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My Energy Bill Is Too High

Because I’m Experiencing Hardship

ComEd offers grants to income-eligible customers during periods of documented hardship as assistance on past-due electric bills.

Because I’m Struggling To Afford My Energy Bill

As Military Personnel:

People’s Gas provides financial assistance to residences with an actively deployed family member. Click here for more details. ComEd gives similar financial benefits to any customer in the military, active or honorably discharged. Click here for more details.

Other Payment Assistance Options:

ComEd offers due date extensions and waivers of late charges for eligible customers.See ComEd’s page for more information.

With their Share the Warmth program, People’s Gas provides heating grants to income-eligible residents. See People’s Gas’s page for more information and other financial programs.

I Want To Cut Down On My Energy Use

By Switching to Solar

Illinois’ Solar for All program lowers low-income residents’ utility bills by providing assistance in installing and powering their homes with solar power. See more about Solar for All here.

By Being More Energy Efficient

You can also save money by making your home and energy usage more energy efficient with consideration of peak-time savings, weatherization programs, water meter installation.

How Do I Read My Bill?

Understand Your Bill

Understanding your bill can be hard, but the Citizens Utility Board offers resources for better understanding your electric bill, gas bill, and water bills.

I’m Worried My Lights Or Water Will Shut Off

Specifically, Heating & Energy Bills

The current Utility Disconnection Avoidance Program works to help income-eligible households late on their utility bills by preventing shut offs if you apply for The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or The Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) and the program accepts applicants without regard to immigration status.

Specifically, Water Bills

The city of Chicago also offers reduced rates on water/​sewer tax and will not shut off the water of income-eligible participants of the Utility Billing Relief Program for one year. 

I’d Like A Payment Plan With My Utility

ComEd Payment Arrangements

ComEd currently offers a deferred payment plan to eligible residents. 

Peoples Gas Payment Arrangements

Peoples Gas also offers a deferred payment plan to eligible residents. 

My Internet Bill Is Too High

Due to the pandemic, many internet providers (including AT&T and Comcast) are offering lower internet rates to income eligible families under the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

Home Repairs

I Need Roof Repairs

Eligible residents who need repairs on their roof or porch may apply for the City of Chicago Roof and Porch Repair Program for the chance to win funding in a lottery-style drawing.

I Need To Repair My Heating System ASAP

The city of Chicago has an Emergency Heating Repair Program that gives income-qualified homeowners grant money to repair or replace their furnace or boiler heating system. 

I Need Help With Home Maintenance And Repairs

As a Senior Citizen

There are many programs dedicated to serving low-income elderly people with home maintenance, repairs, and moving. This includes Housing Opportunities & Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E)’s Upkeep & Repair program. the city of Chicago’s Small Accessible Repairs for Seniors program.

I Can’t Afford A Home Repair

As a Single-Family Residence

Income-eligible single-family homes can apply for a loan or a grant via the Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants program to do repairs on or modernize their homes. 

I’m Worried About My Water

And I Want It Tested

If you’re concerned about your water quality (because you’re experiencing brown water, weird smell, suspicious taste, etc), you can get a kit for free to test your water tested by contacting the Chicago Department of Water Management.

And I Don’t Want to Use It

If you don’t currently feel safe using your water, you can contact the Chicago Department of Water Management to see if you are eligible for a filter. Additionally, PCR will deliver bottled water to residents with water quality concerns on the South Side.

I Want To Replace My Lead Service Line Pipes

Replacing a service line requires digging down to the water main in the street and installing a new copper service line from the main all the way into the house. 

Upgrades and Energy Efficiency

Weatherization

What is Weatherization?

Weatherization is also known as weatherproofing your home or residence in a way that maximizes energy efficiency and reduces your energy consumption (which, in turn, will lower your utility bills).

Can I Afford to Weatherproof My Home?

Any income-eligible households may use Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP) to fund weatherization services, including insulation work, HVAC upgrades, and ventilation measures. See more information at 

I Need Home Energy Upgrades

Getting Upgrades To Your Home

Loans without income-eligibility requirements are also available for energy efficiency needs through the Illinois Energy Loan Program.

Getting Upgrades When Your Home Is Old

The Chicago Bungalow Association, with ComEd and People’s Gas, offers customers free home-energy upgrades by installing more efficient ventilation and different methods of insulation, among other things. The program is income-eligible and serves homes built at least 50 years ago.

How Can I Become More Energy Efficient?

As a Multi-Family Property Owner

In coordination with ComEd and Peoples Gas, the Income-Eligible Multifamily Savings program gives multi-family property owners free products and incentives for energy efficiency improvements at their properties.

As Someone In Public Housing

The Public Housing Energy Savings program offers free products and incentives for energy efficiency improvements in public housing.

Evaluating Your Energy Usage

ComEd will conduct free Home Energy Assessments that evaluate home energy usage and give free or discounted energy efficiency resources and products, such as LEDs and smart thermostats. 

People’s Gas also has free installation of energy efficiency products for all customers through the Home Energy Jumpstart Program.

Tips And Tricks In Saving Energy

ComEd offers credits on customers’ energy bills when they enroll in Peak-Time Savings program and reduce their energy usage during peak usage times. See more information and enroll.

There are many other tricks to reduce your energy usage!

Rental Assistance

I Need Assistance As A Renter

Assistance With Rent

If you are having trouble with your rent due to the pandemic, you may be eligible for aid through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

If you are in danger of becoming homeless due to hardship or other emergencies, you may be eligible for rental assistance through Chicago’s Rental Assistance Program.

Assistance With My Utilities

See the Citizens Utility Board’s renter’s checklist for your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

What Are My Rights As A Tenant?

Tenant Rights

As a tenant, you have rights and protections against wrongdoing by your landlord, as codified by the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance. You also have rights in regards to your utilities, even as a renter. To learn more, you can request A Renter’s Utility Guide” from the Citizens Utility Board. 

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Got questions?

Contact Us

For more information about these or other resources, contact the PCR office today!

We're open Monday-Friday 10 am-6 pm, located at 13330 S Corliss, Chicago, IL 60827

(773) 840-4618

info@pcrchi.org

Neighborhood Impact

At PCR, we spend time and energy advocating for fair and just climate, energy and housing policies that reflect our mission and values, but we also know that any crafted policy is only as good as its implementation. As such, we have to make sure that people in our communities can access these crucial programs.

While devoting significant resources to systems-level change, our neighbors and constituents often don't have the luxury of waiting for an overhaul of our social and economic systems. They have immediate needs, and part of our core mission is to help them meet those needs. We help folks access relief programs, offer referrals for clean energy programs to access savings, and help connect our neighbors to services when emergencies come up. Our door is open.