Utility Bill Assistance



Help and assistance with utility, heating, and electric bills in Illinois.

Emergency energy bill assistance is available from the government as well as utility companies in Illinois. They offer income qualified, struggling customers a number of solutions. They range from cash grants for paying bills to payment plans, free energy conservation updates to a home, LIHEAP and more.

Find all the available utility and heating bill assistance programs listed below. The companies, and state government in Illinois, work together to help customers pay their utility bills and keep their electricity, heat, or lights on.

Government low income energy bill assistance in Illinois

Energy Assistance Programs and Grants: The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS)  launched its Summer Cooling program in July. Through this assistance program, HFS can distribute over $10 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) funds to struggling and/or low-income families to help them with paying their utility bills. It will help residents keep their fans and air conditioners running. Through LIHEAP, which is a state- and federally funded energy assistance program, utility bill payments will be made on behalf of lower income households.

Energy Efficiency Information: The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will also provide technical assistance and information for people looking for ways to improve their energy savings and efficiency at home or on the job. Many energy efficiency options, such as improved insulation, air sealing and the use of Energy Star appliances, will help consumers lower energy use year round. These same tips will also help residents with high heating bills in the winter time. DCEO will provide information and easy ways to save money on electric bills and provide information on available grant programs that will help help reduce energy costs.





Low Income Help Program
The LIHEAP program will give benefits, but only one-time, to eligible households in Illinois to be used for energy bills. The amount of the money paid will be determined by income, need, and household size. You do not even have to own your home or pay energy bills directly to a utility company to be eligible for assistance. Also, your source of fuel does not have to be electricity or natural gas in order to receive utility bill assistance. Click here for more details.

Weatherization Programs
Illinois is receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds to provide weatherization aid to its residents. Weatherization can help families conserve energy. Find more on the Illinois weatherization programs.

Utility assistance from energy companies or charities

City Of Chicago - Emergency Housing Assistance Program
Low income homeowners have access to emergency repair grants. This may include the replacement or repair of heating units, emergency roof repairs as well as other energy saving conservation activities.

Good Samaritan Initiative - is an assistance program that is available from all utility companies, and this program helps families with getting their heating and utility service restored by paying 20 percent or $250 of the remaining balance on an unpaid utility bill.





Ameren has two programs. One is the Residential Bill Payment Assistance, in which Ameren will provide up to $300 in energy assistance grants to low-income electric customers. The second assistance program is Hardship Assistance for Residential Customers, in which Ameren works with local Illinois based community action agencies to distribute utility bill grants to even middle class households. Learn more on this option and other Ameren assistance programs.

Atmos Energy Sharing the Warmth aid will assist families in need with paying their gas bills. Read more.

A Rate Relief Program has three components, the Summer Assistance Program, the Residential Rate Relief Program, Power Up, and Residential Hardship Fund. All of them offer some type of assistance with paying utility bills or heating bills to lower income Illinois residents.

CARE Helping Hand Initiative is a new utility bill assistance program that was created to provide one-time assistance to provide some immediate help and relief to customers who are currently facing disconnection of their utility service. Illinois customers need to agree to a payment plan, and ComEd will waive a portion of the outstanding energy bill. Get information on other ComEd assistance programs.

The energy company also uses millions of dollars of its own money every year to help low income and disadvantaged customers. So called matching programs and other resources are offered for paying electric and utility bills. Learn more.

Illinois Power (AmerenIP), the Warm Neighbors program provides utility bill assistance and energy saving services through weatherization. Customers helped usually earn to much to qualify for other federal or state heating assistance programs. Read more.

Mid-American Energy Company I CARE will assists those who have lost their job, if the family is living on a fixed or low income, or if the family in need is facing a crisis. It will help pay bills and help people in need save energy. Read more.




Northshore Gas - The Good Samaritan Initiative helps with paying utility bills, and will assist with restoring service. Also Share the Warmth provides grants to assist with utility bills. Read more.

Peoples Gas - They also offer assistance from the Good Samaritan Initiative. It with paying heating and utility bills, will assist with others services, and is an effective aid program.

Peoples Energy Corporation also administers Share the Warmth. The energy company focuses on helping Chicago families pay utility and heating bills using donations from the community. Read more.

Share(ing) the Warmth
Atmos Energy and Nicor Gas
all participate. Donations help pay energy and heating bills to those who are facing financial difficulties.

Nicor Gas also offers a host of other energy, utility, and gas bill saving assistance programs for qualified customers. More on Nicor Gas assistance programs.

Springfield City Water Light & Power has a Senior Citizen Discount Rate program
A 10% reduction in utility bills is provided for customers who are 62 years of age or older and have a limited income.

Another service from SCWLP, known as Project Relief, will offer assistance to pay utility bills. It is offered as a last resort to a small number of qualified customers. Donations pay for this service. Read more.

AmerenUE, AmerenCIPS, AmerenCILCO has an assistance program called the Dollar More Funds which pays differently for various types of bills, including utility oil, gas, and even propane. Ameren also offer Residential Bill Payment Assistance, and they will provide grants of up to $300 to help pay utility bills.

City Water Light and Power RELIEF assistance program
This will help a family in need pay a bill. There is assistance available only if the bill is late and other qualifications are met. Donations are used, and these are only provided if the customer can pay a portion of it. The entire heating or utility bill will not be paid by this aid program. Read more.

Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative - WORKS grant program provides assistance and grants to help Illinois families in need to meet a critical need that is currently not being met by any other assistance programs. The funds are donated and approved by the Board of Directors. Find more information.





Also, read about an Illinois law to help consumers with high utility bills.


By: Jon McNamara


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