ComEd Ready to meet Customer Needs in Severe Cold Weather
Utility also offers financial assistance to customers in need
CHICAGO, Jan. 28, 2014
CHICAGO, Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With the record cold temperatures in
northern Illinois, ComEd has taken extra steps to ensure the electrical system
is functioning as effectively as possible to meet the extraordinary needs of
customers during this period.
"ComEd understands the impact a loss of electrical service can have on
customers – especially with the extreme weather that can also place stress on
the system," said Terence Donnelly, executive vice president and chief
operating officer. "We have increased staffing levels so that we can swiftly
respond to any potential issues that may arise and are closely monitoring the
system to address challenges that the weather may pose. Crews are prepared
and ready to restore service quickly and safely, as needed."
The impact of severe weather is one of the reasons ComEd has focused on and
invested heavily in improving system reliability to reduce the frequency and
duration of outages affecting customers.
ComEd urges customers to contact the utility immediately if they experience a
power outage. Customers can text OUT to 26633 to report their outage or
receive restoration information. They also can call 1-800-EDISON-1
(1-800-334-7661), or report it through the web site at
ComEd.com.Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES
ComEd also has an interactive outage map on its website, which allows
customers to easily find information on the location and size of outages and
get estimated power restoration times. Additionally, ComEd has a mobile app
for iPhone and Android® smart phones that gives customers the ability to
report power outages and manage their accounts.
Customers also are reminded of the following tips to remain safe and
comfortable amidst frigid temperatures:
oBe sure to keep space heaters away from furniture or your thermostat.
oUse your ceiling fan to move warm air from the ceiling into the living
oLower your thermostat at night and during unoccupied hours.
oClean vents and registers to optimize air flow.
oOpen your drapes during sunlight hours and close them at night.
oIf you have a fireplace, close your fireplace dampers and doors.
oClose vents to rooms that are not in use.
oIn the event of an outage, check on elderly and other sensitive family
members and neighbors to ensure their safety and make alternate
arrangements, if necessary.
Because the extreme weather may also lead to increased energy use, ComEd is
reminding customers that there is bill payment assistance for eligible
low-income residents, senior citizens, veterans, and activated members of the
armed services who are ComEd customers.
"As part of our customer commitment, we offer financial assistance programs to
help those experiencing hardship and struggling with their bill payments."
said Val Jensen, senior vice president of Customers Operations, ComEd. "In
extreme weather, we know that energy bills may reflect additional usage and be
higher than in months when temperatures are more moderate."
ComEd is providing $50 million in financial assistance over a five-year period
to assist eligible customers.
The programs include:
CHAMP (ComEd Helps Active Military Personnel) – This program provides
bill-payment assistance to deployed members of the military and veterans who
have fallen behind on their bills and who reside within ComEd's Northern
Illinois service territory. CHAMP offers a package of benefits, including bill
payment assistance of up to $1,000 while funds are available, a deferred
payment plan, extended payment due dates, exemption from late charges, deposit
reduction and budget payment plans.
Residential Special Hardship program – This initiative is intended to
supplement established state-sponsored programs such as the Low Income Home
Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Eligible ComEd residential customers that
are experiencing a hardship and who are not Percentage of Income Payment Plan
(PIPP) participants can receive a grant of up to $1,500 toward their
electricity bill. Grant amounts may vary while funds are available.
Non-Profit Assistance Programs – This program provides a one-time variable
grant of up to $2,000 for 501 (c) (3) non-profit organizations, including
faith based organizations, that are experiencing a hardship.
ComEd offers a variety of ways for customers to access and pay their bill
including, online at ComEd.com or ComEd's free mobile app available at
ComEd.com/app. To apply for the Residential Special Hardship grant, or the
State sponsored assistance programs customers should visit a local LIHEAP
Agency. For more information on any of ComEd's assistance programs or to
enroll in ComEd's bill-payment assistance programs, call 1-888-806-CARE (2273)
or visit ComEd.Com/CARE for more information.
Customers are also encouraged to visit ComEd.com for energy-saving tips.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon
Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider,
with approximately 6.6 million customers. ComEd provides service to
approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of
the state's population.
Contact: ComEd Media Relations, (312) 394-3500
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