For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
For third year in a row, Community Energy Assistance Ambassadors help support communities hardest hit by the economy
CHICAGO (Dec. 15, 2022) – To increase access to financial assistance options that can help income-eligible customers pay their electric bills, while creating local employment opportunities, ComEd has returned with its Community Energy Assistance Ambassador (CEAA) program.
First introduced in 2020 in response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, CEAA is a community-based outreach and awareness program that continues to support families in communities hardest hit by the economy. Each year, the program provides temporary, part-time employment to approximately 100 residents from INVEST South/West neighborhoods. These individuals receive training, then help educate neighbors about bill-assistance options available through virtual and in-person events.
Entering the 2022-23 winter season, CEAAs previously reached out to approximately 1,800 families; 27% of whom received a total of more than $59,000 in assistance. Since its inception, the program has provided employment to approximately 300 Chicago-area residents.
"In recent years, a succession of financial challenges has created hardships for an increasing number of customers – many of whom have never before needed financial assistance," said Nichole Owens, ComEd vice president of customer channels. "To meet the needs of these customers, we continue to innovate to connect as many families and individuals as possible with the assistance they need. The creation of CEAA is just one example of how we partner with local communities to meet customers where they are."
CEAAs are trained to play a crucial role in informing community members about the options available to help them address past-due balances on their energy bills, and access ways to better manage their energy use. This includes promoting residential customer awareness and enrollment in governmental financial-assistance options such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), as well as ComEd's bill-assistance and energy-efficiency options.
To implement the CEAA program, ComEd works with the Chatham Business Association (CBA), who initially helped identify community institutions across INVEST South/West neighborhoods that hire, train, equip and manage CEAAs. This year, the program expanded to include additional communities of color located in some of the most vulnerable neighborhoods across northern Illinois.
"I am grateful for ComEd's trust in CBA to manage the CEAA program," said Melinda Kelly, CBA chairman and president. "ComEd looks to CBA to partner with reputable community organizations and stakeholders so that, together, we can provide the type of education and outreach that helps anyone access the assistance they need."
Other bill- assistance options
For anyone facing difficulty paying their electric bill, ComEd offers the following assistance programs:
To make it easier for all customers to find bill-assistance and energy-savings options, ComEd encourages customers to use its Smart Assistance Manager (SAM), an online self-service tool that matches customers with programs that can help them manage their electric bills now and into the future. Any customer experiencing a hardship or difficulty paying their electric bill can also call ComEd at 800-334-7661 (800-EDISON1), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Any organization that would like CEAAs to attend their events to educate attendees on bill-assistance options should call the CBA directly at 773-994-5006 or email melinda.kelly@CBAWorks.org.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit
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