Customers urged to contact ComEd to learn about available programs to help them pay bills, reduce energy use
During the first quarter of 2023, ComEd helped connect more than 87,000 eligible customers to more than $26 million in bill assistance. This is both the largest amount of assistance provided – and second-largest number of customers supported – for any first quarter dating back to at least 2019. In all of 2022, ComEd connected 211,000 eligible customers to nearly $129 million in assistance.
These results come after ComEd has introduced new financial assistance options that were informed by a ComEd-commissioned study that looked at how to support customers in light of CEJA’s ambitious goals for creating an equitable transition to a decarbonized future. This work helped ComEd better understand the inequities that have long impacted many communities in the company’s service territory, the barriers people within these communities face, and identified opportunities to help these individuals overcome these barriers.
“We are constantly striving to improve our programs and approach to ensure customers in need are aware of and are connected with available assistance,” said Melissa Washington, ComEd’s chief customer officer and senior vice president of customer operations. “Some of our recent key learnings have been that people need us to meet them where they are, offer real help and make access to that help as simple as possible – and we’re pleased to have successfully implemented new programs and hosted a number of community resource fairs to do just that.”
In January, ComEd expanded its portfolio of customer-assistance programs with the following options:
- 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.
To help remove barriers our customers sometimes face when accessing assistance options, 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.
This past weekend, ComEd collaborated with YWCA Northwestern Illinois to hold a resource fair for Rockford-area residents. Other fairs have taken place in Chicago’s West Woodlawn neighborhood and Ford Heights, Ill. ComEd also works closely with community action agencies across northern Illinois to help connect customers with bill-assistance options that will get them back on track with their utility bill payments.
Bill Assistance Programs
A variety of financial-assistance and payment-options are available to help customers manage their energy bills, including:
- LIHEAP, available through May 31, and ComEd's Supplemental Arrearage Reduction Program (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.
ComEd Media Relations