Package features more flexible payment options, financial assistance for past due balances; extends suspension of service disconnections and waiver of late fee charges
CHICAGO (June 18, 2020) –To help families and communities recover from the economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, ComEd, the staff of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and a broad group of stakeholders worked to develop a comprehensive customer support package. In approving the parties’ proposed package today, the ICC adopts an approach that reflects unprecedented collaboration between stakeholders and the entire utility sector.
This support extends beyond the ICC’s March 18, 2020 Emergency Interim Order to include the suspension of disconnections and the waiver of new late fees until either the state moves to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan or Aug. 1, 2020, whichever comes first. The package also provides bill assistance for eligible low-income customers, more flexible payment options for customers and the waiver of certain deposits and fees for an extended period of time.
“Although ComEd’s bills are lower than they were more than a decade ago, we recognize that our bills are only one piece of the puzzle as many Illinois families are experiencing financial hardship and related anxiety right now,” said ComEd CEO Joe Dominguez. “This is an extremely difficult time, and we are committed to doing everything we can to help ease our customers’ financial burden. That’s why we have worked closely with a broad coalition of stakeholders to design an unprecedented and comprehensive support package that provides support to customers who need it most.”
Customers who are challenged in paying their outstanding balances and electric bills should contact ComEd’s customer care team as soon as possible at 800-334-7661, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to take advantage of new and existing assistance options. More information is also available at ComEd.com/CARE.
This comprehensive relief package was made possible by the collaboration of a variety of key stakeholders, including the Staff of the ICC, large Illinois utility companies and the Joint Consumer Parties, which include the Illinois Attorney General, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), the City of Chicago, Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services and Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI). Details of ComEd’s customer support package include:
- Extending the Suspension of Disconnections. ComEd will provide continued relief from service disconnections by extending its suspension on disconnecting customers until either the state moves to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan or Aug. 1, 2020, whichever comes first.
- Residential and small business customers will have an additional 30-day grace period, during which time ComEd will not disconnect service for nonpayment to help customers get back on their feet. This builds off previous action taken by ComEd to suspend service disconnections; in March, ComEd was one of the first companies in the nation to voluntarily suspend service disconnections and waive new late payment charges.
- Bill Assistance for Eligible Low-Income Customers. To help customers who are past due on their ComEd accounts, ComEd will provide additional bill assistance for eligible, low-income households earning less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
- More Flexible Payment Arrangements. Under the comprehensive support package, customers will have additional flexible payment options, including longer payment plans in which payments will be spread out over up to 18 months for residential customers, or 24 months for low-income customers and customers experiencing financial hardship.
- Extended Fee Relief. ComEd will continue to waive reconnection fees for those eligible residential customers disconnected prior to March 18, 2020 and will waive new residential deposit requirements for an extended period of time.
- These comprehensive customer assistance programs supplement the extensive relief that ComEd already offers its 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 program.
- Supplemental Arrearage Assistance.
Recognizing that customers facing economic hardship may be challenged to quickly pay off debt accrued during a period of nonpayment, ComEd also offers arrearage assistance through its Supplemental Arrearage Protection Program (SARP). ComEd, along with The Exelon Foundation and Exelon Generation, has made a $2 million donation to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund to help Illinois residents affected by the pandemic.
The fund is a joint effort between the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, in collaboration with the Office of the Governor, to raise funds for relief organizations across the state serving individuals, families and communities hit hardest by the pandemic.