People's Gas forced to refund customers $2.3M - FOX 32 News Chicago

People's Gas forced to refund customers $2.3M

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

People's Gas is giving back $2.3 million to customers in Chicago.

The utility is being forced to refund charges passed on to customers to pay for its infrastructure upgrades. The Illinois Commerce Commission gave the ruling on Thursday.

Customers will see refunds starting in July, and the credits will continue for nine months.

A Peoples Gas spokeswoman said Thursday the utility could not give the impact on an average customer's bill of the nine-month-long refunds because no one had seen the ICC's ruling.

The company received the order on Friday, and was able to comment at that time. The spokeswoman said People's serves 826,000 customers.

The total refund an average residential customer will receive over the nine-month spread is a grand total of $2.09 - that's about $0.23 per bill. Amounts will vary depending on service.

The ICC had initially approved Peoples' request for the money in the form of a rider on customers' bills. Peoples said it needed the revenue to speed upgrades on the utility's pipelines and recover its investment more quickly. An Illinois Appellate Court judge ruled in October 2011 that the rider was illegal.

Peoples Gas has said it will lobby the Illinois Legislature for a solution similar to the alternate regulatory system approved last year for Commonwealth Edison. The upgrades on the pipes continue.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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