April 11, 2012—Customers of ComEd in Illinois may qualify for grants of up to $500 to help pay for electricity.
As part of last year's smart grid legislation, ComEd has set aside $50 million — $10 million a year for five years — for its Residential Special Hardship program that provides grants for eligible residential customers. The grants will be a credit on the customer's bill. ComEd has offered the program since 2007 under various rate relief packages; its most recent round of funding had expired last year.
ComEd held a news conference last week to promote the program, which supplements other state-sponsored programs such as LIHEAP. Customers eligible for LIHEAP may also qualify for the ComEd program.
Customers can apply once every 2 years for grants of up to $500 based on need and availability of program funds. Qualifications include a household income of up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level ($57,620 for a family of four). Applicants must also identify a hardship issue — including documented medical, military, senior, or disability hardships among others, according to ComEd's website.
The program is part of a package of ComEd customer assistance initiatives, including the C.H.A.M.P (ComEd Helps Active Military Personnel) program. This program provides bill-payment assistance to deployed members of the military and to disabled veterans who reside within ComEd's northern Illinois service territory and demonstrate a
need. CHAMP offers a package of options, including grants 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.
Customers may apply for a Residential Special Hardship grant at a local LIHEAP agency. Funding was available to customers as of March 1. To enroll in CHAMP, customers should call 1-888-806-CARE (2273).