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For Immediate Release


ComEd Media Relations


ComEd and CIC Team Up to Help Affordable Housing Residents Save Money Through Solar Energy Options

Efforts funded through ComEd's Climate-Friendly Nonprofit Grant program seek to decarbonize neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by climate change

CHICAGO (June 28, 2023) – Families living within 80 unsubsidized, privately-owned affordable housing units across Chicago's South and West sides will soon get help connecting to solar energy options to save money and the environment. This effort is the result of a one-time $450,000 grant made available through ComEd's Climate-Friendly Nonprofit Grant program to Community Investment Corporation (CIC), one of the Chicago-area's leading lenders of privately-owned, naturally occurring affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization projects.

CIC is one of three nonprofit organizations that each recently received a grant through ComEd's climate-friendly program, which is designed to expand and improve access to climate-friendly and complementary programs for under-resourced neighborhoods across northern Illinois. Reports show climate change disproportionally impacts these communities and leaves residents more exposed to harmful air pollution.

"As ComEd prepares for a low-carbon future, it's important that families across the entire economic spectrum have equal access to climate-friendly programs that will help improve their quality of life," said Melissa Washington, senior vice president of customer operations and chief customer officer, ComEd. "I'm proud of the way our three grantees have found creative ways to lift up families and businesses in under-resourced communities."

With its $450,000 grant, CIC is training staff to identify multi-family buildings with climate retrofit opportunities, then educating building managers on the benefits of climate-friendly upgrades and how to implement those upgrades. These upgrades help the environment, while helping families manage their energy use and save money. Other climate-resiliency recommendations include floodproofing and stormwater management and the addition of onsite solar and back-up storage.

CIC is now in the process of working with building owners on plans to implement these upgrades to help make affordable housing units more eco-friendly, while improving the quality of life for the low- and moderate-income tenants living in these buildings.

"This grant is integral to CIC's approach to investing in low- to moderate-income communities," said Stacie Young, President and CEO of CIC. "The small, local and minority multi-family building owners and tenants in LMI communities have the most to gain from climate-friendly programs; however, they are often the hardest to reach. These funds are helping building owners invest in the climate and economic resilience of Chicago neighborhoods."

Other progress to date

Since the launch of ComEd's year-long Climate-Friendly Nonprofit Grant program in 2022, two other area nonprofits are making progress on their efforts to increase access to solar and other sources of climate-friendly energy.

Equiticity: With its nearly $450,000 grant, Equiticity established the Mobility Opportunities Fund, a first-of-its kind program that provides education and stipends to help low- and moderate-income residents of Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood purchase climate-friendly transportation, including conventional bicycles, including conventional bicycles, electric bikes, electric cargo bikes and electric vehicles.

Equiticity offered individual stipends of $350 for a conventional bike, $750 for an e-bike, $1,500 for an electric cargo bike and $8,750 for an electric vehicle. Recipients of stipends for electric modes of transportation also receive training on mechanics and safety. To date, Equiticity allocated stipends for more than 100 bikes, 75 e-bikes, 50 e-cargo bikes and 25 electric vehicles.

To create awareness of the stipends and assist residents with the application process, Equiticity has so far held four application events across North Lawndale. The organization also provides no- to low-cost repair services for bikes and e-bikes. Equiticity trains students who are part of its education programs to perform these services.

Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action (PLCCA): With its $450,000 grant, PLCCA helped pre-qualify more than 400 families and businesses in environmental justice communities across Chicago and its suburbs for the installation of rooftop solar panels or help connecting to community solar programs. The transition can help decarbonize neighborhoods that tend to be the most impacted by high concentrations of air pollutants and other environmental concerns.

Through its Solar, Jobs and Justice program, PLCCA partnered with local nonprofit organizations to hire and train more than 30 residents from these same communities to help educate community members on the benefits of – and help connect them to – solar energy. Staff also provide education on the installation of electric vehicle charging equipment and energy-efficiency programs that can help manage energy use to lower energy bills.


ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 250 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 and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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