Utility Assistants


Info Shared by Alderwoman Garza

Know Your Rights: If you’re a Chicago Tenant that needs help with a housing issue like lockouts or evictions, please contact Rentervention, a program of Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing. Rentervention is free and confidential. To get started, tenants can call 312-347-7600, visit www.rentervention.com or text “hi” to 866-7RENTER (866-773-6837) to start a conversation with Renny, Rentervention’s bot.



Info Shared by Alderman Mitchell



Info Shared by Alderman Mitchell


Info Shared by Alderman Mitchell


Today, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved one of the most comprehensive COVID-19 utility customer relief measures in the country. This is the result of two months of negotiations among consumer advocates and Illinois’ largest utilities. (Big thank you to the 600 people who signed our petition to the ICC earlier this week!)
This plan extends a halt on utility shut-offs and late fees, provides longer payment plans, and offers bill-payment assistance. I just put the finishing touches on a fact sheet outlining these new consumer protections, and you can access that information by clicking here. We also released a statement on the ICC’s decision.
We know that the pandemic and economic crisis have turned so many lives upside down, but we hope these protections begin to provide some sense of security and stability. We still have a long way to go to recover from the pandemic, but this is a step in the right direction.
Thank you for reading. Please stay safe and healthy.
Hannah Finnerty, CUB Communications Coordinator





ComEd Weatherproofing Discounts

ComEd customers that use electricity provided by ComEd or natural gas provided by Nicor Gas for the majority of their home’s heating may be eligible for the following instant rebates such as attic insulation, air and duct sealing, and foundation sidewall. Click here for a listing of these rebates and how you can receive them. Or you can call an approved contractor at 855.433.2700.


CEDA Weatherization Program

The CEDA Weatherization Program is now open for residents of Chicago and Suburban Cook County to apply for our Home Energy Conservation Services. Their mission is to work in partnership with communities, to empower families and individuals to achieve self-sufficiency and to improve their quality of life. Please visit www.cedaorg.net for more information.

Residential Special Hardship Program*

·         Grants of up to $1,500, once every two years, for eligible residential customers with household incomes up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level ($58,875 for a family of four) are available.   
Through April 1, 2014 customers are NOT required to provide additional hardship documentation to qualify. 

Emergency Heating Repair Program

Open enrollment for the Emergency Heating Repair Program runs from Nov.1 thru April 1. To initiate the application process, homeowners can call HED’s customer service line at 312.744.3653 or visit City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Room 1006, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

  • You may also download the application packet, complete the forms and bring or mail them to the City Hall location. Completed forms with all required documentation must be dropped off in our office or postmarked by April 1, 2014 to avoid cancellation.

Eligible properties must be located in Chicago, habitable, owner-occupied, and not at risk of foreclosure.  All applicants must be income eligible and can only receive a one-time service for roof and porch repair/replacement.  Exception to the one-time assistance policy may be granted to homeowners who face heating emergencies even though they already have received roof or porch assistance.

Households earning 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) are eligible to participate in the program. The total gross income of all owners and other household members shall be included and may not exceed this limit.  The gross incomes of all adults, 18 and older, who reside in the property, are included to determine income eligibility.

If the owner sells, transfers title or no longer occupies the unit within one year of the grant, the owner will be required to pay back the grant in its entirety.



Citizens Utility Board

General inquiries:

When the Illinois General Assembly created CUB in 1983, it gave the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization a clear mission: to represent the interests of residential utility customers across the state. The statute directs CUB to carry out that mission by intervening in ratemaking proceedings before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), in the courts and before other public bodies and by providing consumers with information and assistance regarding their utility companies.





Info Forward by Alderman Hairston, 5th Ward:

Free Energy-Saving Products


People Gas Natural Delivery

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides financial assistance to help customers on limited incomes pay their energy bills.

For eligible households, there are three different ways to receive assistance under LIHEAP:

  • Direct Vendor Payment – a once-a-year grant for customers who currently have service;
  • Reconnection Assistance – a once-a-year grant that helps disconnected customers reestablish service; and
  • Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) – a monthly benefit under which customers pay a monthly amount based on their household income and natural gas usage.

LIHEAP Eligibility

Eligibility and the amount of grants depend on household size and the last 30 days of gross household income prior to filing an application.

Household Size Maximum 30-Day Income
1 $1,459
2 $1,966
3 $2,474
4 $2,981
5 $3,489
6 $3,996
7 $4,504
8 $5,011

To Apply For LIHEAP

Customers should visit a local customer center or call the Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA) at 800-571-2332.

Applicants are required to submit:

  • Proof of gross income for all household members;
  • Current gas and electric bills;
  • Proof of Social Security numbers for all household members;
  • A Medical Eligibility Card for any household member receiving TANF; and
  • Their rental agreement, in cases where utilities are included in the rent.



Weatherproofing Assistance Program

Weatherproofing your home is simple and affordable and will make a difference in your winter heating bills. Programs are available to help low- and fixed-income customers with weatherproofing projects. People with financial difficulties are encouraged to take advantage of these programs to reduce their bills.

Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA)

Provides eligible households with home energy audits, insulation installation and other weatherization services. To apply, call CEDA at 800-571-CEDA (2332).

Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP)

The Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) is a City of Chicago program that provides grants to help low-income home owners make emergency home repairs. Grants are available to address dangerous, hazardous or life-threatening conditions in single-family properties. These include:

  • Replacement of heating units or other heat-related repairs (utility service must be connected) and outdoor plumbing repairs;
  • Roofing and unenclosed porch repairs.

For more information, call 311, the city’s non-emergency information line.


Savings for Seniors

Upkeep and Repair Services Program

This program provides free minor home repairs to eligible seniors. This program enables elderly, low-income homeowners to maintain their homes for safe and comfortable living. Types of repairs include: light plumbing, replacing faulty light fixtures or switches, repairing or maintaining weather stripping and caulking, installing handicap access grab bars and railings, and other similar repairs.

Eligibility Requirements

Participants must be at least 60 years of age and live south of North Avenue.

Application Process

Contact Housing Opportunities & Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.) at 773-921-3200. H.O.M.E. repair staff will visit the person’s home to determine if the requested repair can be completed by the agency.

To learn more about assistance programs for senior citizens, call 311, the city’s non-emergency information line.



Medical Certificate Program

If you are having trouble paying your natural gas bill due to an illness, let us know. First, call us immediately and then submit a medical certificate from your doctor within five days via fax or mail:

Fax: 312-240-7343


Peoples Gas
Attn: Contact Center
200 East Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601

Once we receive your medical certificate and determine you are eligible, we will halt disconnection. Or, if your gas has already been disconnected, turn on your service.

Medical certificates are valid only for residential accounts, and the certification of illness must:

  • Be signed and dated by a registered physician or local board of health.
  • Be on the physician’s letterhead and contain the name, business address and telephone number of the physician or board of health.
  • State the name and address of the ill person (who must be a permanent resident of the premise in question).

Conditions of the Medical Certificate

  • We will not discontinue service for 30 days from certification.
  • Certification can be renewed once for an additional 30 days by providing a second medical certificate before the expiration of the first certificate.
  • After two consecutive months (60 days), your account is ineligible for acceptance of additional medical certificates for one year from the date of the original certification.
  • You must call 866-556-6001 and enter into Payment Arrangements within 30 days of the issuance of the certificate. No initial payment is required.
  • If service has been disconnected, medical certification for service restoration must be received within 14 days of the disconnection date.
  • The medical certificate must be dated no more than 21 days prior to the date of presentment.
  • The certifying party must sign the medical certificate.

To learn more about the program, download the program guidelines and application:

If you have any questions regarding the Medical Certificate Program, please contact us.




Payment Arrangements

We understand circumstances sometimes make it difficult to keep up with your bills. That’s why we offer a Short-Term Payment Plan and Minimum Payment Option to allow customers to maintain service while they pay off past-due balances.

Short-Term Payment Plan

The Short-Term Payment Plan helps eligible customers catch up on their bills over several months. The plan allows you to pay a portion of your past-due balance while paying your current bill.

The sooner you contact us, the more likely we’ll be able to make arrangements that work for you.

You Are Eligible For A Short-Term Payment Plan If:

  • You are a residential or small business customer with an active account.
  • You are not currently on a payment plan to pay off a past-due balance.

Other Things You Should Know

  • Your request to enroll in a Short-Term Payment Plan can be denied if you still owe money on a previous payment plan with us.
  • If you do not make the payments under your Short-Term Payment Plan, your service may be disconnected.

Minimum Payment Option

If you are not eligible for a Short-Term Payment Plan and are facing service disconnection, you can maintain service by making a payment under the Minimum Payment Option. The Minimum Payment Option is offered from April through September to customers who receive a disconnect notice.

You do not need to formally enroll or contact us to participate in the Minimum Payment Option. If you receive a disconnect notice, simply look for the Minimum Payment Option amount on the notice and follow the instructions on how to make your minimum payment.

Payment Arrangements
Schedule monthly payments to pay off a past-due balance.





A Rate Relief Program has three components, the Summer Assistance Program, the Residential Rate Relief Program, Power Up, and Residential Hardship Fund. All of them offer some type of assistance with paying utility bills or heating bills to lower income Illinois residents.

CARE Helping Hand Initiative is a new utility bill assistance program that was created to provide one-time assistance to provide some immediate help and relief to customers who are currently facing disconnection of their utility service. Illinois customers need to agree to a payment plan, and ComEd will waive a portion of the outstanding energy bill. Get information on other ComEd assistance programs.

The energy company also uses millions of dollars of its own money every year to help low income and disadvantaged customers. So called matching programs and other resources are offered for paying electric and utility bills. Learn more.


Assisting Customers with Special Hardship

Do you have a financial hardship due to job loss, illness, military deployment, disability, or as a senior citizen? If so, you may be eligible for assistance through ComEd’s Residential Special Hardship program. Income-eligible, residential customers can apply once every two years for grants of up to $500 based on need and availability of program funds.

*Grant amounts may vary while funds are available.


This grant is available to residential customers with household incomes up to 250% of the federal poverty level ($59,625 for a family of four) who demonstrate a hardship – job loss, documented illness, military deployment, senior or disability hardships, among others.

This option may be available to ComEd customers who receive traditional LIHEAP benefits. ComEd customers who participate in PIPP are not eligible for the Residential Special Hardship program.

2014-2015 Income Eligibility Guidelines

Family Size 30-Day Income Annual Income
1 $2,431 $29,175
2 $3,277 $39,325
3 $4,123 $49,475
4 $4,969 $59,625
5 $5,815 $69,775
6 $6,600 $79,925
7 $7,506 $90,075
8 $8,352 $100,225

For More Information

To apply, contact one of the local Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies (IACAA) listed in the following link.


CHAMP – Proud of Our Military, Proud to Help

 You’ve Earned our Support

Since January 2002, ComEd has assisted activated and deployed members of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard, Reserves and honorably discharged veterans with paying their electric bills. CHAMP is a financial-assistance program that offers an optional package of benefits to qualified military personnel who reside within ComEd’s service territory and have fallen behind on their electric bill.

Available Benefits

  • Bill payment assistance up to $1,000 (while funds are available)
  • Deferred payment plans
  • Extended Due Dates (preferred due dates)
  • Cancellation of late charges
  • Deposit reduction and/or refund
  • Budget payment plan


ComEd is committed to engaging and supporting our communities by providing assistance to military personnel that are experiencing a hardship, and have fallen behind on their electric bill.

  • Deployed members of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves
  • Veterans who were honorably discharged
  • Reside within ComEd’s northern Illinois service territory and demonstrate a hardship

Benefits are available to eligible customers on a one-time basis.




SPAOA - Single Moms, Single Fathers, Single Fathers

Are you Eligible?
Please use the Single Parents Alliance qualifier tool provided below, to see if you are among the 20 Million Single Parents in America that are Eligible.
Single Parents Alliance of America (SPAOA)
SPAOA.org is a for profit website comprised of information and resources for Single Parents across the United States. SPAOA.org is dedicated to the purpose of supplying third party offers and information for Financial Aid, Advice and Services for Single Parents. SPAOA.org efforts on behalf of its third party affiliates bring Benefits including, but not limited too, medical benefits, financial aid, grants, discounts from Groceries to Clothing Departments; as well as, further education financial benefits, and serves as an industry forum for information and resources for Single Parents across America. We also include a full forum for Members for support and advice.




Illinois Department of Human Service

Homeless Prevention


What is the purpose of this service?

The Homeless Prevention Program provides rental assistance, utility assistance and supportive services directly related to the prevention of homelessness to eligible individuals and families who are in danger of eviction, foreclosure or homelessness or are currently homeless. The program is designed to stabilize individuals and families in their existing homes, shorten the amount of time that individuals and families stay in shelters and assist individuals and families with securing affordable housing.

Who can receive these services?

Persons who may be eligible include households that are in immediate danger of eviction, foreclosure or homelessness or are currently homeless. The household must document a temporary economic crisis beyond its control and must be able to demonstrate an ability to meet the prospective rental/utility obligations after the assistance has been granted based on current or anticipated income.

What services are provided?

Homeless prevention services are provided through Continuum of Care organizations. This is a network of local governments, community organizations and non-profit agencies that cover the service needs of the entire state to provide:

  • Payment of rent arrears to prevent eviction (3 months maximum).
  • Payment of a rent or security deposit (2 months maximum).
  • Payment of utility bills and arrearage.
  • Supportive services to prevent homelessness or repeated episodes of homelessness, include:
    • Housing Location/Inspection
    • Job Preparation/Employment Services
    • Counseling
    • Outreach
    • Follow-up
    • Case Management

How can I get services?

Contact a Homeless Prevention Provider from the list.

8759 S Commercial Ave,

Chicago, IL 60617

Between E 88th St and E 87th St
(312) 747-0500



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