Hold on to that extra spending money, you may need it for other things.

Money is already tight around this time of the year but it could get a whole lot tighter, especially if Illinois gets the expected brutal winter weather.

Gas and utility meter in snow
Credit: grcorbin

A new report shared what should be expected for Nicor customers in Illinois. Residents should be prepared for a substantial increase in their gas utility bill compared to last year.

Nicor and another natural gas delivery company have flat-out warned Illinoisans, "turn up the thermostat and be prepared to pay up."

Man With Warm Clothing Feeling The Cold Inside House
Credit: LSOphoto


Last year Nicor customers paid $455 on average for natural gas, this year it's expected to be closer to $674 during the same time period. Why? Inflation.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, inflation on natural gas and other fuels will come at a cost to homeowners, with some seeing their heating bills increase by as much as 54%.

54% is a lot. That is a significant increase to say the least.


Nicor lists ways to save when it comes to heating your home. Ironically, their tips involve pending money on new energy-efficient appliances or paying a contractor to work on insulating your home.

Here are a few other suggestions.

Young woman sitting home by the window
Credit: Sasha_Suzi

Drop the temp just a little and dress for the weather, warm and cozy. Blankets help too.

Air humidifier during work.
Credit: Sebastian Gorczowski

Maintain humidity in your home. Your skin thinks it's colder when it's super dry.

Dirty empty fireplace with firewood
Credit: Staras

Try not to use your fireplace, most of the heat escapes through the chimney and it could cause cold air to sneak in through cracks and gaps.

Credit: Fuse

Also, seal your windows from the inside.

You can read more tips here.

Maybe you've had it and just want to move out of your house. You might enjoy this home with the ultimate man cave.

... or maybe this unbelievably restored barn in Wisconsin is more your flavor?

Not one detail was missed in giving this very old farmhouse new life. A couple new buildings added and a connecting underground tunnel, too.

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