If you have been disconnected from your electricity or gas service, you can call either utility to be reconnected and access financial assistance and other protections.

Even if you are currently connected but you are experiencing financial hardship OR are eligible for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), you can call either utility to receive special financial assistance and other protections.

To start the process, please call your respective utility and state your financial hardship verbally:

  • ComEd (electricity) – 1.800.334.7661
  • Peoples Gas (gas) – 1.866.556.6001

If you need additional help to navigate the process, please contact the Citizens Utility Board at 1-800-669-5556 between 9 am. – 4 pm. Monday through Friday.

ComEd Financial Assistance Program. 

For a limited time, this financial-assistance program provides an additional one-time grant of up to $300 to help low- income residential customers, and those who express financial hardship, reduce past-due balances. Assistance through the Helping Hand program will be administered directly through ComEd.  Residential customers can apply for Helping Hand grants at www.ComEd.com/PaymentAssistance or call 1-800-334-7661.

Furthermore –
  1.  All of the information applies equally to both ComEd and Peoples Gas.  Peoples Gas was also disconnecting some customers until last Friday.
  2. No Chicagoan will be disconnected from gas or electric due to non-payment from now through March 31.  This is even the case if someone received or does receive a disconnection notice.  From now until 3/31, no actual disconnections will occur.
  3. Reconnection is not automatic.  Families have to call the utilities.  With ComEd, it can be done remotely once they call in.
  4. The CUB (Citizens Utility Board) hot line is the best resource for trouble-shooting of specific cases if people run into problems when they call the utility.  (But if CPS is hearing of widespread issues, would be good for us to know as well.)
  5. Calling the utility won’t result in getting in trouble with the utility or getting put on an unpaid accounts list.
  6. There’s special assistance available by calling the utility for those that qualify – cash assistance grants, long payment plans, etc.  Eligibility for at least some of this assistance is pretty likely for someone having financial difficulties who makes the call.
  7. Families who are connected but having financial difficulty should also call.  Their bills will continue to build up otherwise and the assistance in #6 is also available for them.  The assistance is time-limited until allotted funds run out.
Sybil M. Madison, Ph.D.
Deputy Mayor for Education and Human Services
Office of the Mayor | City of Chicago