Nicor Gas donates $5M to help customers pay heat bills

Income-eligible gas customers can apply for a Shield of Caring grant through The Salvation Army on January 16

SHARE Nicor Gas donates $5M to help customers pay heat bills
Nicor Gas will reopen its Shield of Caring grant on January 16. Income-eligible customers can receive up to $250 to use towards account balances.

Nicor Gas will reopen its Shield of Caring grant program on Jan. 16. Income-eligible customers can receive up to $250 to use toward account balances.

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Nicor Gas has donated $5 million to a program that helps customers with their heating bills and other necessities.

Customers may apply for a Shield of Caring grant beginning Jan. 16. The $250 grants are applied to Nicor account balances.

The program is overseen by The Salvation Army. Customers may apply by calling their local corps community center or online at www.shieldofcaring.com.

The company, which provides gas to 2.3 million customers in Illinois, created the grant program in 2021 in response to the pandemic. Last year, The Salvation Army program distributed $1.75 million in grants to 8,000 customers for bill payment assistance and helped 9,500 families with basic needs such as warm winter coats and food boxes.

The grant is open to customers earning less than 400% of the federal poverty level, or about $54,000.

Customers who have received assistance grants from other programs, such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program or the Sharing Program, are encouraged to apply. Grants are available to families who are past due on their gas bills or have experienced a financial hardship such as job loss, illness, military deployment or a disability.

Michael Loria is a staff reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times via Report for America, a not-for-profit journalism program that aims to bolster the paper’s coverage of communities on the South Side and West Side.

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