ComEd financial assistance programs.

Many of the resources offered by ComEd fall under the name known as CARE. It can help people save money on their electric and heating bills, and CARE also supports a variety of energy assistance programs across Illinois.

Residential Hardship is one of the services. Limited amounts of financial assistance can be provided on your bill during a time of financial hardship, such as people facing a medical emergency or short term reduction in income.

The hardship needs to be fully documented, and applicants also need to meet program income guidelines. Many apply as they have been impacted by a job loss, short term disability, illness, military deployment, or senior citizen issues. ComEd's Residential Special Hardship program will provide at most a grant of $1000 every two years to qualified individuals. Any aid provided depends on program funding. Applicants also need to have total household incomes up to 250% of the federal government poverty level.

C.H.A.M.P. is a financial assistance program offered by ComEd that can help military personnel in Illinois who receive their power from ComEd.

Members of the National Guard, U.S. Armed Forces, and Army Reserves who have been called to active duty can get assistance with paying their monthly heating and electricity bills. A variety of benefits and assistance is offered to assist military personnel. It is estimated that a few thousand people could benefit from CHAMP. Disabled Veterans who live in Illinois and who are ComEd customers, and who were honorably discharged with at least two years of service, may also apply for financial assistance as well.

Resources provided as part of this service include Deferred Payment Plan/Installment Payment Plan, cash of up to $1000 (while funds are available) to pay bills, utility Deposit Reduction and/or Refunds, Cancellation of Late Charges, Budget Payment Plan, and Extended Due Dates.





Summer Assistance Program – While not available every year, when it does run qualified families can receive up to a one-time $30 credit. The funds flow to current Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program participants with household incomes up to 200 percent of the federal government poverty level. Sometimes free fans may be distributed too, in partnership with local charities or non-profits.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is managed by the state of Illinois and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Eligible low-income ComEd households pay for winter heating bills, and occasionally summer cooling and air conditioning bills.

Percentage of Income Payment Plan – People who receive LIHEAP can get additional help from the Direct Vendor Payment (DVP) plan or the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP). The qualified customer will need to pay a percentage of their income towards their monthly bills. If they do this, and abide by other program terms, they will also receive a monthly credit/benefit towards their paid unpaid utility bills, and the credit will reduce their overdue outstanding bills for every on-time payment they. One of the main benefits from PIPP is that clients will receive a reduction in overdue payments on any older unpaid bills on their ComEd account for every payment they make by the bill due date. The other option, which is the more traditional DVP plan, is a one-time payment for back bills.

Fresh Start Arrearage Reduction Program is LIHEAP approved. It provides monthly credits of up to $150 a month for qualifying customers who begin and continue to pay their electric bills on time.

For more information or details on any of these services, dial ComEd CARE at 888-806-2273.

Local city of Chicago and Cook County assistance programs for ComEd customers

Upkeep and Repair Services Program is offered in Chicago. You need to call a local community action agency to apply. It can provide free minor home repairs to seniors, including replacing faulty light fixtures or switches, maintaining or repair weather stripping and caulking, and more.

The Chicago Department of Housing may be able to provide grants to help low-income home owners make emergency home repairs, such as which can address energy matters. Call (312) 744-4190.





The Community and Economic Development Association may offer energy bill assistance to help eligible ComEd families pay their monthly electric bills. Dial (312) 795-8800 for more details. The government agency also administers a home weatherization program that can be used to help people save money by allowing homeowners and qualified renters to help make their homes more energy efficient.

State of Illinois also offers weatherization services, and these are paid for by the federal government. Assistance is provided to low-income residents by local not-for-profit agencies or community action agencies throughout the state.


By Jon McNamara

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