Helping Hand program provides expedited, one-time grants of up to $300 per residential customer to help with past-due balances

CHICAGO (Nov. 9, 2020) – To provide immediate aid to eligible customers most in need during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, ComEd announces a new program, Helping Hand. For a limited time, this financial-assistance program provides an additional one-time grant of up to $300 to help low- income residential customers, and those who express financial hardship, reduce past-due balances.

“As the number of COVID-19 cases increases throughout northern Illinois, we understand that the pandemic continues to create significant financial hardship for many of our customers,” said ComEd CEO Joe Dominguez. “That’s why we continue to evaluate and find new ways – like our new Helping Hand program – to support customers and communities most in need.”

Assistance through the Helping Hand program will be administered directly through ComEd, which expedites the verification process so that customers can receive grants more quickly. Residential customers can apply for Helping Hand grants at ComEd.com/PaymentAssistance.

Helping Hand is the latest in a number of assistance options ComEd has developed since the pandemic to help customers, including a $18 million bill-payment assistance program announced earlier this summer.

ComEd has continued the suspension of service disconnections for low-income customers and those who express a financial hardship through March 31, 2021. For other customers, it’s important that they continue to stay current to avoid higher past-due balances into the spring that will be harder to address.

ComEd’s bill-assistance programs also include flexible payment options, financial assistance for past-due balances and usage alerts for current bills. Any customer who is experiencing a hardship or difficulty with their electric bill should call ComEd immediately at 1-800-334-7661 (1-800-EDISON-1), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to learn more and enroll in a program.

ComEd worked with the Illinois Attorney General’s office, the staff of the Illinois Commerce Commission and a broad group of stakeholders in June to offer the following customer- assistance options that are available for a limited time:

• Bill Assistance for Eligible Low-Income Customers. To help LIHEAP-qualified customers with past-due balances, ComEd will provide additional bill assistance – up to $500 – for eligible, low-income households earning 200 percent or less of the federal poverty level. For information or to apply for LIHEAP, visit HelpIllinoisFamilies.com.

• More Flexible Payment Arrangements. Under the comprehensive support package, ComEd offers eligible residential customers payment plans of up to 18 installment payments with a 25-percent down payment. Limited-income residential customers and those facing financial hardship can spread amounts they owe over 24 installment payments with no down payment.

These customer assistance options supplement the extensive relief that ComEd already offers customers in need, including:

• Flexible Payment Options. These include budget billing, which averages payments over a 12-month period to help customers manage their monthly energy bills.
• CARE Financial Assistance Grants. For customers who struggle to cover energy expenses, ComEd offers a wide range of financial assistance programs.

ComEd also offers usage alerts and energy-management tips to help customers manage energy use to save money now and on future energy bills. For more information, visit ComEd.com/OnlineTools.

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