CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As the May 31 application deadline approaches for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federal program that helps families with energy costs, ComEd encourages eligible Illinois families and individuals to apply now while funding is available.
So far this year, ComEd helped connect more than 93,000 eligible customers to more than $29 million in bill assistance. In all of 2022, ComEd connected 211,000 eligible customers to nearly $129 million in assistance.
“While it’s important that eligible customers are aware of the coming LIHEAP application deadline, it’s also important to know that ComEd has bill-assistance options to help customers with past-due balances all year round,” said Melissa Washington, ComEd's chief customer officer and senior vice president of customer operations. “If you feel you could be struggling with bills, you can contact ComEd to find an assistance option that best fits your need, then learn about other programs that may help you avoid this situation in the future.”
To help remove barriers customers sometimes face when accessing assistance options, ComEd works with community action agencies across northern Illinois to help connect customers with bill-assistance options that get them back on track.
Earlier this year, ComEd launched a series of community resource fairs, which bring together local businesses, community leaders and government agencies to provide, in one place, multiple support services to help families with their finances, health services or finding the skills and jobs they need to thrive.
In January, ComEd collaborated on the first resource fair with Project H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Obtain Destiny), a nonprofit that provides mentorship, training, and community resources for residents of Woodlawn and Englewood.
"As we seek to transform the lives of our community members, it is a great pleasure to work with ComEd and other support organizations to ensure that families are fed and have access to critical and timely resources," said Pastor Corey Brooks, founder and executive director of Project H.O.O.D., where ComEd also announced the launch of three, new bill-assistance programs:
- Catch Up and Save: A two-part program that provides monthly credits to an eligible customer's bill to eliminate past-due balances, as well as a free energy savings kit – while supplies last – to help families save on future energy bills. Each kit includes home products designed to help lower home energy use while improving the efficiency of the home.
- Fresh Start Services: Provides customers with both online and person-to-person help customers become aware of and navigate the options available to manage bills and energy use. This program also offers customers tools that will alert them when their energy use is trending higher than usual and help them be aware of financial-assistance options they may be eligible for.
- Your Neighbor Fund: Funded by donations from ComEd's 6,300 employees who proudly work and live in the communities the energy company serves, this fund provides another needed source of grant money to help limited-income families pay their ComEd bill.
Existing Bill Assistance Programs
A variety of financial-assistance and payment-options continue to be available to help customers manage their energy bills, including:
- ComEd's Supplemental Arrearage Reduction (SARP), which is available to ComEd residential customers who qualified to receive energy-assistance benefits from LIHEAP.
- A flexible deferred payment arrangement of up to 12 months for eligible residential customers with past-due balances. Make a down payment on the amount owed and pay the rest through installments in addition to your regular monthly bill.
- Budget billing, which provides a predictable monthly amount due based on your electricity usage from the last 12 months.
- Flexible payment options like 21-day extensions on a customer's due date.
- High-usage alerts, which let customers know when their usage is trending higher than normal to help manage overall energy use, and energy-management tips to save money now and on future energy bills.
- Community solar allows customers to participate in the benefits of clean solar energy without installing panels on their own homes. Participants subscribe to a solar energy project and earn credits on their monthly utility bills for their portion of the energy produced by the solar project.
- Energy-efficiency offerings, including services and incentives designed for income-eligible residential customers, which can help reduce energy use now and in the future.
To make it easier for families and individuals to find bill-assistance and energy-savings options that best fit their needs, ComEd encourages customers to use its Smart Assistance Manager (SAM), an online self-service tool that matches customers with programs that can help them manage their electric bills now and into the future. Customers can access SAM at ComEd.com/SAM.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information, visit ComEd.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.