ComEd Launches New Assistance Programs to Help Families Working to Make Ends Meet


 

ComEd Launches New Assistance Programs to Help Families Working to Make Ends Meet 

Administration of offerings addresses requests to make it easier for families to access bill-assistance and energy-saving options 

CHICAGO – As local communities continue to face economic hardships, ComEd is stepping up with new and enhanced customer-assistance options that will make more customers aware of the help available, provide more grants to help with electric bills, and remove barriers customers sometimes face when accessing assistance options. 

ComEd introduced three of these newest options on Saturday, Jan. 7, at a Community Resource Fair held in collaboration with Pastor Corey Brooks and Project H.O.O.D. (Helping Others Obtain Destiny) in the city’s West Woodlawn neighborhood. ComEd’s collaboration with Project H.O.O.D. took place during the organization’s regular food giveaway and provided families access to a number of agencies – including ComEd representatives – who could help with bill-assistance and career planning. 

This event, and the new customer-assistance options introduced, 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 of our communities, the barriers people within these communities face, and identify opportunities to help these individuals overcome these barriers. The study was conducted by ILLUME Advising and IEc, national policy experts that have done similar studies for states like California and New York and have a deep and broad understanding of disadvantaged communities. This is the first time an energy company has commissioned a study of this type.  

The research team conducted interviews with more than two dozen community stakeholders. Along with this research, these interviews helped the team understand how ComEd could increase its impact by collaborating with existing community networks to bolster awareness of assistance options available and help provide skills and training in next-generation technologies to support communities’ workforce of the future. Additionally, the study identified barriers and opportunities ComEd cannot directly address but can advocate for in partnership with other organizations and regulators to break down those barriers.  

“To better anticipate the changing needs of the communities ComEd serves, we’ve spoken to a number of local leaders and public officials, including Chicago Mayor Lightfoot who is looking to businesses like ComEd to join forces to create solutions,” said Gil C. Quiniones, ComEd CEO. “My takeaway is that families don’t just need help paying bills, they need that help to be both easier to access and more immediate.” 

ComEd chose to launch its newest programs with Project H.O.O.D. because of its history of addressing the needs of its community and local families. Project H.O.O.D. has proudly served the Woodlawn and Englewood communities for over a decade. 

“As we seek to transform the lives 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 Brooks. 

ComEd customers who are unable to attend its community events can access the same assistance options through ComEd’s Smart Assistance Manager, or ComEd.com/SAM. SAM is a free online, self-service tool that helps families and individuals more easily access financial-assistance and energy-saving options that are available to them, based on their income and household size. 

ComEd’s new assistance offerings 

•             Catch Up and Save: A two-part program that first provides monthly credits to a customer’s bill to eliminate past-due balances. To help families save on future energy bills, the program also provides a free energy savings kit, while supplies last. Each kit includes home products designed to help lower home energy use while improving the efficiency of the home. 

•             Fresh Start Services: To help customers become aware of and navigate the options available to manage bills and energy use, ComEd offers both online and person-to-person help. This service 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 programs they may be eligible for. 

•             Your Neighbor Fund: To be funded by donations from ComEd’s 6,000 employees who proudly work and live in the communities the energy company serves. This fund, managed in collaboration with Neighborhood Housing Services, provides another needed source of grant money to help limited-income families pay their ComEd bill. 

These offerings add to the range of programs to which ComEd can connect income-eligible families and individuals to help them manage energy bills and access clean-energy options. They include federal grants like LIHEAP, payment assistance options, energy-efficiency offerings, community solar programs and more. 

ComEd customers can access all of the energy company’s support options at ComEd.com/SAM. Customers without internet access can call ComEd at 800-334-7661 (800-EDISON1), from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday. 

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. 

Project H.O.O.D., provides mentorship, training, and community for residents of Woodlawn and Englewood.  

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