Illinois PIRG Gas Utility Watchdog Organizer

Chicago, IL

Apply Now

Illinois PIRG is seeking a Gas Utility Watchdog Organizer to fight gas utility rate hikes and rein in wasteful fossil fuel infrastructure spending.

Despite taking major steps to address the climate crisis, Illinois public policy has incentivized billions of dollars of wasteful gas utility spending over the last decade. 

The most prominent example is the Peoples Gas pipe replacement program in Chicago, an $11 billion project that is making home heating increasingly unaffordable, failing to effectively address safety risks in the Peoples Gas system, and increasingly at odds with Chicago’s climate goals, such as moving 30% of residential buildings off the gas system by 2035.

Wasteful utility spending leads directly to rate hikes, and this January four major Illinois gas utilities filed for rate hikes at the same time, proposing to collectively raise rates by more than $900 million next year.

As our Gas Utility Watchdog Organizer, you’ll work with Illinois PIRG Director Abe Scarr and build off of our recent victory ending a state law incentivizing wasteful gas utility spending. Our top priorities are to:

  • Fight excessive rate hike requests by Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, Nicor Gas and Ameren Gas.
  • Overhaul the Peoples Gas pipe replacement program to focus on specific safety risks, not an unnecessary full-system overhaul
  • End the subsidization of gas main extensions
  • Support building electrification policies in Chicago and statewide

Illinois PIRG stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security or our right to fully participate in our democratic society. Over the last 10 years we have: 

  • Won our campaign to end the gas utility “QIP” surcharge. We built a coalition of 50 organizations, elevated the issue through hundreds of media stories, and won the support of Governor Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot, and the Chicago City Council
  • Blocked legislation proposed by ComEd that would have changed utility billing in a manner that would harm consumers and hold back rooftop solar
  • Helped pass numerous consumer protection laws, including a 36% rate cap on consumer loans, new protections for student loan borrowers, and to stop the worst abuses in the competitive energy supply market
  • Led the coalition campaign to pass Automatic Voter Registration with bipartisan support


  • Coalition building: Build support around our campaigns in key constituencies at the state and local level
  • Advocacy: Take our policies directly to key decision-makers in Springfield, in Chicago, or wherever important decisions are being made.
  • Program Development and Strategy: Evaluate the issues, create viable policy solutions and propose the right political strategy and messaging.
  • Communications: Work to develop messaging and materials for decision makers, the public, and the media to help advance our campaigns, including opinion editorials, press releases, letters to the editor, action campaign emails, fact sheets, bill summaries and policy briefs, regulatory comments, analyses, and presentations.
  • Fundraising: Write grant proposals, build relationships with foundation staff and meet with major donors.


Candidates must have at least 3 years of relevant professional experience. Qualified candidates will have a demonstrated commitment to citizen-based social change, as well as a track record of leadership, excellent judgment, discretion and significant project oversight. Experience working on utility, consumer protection or clean energy campaigns preferred.

We’re looking for people who are goal-driven and results-oriented, who have excellent verbal, written and analytical skills, the ability to speak persuasively in a charged atmosphere, and driven to make positive policy change.

Compensation & benefits

The target annual compensation for this position is $32,000-$40,000. Illinois PIRG offers a competitive benefits package including medical, dental, and vision insurance for employees and dependents, our commuter benefit program, 401(k) with employer match, paid time off and long-term disability insurance. We also offer an excellent training program and opportunities for advancement.

Why work with Illinois PIRG? Check out ten reasons:

Illinois PIRG is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change. Visit for things you should know about our network when you apply.

Illinois PIRG is an equal opportunity employer.

COVID-19: We take COVID-19 safety very seriously. Employees must follow our COVID safety protocols and be fully vaccinated and boosted. Accommodations are provided to the extent required by law.