ComEd Recruits Local Residents to Bring Bill-Assistance Awareness Directly to Families and Individuals
December 15 2022 - 02:00PM
For third year in a row, Community Energy
Assistance Ambassadors help support communities hardest hit by the
To increase access to financial assistance options that can help
income-eligible customers pay their electric bills, while creating
local employment opportunities, ComEd has returned with its
Community Energy Assistance Ambassador (CEAA) program.
First introduced in 2020 in response to the economic impacts of
the COVID-19 pandemic, CEAA is a community-based outreach and
awareness program that continues to support families in communities
hardest hit by the economy. Each year, the program provides
temporary, part-time employment to approximately 100 residents from
INVEST South/West neighborhoods. These individuals receive
training, then help educate neighbors about bill-assistance options
available through virtual and in-person events.
Entering the 2022-23 winter season, CEAAs previously reached out
to approximately 1,800 families; 27% of whom received a total of
more than $59,000 in assistance. Since its inception, the program
has provided employment to approximately 300 Chicago-area
“In recent years, a succession of financial challenges has
created hardships for an increasing number of customers – many of
whom have never before needed financial assistance,” said Nichole
Owens, ComEd vice president of customer channels. “To meet the
needs of these customers, we continue to innovate to connect as
many families and individuals as possible with the assistance they
need. The creation of CEAA is just one example of how we partner
with local communities to meet customers where they are.”
CEAAs are trained to play a crucial role in informing community
members about the options available to help them address past-due
balances on their energy bills, and access ways to better manage
their energy use. This includes promoting residential customer
awareness and enrollment in governmental financial-assistance
options such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
(LIHEAP), as well as ComEd’s bill-assistance and energy-efficiency
To implement the CEAA program, ComEd works with the Chatham
Business Association (CBA), who initially helped identify community
institutions across INVEST South/West neighborhoods that hire,
train, equip and manage CEAAs. This year, the program
expanded to include additional communities of color located in some
of the most vulnerable neighborhoods across northern Illinois.
“I am grateful for ComEd’s trust in CBA to manage the CEAA
program,” said Melinda Kelly, CBA chairman and president. “ComEd
looks to CBA to partner with reputable community organizations and
stakeholders so that, together, we can provide the type of
education and outreach that helps anyone access the assistance they
Other bill- assistance options
For anyone facing difficulty paying their electric bill, ComEd
offers the following assistance programs:
- Financial-assistance programs like the Low-Income Home
Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) 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 a past-due balance.
Make a down payment on the amount owed, and the balance is paid
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
- Flexible payment options like extensions on a customer's
due date by 21 calendar days.
- High-usage alerts, which enable customers to receive
alerts when their usage is trending higher than normal to help
manage overall energy use, and energy-management tips to
help customers manage energy use to save money now and on future
- 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, that
can help reduce energy use now and in the future.
To make it easier for all customers to find bill-assistance and
energy-savings options, 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. Any customer experiencing a hardship
or difficulty paying their electric bill can also call ComEd at
800-334-7661 (800-EDISON1), Monday through Friday from 7
a.m. to 7 p.m.
Any organization that would like CEAAs to attend their events to
educate attendees on bill-assistance options should call the CBA
directly at 773-994-5006 or email melinda.kelly@CBAWorks.org.
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.
About Chatham Business Association
Chatham Business Association is a small business resource center
that offers an array of customized services and programs designed
to assist businesses. Areas of assistance include expansion and
growth through economic development, strategic planning, technical
training, business trend workshops, access to capital assistance,
effective collaborative marketing programs and government
certification. For more information, visit www.cbaworks.org.
version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221215005972/en/
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