The Citizens Utility Board is urging consumers to conserve energy and participate in efficiency programs offered by utilities as the cost of natural gas increases.
CUB is warning consumers of a potential price spike in March after Nicor Gas announced it's preparing for frigid weather this week -- including asking large customers to limit usage so there is enough for residential customers.
CUB officials say Nicor's preliminary March gas price is 33 percent higher than February's rate, although that could change.
Nicor provides gas in the Chicago area.
CUB spokesman Jim Chilsen says residents can take steps to ease their utility bills by turning down the thermostat and closing doors in empty, rooms among other acts.