Nicor Gas Further Expands Partnership with Habitat for Humanity to Bring Second Net Zero Neighborhood to Chicagoland

The newest Smart Neighborhood™ is planned for Carpentersville

Naperville, Ill. – June 18, 2024 – Nicor Gas announced today that it is entering the second phase of its Smart Neighborhoods in the Chicagoland area. The new Smart Neighborhood will be built in Carpentersville, Ill. in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley. The first community is already under development in Aurora, Ill. with Fox Valley’s Habitat affiliate.

The new community will be comprised of 13 single-family homes, all part of Carter Crossing, a 28-home, net zero subdivision in Carpentersville. The homes will be net zero, meaning they produce more energy through renewable resources than the total amount of energy that the home uses. Nicor Gas refers to these homes as CARE communities (Carbon-neutral, Affordable, Resilient and Efficient) because they demonstrate resilient and sustainable solutions for all income levels. The neighborhoods are designed with a high efficiency building envelope and integrate solar panels and energy storage as well as utilize energy efficient appliances to ensure that homeowners’ energy bills are manageable. Eligible residents are all first-time homeowners and benefit from a zero-interest mortgage.

Nicor Gas has been leading the industry in providing equitable pathways for sustainability to its customers and communities. The company has been working closely with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the U.S. Department of Zero Energy Ready Home program.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley as we work together to make home ownership with critical energy efficient, smart technology a reality,” said Meena Beyers, vice president of Business and Community Development at Nicor Gas. “This project represents the importance of providing affordable, innovative and sustainable solutions for all our customers. Everyone deserves the opportunity to lower their carbon footprint and be a part of a smarter and cleaner energy future in Chicagoland.”

Smart Neighborhood™ is a trademarked brand of Southern Company, the ultimate parent company of Nicor Gas. Smart Neighborhoods advance energy technologies that work together as a part of an affordable, reliable clean energy economy. They lead to job creation, diverse business partnerships, economic development and green transportation.

“We are excited to continue our work alongside Nicor Gas to create a pathway to strength, stability and independence through homeownership for our residents in Carpentersville,” said Barbara Beckman, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley. “This collaboration represents a unique opportunity to advance the adoption of net zero energy solutions, while making them available to individuals who ordinarily could not afford these environmental upgrades.”

As the largest natural gas provider in Illinois, Nicor Gas leads cutting-edge research and development focused on a resilient clean energy future every day. Nicor Gas is part of Southern Company Gas, a family of four natural gas distribution companies whose commitment to sustainability includes working towards net zero emissions from operations, while delivering quality customer solutions, enriching communities and investing in innovation.

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit that brings people together to build homes, communities and hope, envisioning a world where everyone has a decent place to live. The housing organization works in communities across all 50 states.

For this community, Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley will serve as the developer of the Smart Neighborhood. In addition, Habitat for Humanity will partner with local government officials on a broader Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative to conduct home repairs and build quality, affordable homes for those in need. Nicor Gas will support that initiative through its energy efficiency program.

To learn more about the Smart Neighborhood Initiative, please visit

About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.3 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit

About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.3 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with approximately 666,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other non-utility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit

About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity found its earliest inspirations as a grassroots movement on an interracial community farm in southern Georgia. Since its founding in 1976, the Christian housing organization has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit

Media Contact
Allison Gregoire
Project Spokesperson