Editor's note: The following is a press release issued by ComEd.
Veterans Day is on Nov. 12, and with only a couple months remaining in 2012, ComEd is urging its customers, including disabled veterans and deployed active military personnel, to apply for $4 million in assistance funds still available. The money is part of a five-year, $50 million commitment to help ComEd customers struggling to pay their monthly electric bills, and it is a direct result of the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act enacted last fall by Illinois lawmakers. ComEd dedicated $10 million in financial assistance for 2012, and nearly half remains available.
To raise customers’ awareness of the assistance funds, ComEd launched an advertising campaign encouraging customers facing financial hardship to apply. The campaign, which runs until the end of the year, features ads on CTA train cards and billboards in targeted communities. Ads will also run on Chicago and Rockford radio stations and on WTTW television.
“We understand that some customers are going through difficult financial times and may need help to pay their electric bills,” said Val Jensen, senior vice president of Customer Operations, ComEd. “We are reaching out to our community partners and social service agencies to ensure that they are informing customers about the funds that are available. We are also running a series of advertisements to try to reach customers in need directly with the message that help is available.”
Under its CARE program, ComEd offers a package of customer assistance programs, including:
CHAMP (ComEd Helps Active Military Personnel) – This program provides bill-payment assistance to deployed members of the military and disabled veterans who have fallen behind on their bill and who reside within ComEd’s Northern Illinois service territory. CHAMP offers a package of benefits, including bill payment assistance of up to $1,000 while funds are available, a deferred payment plan, extended payment due dates, exemption from late charges, deposit reduction and budget payment plans.
Residential Special Hardship program – This initiative is intended to supplement established state-sponsored programs such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Eligible ComEd residential customers that are experiencing a hardship and who are not Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) participants can receive a grant of up to $1,500 toward their electricity bill. Grant amounts may vary while fund are available.
Non-Profit Assistance Programs – ComEd recently extended this program to include all non-profit organizations, including churches. This program provides a one-time variable grant of up to $2,000 for 501 (c)(3) non-profit organizations that are suffering a hardship.
To apply for the Residential Special Hardship grant, customers should visit a local LIHEAP agency. To enroll in CHAMP or another of ComEd’s bill-payment assistance programs, customers should visit ComEd.Com/CARE or call 1-888-806-CARE (2273) for more information.