We’ve been reporting on ComEd discounts since 2016 and the question we’re asked most often is, “Does ComEd offer senior discounts?!” If you’re looking for senior discounts or some other way to save money on your ComEd bill, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’re going to discuss all the ways that you can save on your ComEd bill. We’ll also address whether or not the company offers senior discounts.
There are a few ways that you can get the company to reduce your bill fore you.
There is a lot of confusion about whether or not ComEd offers a senior discount. So… does ComEd offer senior discounts?
It appears that this confusion stems from a five-year financial hardship program that provided grants of up to $500 to seniors, as well as veterans, military families and low income customers who were experiencing financial hardship. Eligible customers could receive $500 every two years through this program. However, this five-year program began in 2011 and ended in 2016. I have not been able to locate any additional information about this program.
Although ComEd does not appear to offer a discount exclusively to seniors, there are several means-tested programs that seniors can benefit from. These are described in greater detail below, but include programs like PIPP, LIHEAP, weatherization services and more.
Deposit & Late Fee Waiver
In 2021, ComEd decided to start waiving the deposits and late payment charges for low income customers who meet certain sections of the Illinois Public Utilities Act.
You are automatically eligible for this program if you receive LIHEAP or participate in PIPP. If either of those apply to you, then you don’t even need to file a request.
You are automatically eligible but will need to submit a request form if you live in any of these zip codes: 60064, 60085, 60110, 60153, 60165, 60406, 60411, 60415, 60419, 60426, 60428, 60432, 60469, 60472, 60501, 60505, 60608, 60609, 60612, 60617, 60619, 60620, 60621, 60623, 60624, 60626, 60628, 60629, 60632, 60636, 60637, 60639, 60644, 60649, 60651, 60653, 60804, 60827, 60958 or 61104.
Even if you don’t live in one of those zip codes, you may still be eligible if your income is less than 80% of the Area Median Income for your county or if you are enrolled in the Lifeline program.
Government Assistance Programs
There are many state and federal assistance programs that can help you pay your ComEd bill! Some of our readers have reported that these programs have paid thousands of dollars toward their electric bills and home improvement costs.
We’ve written extensively about ways that you can get government electric bill assistance in Illinois in another post.
Other ComEd Assistance Programs
Of course, there are other sources that will help you pay for your ComEd bill as well. This support comes from churches, charities and even individuals who donate to help their neighbors.
Catch Up & Save
Catch Up and Save is a program that can help you eliminate your past-due balance. This program will also provide you with a FREE energy savings kit, which can help you reduce your future bills.
In order to be eligible for Catch Up & Save, you must meet these requirements:
- You must have an active residential ComEd account.
- You must enroll in SARP as of January 7, 2023, or later.
- You must not be enrolled in PIPP.
- Your household must earn 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Level.
- You must not have received a free energy kit from Community Action in the last 3 years.
Home Energy Audit
You can schedule a free home energy assessment from ComEd. These appointments can be either virtual or in-person to maximize your energy savings.
I had an assessment like this a number of years ago and it was very enlightening. Following the guidance we received, we were able to reduce our monthly utility bills by several hundred dollars per month!
Free Energy-Efficiency Kits
ComEd provides free energy assistance kits that can help you reduce your energy bill. The kits are completely free to customers and can be shipped directly to your home.
Each kit includes a variety of items. Your kit may include:
- 7-Plug Advanced Power Strip
- Door sweep
- Electric switch and outlet gaskets
- ENERGY STAR® certified LED bulbs
- High-efficiency faucet aerators
- High-efficiency showerheads
- LED night light
In order to receive the kit, you must contact your local Community Action Agency for details. Alternatively, you may be able to pick up some of these items at your local food pantry as well.
Your Neighbor Fund
Your Neighbor Fund provides a grant to low income ComEd customers who need extra support. In order to be eligible for this grant, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must have an active residential ComEd account.
- You must have a past-due balance on your ComEd account.
- You must be experiencing a hardship (financial, medical or other).
- You must have an income that is 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Level or 80% of the Area Median Income.
Community Assistance Funds
There are many different organizations that can help you with your ComEd bill. These opportunities come from local churches, charities and nonprofits that help the community.
CHAMP by Operation Brotherhood
Operation Brotherhood can help with heating, gas, lights and weatherization for veterans who need assistance with their electric bills. This service is offered through a partnership with CEDA.
Women on a Mission Resource Center
ComEd customers who are experiencing a financial hardship may be able to get up to $500 in bill forgiveness through the ComEd Hardship Fund by Women on a Mission Resource Center.
In order to be eligible, you must demonstrate a specific hardship like a job loss, illness or deployment. It appears that seniors and people with disabilities do not have to prove their hardship.
ComEd Payment Arrangements
If you need help with your ComEd bill, the first thing you need to do is check out the company’s payment arrangement options. These tools can help you buy time while you work out other assistance programs.
Budget Billing Program
If you are overwhelmed by bills seasonal highs and lows, then Budget Billing may be able to help you. This program divides your annual utility consumption over 12 months so that you always have a predictable bill amount.
Your account will be reviewed every 6 months to make sure that it accurately reflects how much power you are using.
Deferred Payment Arrangement Plan
A Deferred Payment Arrangement Plan can help you divide your current balance due between 4-12 months. This can make it much easier to pay.
You may be eligible for a Deferred Payment Arrangement if:
- You have an active Residential account that has not been disconnected.
- You are not currently enrolled in a Deferred Payment Arrnagement Plan.
- You have not defaulted on a payment arrangement in the last 12 months.
- You have not had a bankruptcy.
Although your current bill will be divided over several months, you will need to pay that past-due portion and the new bill every month in order to remain current.
Due Date Extension
If you can’t pay your bill by the due date, you may be able to get a due date extension for up to 21 calendar days. That gives you an extra three weeks to pay your bill!
In order to be eligible for the Due Date Extension, you must meet the following guidelines:
- You have not defaulted on a Due Date Extension in the last 12 months.
- You have not had more than one Due Date Extension in the last 12 months.
- You do not currently have a Payment Arrangement.
- You are not currently pending disconnection.
- You do not have an automatic payment scheduled within the next five days.
- You are not enrolled in Budget Billing.
With the Due Date Extension, you will still receive a standard late payment fee but you will not have to worry about getting your service disconnected or being sent to collections right away.
There are many ways that you can save money on your ComEd bill, even though it appears that their senior discount grant program has been discontinued. The resources in this article will help you lower your bill and get assistance with ComEd bills that you cannot afford to pay. For more help in Illinois, be sure to check out this guide!