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ComEd’s Innovative Efforts to Support Low-Income Customers Receive North American Industry Award

CHICAGO , February 27 /Businesswire/ - The Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC) today named ComEd one of just six electric utilities in the U.S. and Canada to receive its 2024 Best Practices Awards. The SECC recognized ComEd with its Consumer Education Award for launching a series of Powering Lives Resource Fairs last year that helped connect thousands of low-income customers to bill-assistance, energy-management programs, health screenings, job training and other support options.

In 2023, ComEd collaborated with dozens of local community-based organizations to hold four Powering Lives Resource Fairs, bringing a wide range of support services directly into the communities that need them most. As a result, the fairs helped connect over 3,000 customers to support programs, including more than a thousand to bill assistance and energy-management programs. Based on the success of last year’s fairs, ComEd plans to again partner with community organizations to support resource fairs throughout 2024.

ComEd is proud of the collaborative efforts with community organizations in the development of our first-ever resource fairs, which helped thousands of customers keep the lights on,” said Melissa Washington, ComEd's Chief Customer Officer and Senior Vice President of Customer Operations. “By working directly with the communities, we learned what specific solutions would provide the most positive impact on families in these neighborhoods. And we learned that families don’t just need help paying bills, they need that help to be easier to access and more immediate.”

ComEd developed the Resource Fairs to deliver aid into locations identified with a high density of households at or below 80 percent of the area median income and high rates of disconnections due to non-payment. Resource fairs were held in Chicago’s Austin and Woodlawn neighborhoods, as well as in Ford Heights and Rockford, Illinois. The innovative effort was informed by a ComEd-commissioned, first-of-its-kind study designed to better understand the inequities that have long impacted many of northern Illinois’ most cherished communities, and identify opportunities to help families and businesses overcome them.

At the fairs, ComEd highlighted several new customer-support programs that provided additional bill-assistance grants, direct help with managing bills and energy use, and tools to help customers keep current with account balances to enhance their credit scores. A full list of available bill-assistance options, along with programs to help customers manage future energy use, are available through ComEd’s Smart Assistance Manager at ComEd.com/SAM.

SECC’s Best Practices Awards, now in their seventh year, recognize leadership from electricity providers in the United States and Canada in the transition to a smarter, more consumer-focused energy ecosystem. The awards highlight programs, technologies and strategies that have proven to deliver significant benefits for residential and/or small business utility customers.

“Over the past year, consumers and small businesses have faced a number of challenges, including high energy costs and inflation,” said SECC’s President & CEO Nathan Shannon. “This year’s winners demonstrate how electricity providers are playing an important role in helping communities meet these challenges today, while advancing a smarter, cleaner energy ecosystem for tomorrow. We hope they will pave the way for other providers to follow.”

This year, ComEd joined a small, distinguished group of multiple-time recipients of the Best Practices Awards. In 2018, ComEd received its first Consumer Education Award for its efforts to help customers understand the benefits of smart thermostats, the availability of energy efficiency rebates and other ways they can save money and energy. In 2020, ComEd received a Product Innovation Award for development of the Bronzeville Community Microgrid that provides increased sustainability and resilience to families and businesses in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.

More information on ComEd’s Consumer Education Award, along with a list of winners and runners-up for other categories, can be found in the SECC’s 2024 Best Practices Guide. In addition, the six winners, including ComEd, will be featured throughout the year in webinars, case studies and other content at SmartEnergyCC.org.

About ComEd

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 ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X, and YouTube.

About the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC)

The Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to learn the wants and needs of energy consumers in North America, encourages the collaborative sharing of best practices in consumer engagement among industry stakeholders, and educates the public about the benefits of smart energy and energy technology. To learn more, visit smartenergycc.org or follow our company page on LinkedIn.


STORY TAGS: Award, Product/Service, United States, North America, Other Consumer, Environment, Other Energy, Utilities, Sustainability, Energy, Other Education, Consumer, Education, Illinois,

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