freeze instantly interrupted the regular supply and operations of much of the U.S.'s natural gas industry, causing prices to soar nationwide.
It is also important to note that natural gas production was much lower before the Obama administration prioritized energy independence and served as an alternative to coal. The dramatic decrease can be seen in natural gas prices once the policy was shifted to increase gas production through fracking and other methods. The national average for 10 therms in July 2008 was around $13.20. Thanks to a focus on increasing natural gas production, the price of natural gas has never been that high again, even with the serious deep freeze interruptions to the supply and transport of natural gas in February 20215.
Can I choose my natural gas provider in Chicago?
Chicago, Illinois, is considered part of a deregulated energy market. A deregulated energy market may also be considered a "right to choose" market. In the state of Illinois, you are given the option to choose a natural gas provider that is different from the public utility that services your home. As you can select an alternative natural gas provider, you can also choose to receive your natural gas from a public utility. This is where it may be in your best interest to compare prices and services offered between the public utility and various natural gas providers in your area.
How do I choose a natural gas provider in Chicago?
When choosing a natural gas provider in Chicago, you should start by setting priorities and knowing your gas usage. Are you looking for the lowest price, or are you looking for an environmentally conscious company with fair pricing too? Find a natural gas company that can offer the best plan for your needs. Consider items such as fees, fixed or variable pricing, discounts and incentives, and more.
Inspire's Clean Natural Gas plan offers peace of mind with a predictable price. Plus, there are no sign-up or cancellation fees and no installations or service interruptions when choosing Inspire as your natural gas supplier. We'll generate a customized price for your natural gas supply based on factors, including your home's energy consumption patterns.
Once you're a member, you'll rest easy knowing that carbon emissions from your home's natural gas consumption are being neutralized, and you're doing something positive for the planet.
When you switch to Inspire's Clean Natural Gas plan, your gas will continue to be delivered to you by your local utility company. Inspire will replace your current natural gas supplier, and once you start service, you will see “Inspire” listed as your natural gas supplier on your utility bill. We will begin to purchase offsets on your behalf to neutralize the carbon emissions associated with your home's natural gas consumption.
Currently, we offer our Clean Natural Gas plan for eligible residential and small business customers in Ohio, with more locations coming soon.
In the meantime, if you're looking for renewable energy options for your home's electricity supply needs, we also offer access to clean, renewable energy for one flat monthly price. Start now – the earth will thank you.
Don't worry about climate change— do something about it.
Our clean energy plans are the easiest way to reduce your home's carbon footprint.Switch to clean energy