CHICAGOApplications for energy assistance funds from the ComEd Cool Care initiative provided to the Illinois Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis from Aug. 1 until funds run out. Under Cool Care, ComEd is providing $2 million to supplement LIHEAP funds available to ComEd customers.
Because summer electricity use will be significantly higher for most households this year, ComEd Cool Care will help prevent customers from developing significant arrearages and risking disconnection, and to assist those seeking to restore previously disconnected electrical service. These funds will help the state assist an additional 3,000 to 4,000 eligible customers, depending on the number of applications filed and the average grant size.
This initiative was created to address the safety and comfort of our customers during an especially hot summer, said Frank Clark, president of ComEd. By directing additional resources to customers in need, ComEd is making a difference in the lives of the people we serve. ComEd Cool Care took the unprecedented step of suspending residential disconnections during non-winter months to protect customers during the recent period of extreme heat. This new initiative provides additional relief for customers in the form of financial assistance.
Last month, Gov. Rod Blagojevich directed the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to provide $8 million in energy grants to Illinois most vulnerable populations, including seniors, the disabled, the homeless and families with small children. With the $2 million ComEd is applying to the LIHEAP program, the state announced it will expand the summer program to include all LIHEAP-eligible households in the ComEd service area. Applicants for LIHEAP summer assistance can still apply for winter assistance later in the year.
LIHEAP is a state-and federally-funded energy assistance program that assists households with incomes of up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level, providing assistance to either reconnect households or prevent imminent disconnection. Benefits are paid directly to the households electric utility.
For a complete listing of LIHEAPs local administrating agencies and additional information about the grant program, go to www.liheapillinois.com, or call the toll-free LIHEAP information line at 1-800-252-8643 during business hours Monday through Friday.
From the Aug. 24-30, 2005, issue