SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Standing up for consumers, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is proposing to remove a monthly surcharge on the gas bills of consumers in Chicago after the exposure of gross mismanagement and ineptitude by Peoples Gas.

“As the cost of living continues to rise, the last thing consumers should have to do is subsidize the incompetence of their utility providers,” Harper said. “Peoples Gas management has shown that they are unfit to earn this surcharge from the wallets of customers.”

Harper is the sponsor of House Bill 3044, which would remove an escalating surcharge currently on the bills of Peoples Gas customers for the replacement of gas lines. The surcharge was designed to more quickly finance the replacement of 100 miles of gas lines per year in order to reduce leaks, but investigations by Crain’s Chicago Business show that the project is averaging less than 75 miles of lines replaced per year and in 2018 replaced less than 55 miles of lines while leaks actually increased. Cost projections for the project have more than doubled from $2.2 billion to $4.5 billion dollars and an audit for the Illinois Commerce Commission showed that the utility had a poor management culture that did not analyze basic aspects of its work, including contractor performance and program expenditures.

“It is wrong that as families in my district struggle to make ends meet, Peoples Gas wants to charge them more for shoddy work and inept corporate management,” said Harper. “Peoples Gas has shown it is an irresponsible and reckless steward of its customer’s hard-earned money and they don’t deserve any more of it.”

Rep Sonya HarperRep Sonya Harper

6th District

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Springfield Office:
276-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-5971
(217) 558-6370 FAX

District Office:
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL  60609
(773) 925-6580
(773) 925-6584 FAX