Natural gas customers in Illinois are saving money, thanks to the gas company. Under a program required by the Illinois Commerce Commission, gas companies are offering rebates if customers buy energy-efficient appliances, such as furnaces and boilers. Jim Jerozal, who manages the energy efficiency program for Nicor Gas, says the money can be significant.
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“We’re talking about rebates for residential homeowners that could be maybe $200 up to $500 for a piece of equipment. For businesses, it can be thousands of dollars, and even for some of our larger programs, up to $500,000 for a project,” he said.  Jerozal points out that customers realize savings not only from the rebate, but also from cheaper gas bills over the life of the equipment. Nicor customers in the last 12 months saved $3.6 million.
Ameren has a similar program, as do the electric companies. In addition to the rebates, the gas companies offer property inspections by energy efficiency experts that yield ways to save on gas.
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