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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 is a participant in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federally funded program to assist limited-income households in paying heat and electricity bills, regardless of renting or ownership status. Click here for more information and eligibility.

- ComEd’s Catch Up and Save Program helps eliminate past due balances and provide stabilized monthly billing through its Supplemental Arrearage Reduction Program (SARP). Click here for more information and eligibility.

- ComEd offers grants to income-eligible households experiencing documented hardships with assistance on past due balances. Click here for more information and eligibility.

Peoples Gas

- Peoples Gas is a participant in the the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and provides financial assistance to help customers with limited incomes pay their energy bills. Click here for more information and eligibility. LIHEAP is separate from PIPP and cannot be combined.

- Peoples Gas provides eligible customers a monthly energy bill based on their income levels through their Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP). Click here for more information and eligibility. PIPP is separate from LIHEAP and cannot be combined.

- 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.

- If you’re interested in steps you can take to actively reduce your energy usage, click here for more information.

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 (UBR) for one year. 

Water Assistance

Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a federally funded program designed to assist income-eligible households with paying their past due water and wastewater bills. You can apply for LIHWAP and other programs and services by calling the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County (CEDA) hotline at 1−800−571−2332

I’d Like A Payment Plan With My Utility

ComEd Payment Arrangements

ComEd offers a Deferred Payment Arrangement program to assist with paying off a large or past due balance, with payments spread between 4 – 12 months. Alternatively, if you just need more time to pay off a bill, ComEd offers eligible customers due date extensions up to 21 days.

Peoples Gas Payment Arrangements

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

Extensions and Waivers

ComEd offers due date extensions and waivers of late charges for eligible customers. 

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 and 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


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. 

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 My Utilities

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

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

If you are worried about remaining in your home because you have been unable to pay rent: 

Don’t Self-Evict — If you get an eviction notice, know that only the Sheriff can carry out an eviction. It is illegal for your landlord to try to remove you from your home. 

Get Legal Help — Get free legal help at Renter​ven​tion​.com or by calling 312.347.7600.

Illinois Court-Based Rental Assistance Program (CBRAP)

If you are in need of emergency rental assistance and are currently in eviction court. The Illinois Court-Based Rental Assistance Program (CBRAP) provides funding to Illinois tenants and landlords across the state who have pending cases in eviction court. The program is only available to litigants in eviction court. Applicants may qualify for up to $25,000 in emergency rental payments that can include up to 15 months of past-due rent and three months of future rent payments to prevent eviction.

Rental Assistance Program (RAP)

A separate Rental Assistance Program (RAP) from the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) helps Chicagoans who have housing right now, but who may be at risk of becoming homeless due to a loss of income or another eligible emergency. The program is currently accepting applications.

Tenant Rights

What are my rights as a Tenant?

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.

Free Legal Advice

If you are looking for help with a legal problem, a local legal aid organization can provide free legal advice and may help you find a free or low-cost attorney.

Illinois Legal Aid Online: Free, easy to understand legal advice (find Housing & Apartment” under Resources”)

Find a Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Near Me
Eviction Help for Veterans
Know Your Rights: Eviction and Lockout Resources

The eviction moratorium ended on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, but Chicago tenants still have options. If you are worried about remaining in your home because you have been unable to pay rent: 

  1. Don’t Self-Evict — If you get an eviction notice, know that only the Sheriff can carry out an eviction. It is illegal for your landlord to try to remove you from your home. 
  2. Get Legal Help — Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt is a free resource to help landlords and tenants resolve housing and debt issues. Visit cook​countyle​galaid​.org or call 855.956.5763. Legal support for tenants is also available at renter​ven​tion​.com or text hi” to 866.773.6837.
Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt

Free Legal Help for Residents of Cook County

Call the CCLAHD hotline at 855−956−5763 to learn how you can get help resolving your housing and debt problems. All services are available at no cost to Cook County residents and property owners regardless of income, language, or immigration status. The hotline is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 – 4:30.

The CCLAHD Can Help If:

  • You are a renter facing eviction
  • You are a landlord seeking to evict a tenant
  • You are being sued for an unpaid debt
  • You need to sue someone who owes you money
  • You are behind on your mortgage or property tax payments

Legal Aid Chicago

Legal Aid Chicago provides free civil legal representation to residents of Chicago and Suburban Cook County (statewide for migrant and human trafficking) who have limited income or special legal needs in the following areas:

Legal Aid Chicago focuses on cases that protect safe and affordable housing for tenants and homeowners, including:

  • Preventing eviction or termination from subsidized housing and the Housing Choice Voucher Program
  • Challenging discrimination and enforcing rights for tenants in subsidized housing or with special legal needs, such as domestic violence victims
  • Foreclosure defense and other protections for homeowners
  • Maintaining and restoring essential utility services (gas, electric, water)
  • Transfer on Death Instruments to pass a home to a designated beneficiary
More Resources
Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR)

IDHR administers the Illinois Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in Illinois with respect to employment, financial credit, public accommodations, housing and sexual harassment, as well as sexual harassment in education.

Eviction Help Illinois

Call at (855) 621‑0811: Free legal aid, mediation services, and connections to other resources including rental assistance to increase housing stability. Mediation is an opportunity for landlords and tenants to resolve issues with the help of a knowledgeable and neutral person.

More Resources

Fair Housing Rights

It is illegal to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing, including against individuals seeking a mortgage or housing assistance, or in other housing-related activities.

If You Are A Victim of Housing Discrimination

Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) organizations may be able to speak to a housing provider on your behalf; conduct an investigation, including testing, to help determine if you experienced discrimination; and provide you with assistance.

If you believe your rights may have been violated or are a victim of housing discrimination, we encourage you to submit a complaint.

Because there are time limits on when a complaint can be filed with HUD after an alleged violation, you should submit a complaint as soon as possible.

You may file a complaint online, call toll-free at (800) 669‑9777 or (800) 877‑8339 (TTY), or email ComplaintsOffice05@​hud.​gov.

Contact a Housing Counseling Agency

HUD Counselors

HUD sponsors housing counselors that can provide free or low-cost advice for wherever you are in the housing process.

They can offer independent advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, forbearances, foreclosures, credit issues, reverse mortgages, and other issues.

Search online for a HUD-approved housing counseling agency by zip code here or call HUD’s interactive voice system at (800) 569‑4287.

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

For media inquiries please contact:

Deputy Director Courtney Hanson


Communications Coordinator Chloe Butler-Jones

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.