CHICAGO — Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC) today urged Congress to fund the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) at the highest level possible. This increase would further help ensure home heating and cooling needs are met for more than 6 million American households struggling financially and challenged with paying their energy and other bills.
Advocacy during the all-virtual National LIHEAP Action Day, sponsored by the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC), was led by representatives from Exelon's six utilities—Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO and Pepco—and dozens of other companies. In 2021, eligible households across the country received $8 billion in LIHEAP funding as a result of an additional $4.5 billion provided by the American Rescue Plan. However, those additional funds will expire in September 2022.
"Exelon strongly supports LIHEAP – an invaluable safety net for customers – and we hope Congress will provide as much funding as possible to aid those who are uncertain if they'll be able to pay their home energy bills," said Calvin Butler, Exelon chief operating officer and senior executive vice president. "Congress cannot risk scaling back a lifeline to so many: energy insecure families, older Americans, individuals with disabilities, and children – especially at a time when the cost of everyday necessities continues to move farther out of reach for our most vulnerable neighbors."
Last year, Exelon's utilities connected more than 650,000 customers to $430 million in energy assistance, including LIHEAP funding. A quarter of Exelon's 10 million customers have income below the maximum level allowed under the expanded LIHEAP (200 percent of the federal poverty level). Many also are undocumented individuals, new immigrants and non-English speakers who are more difficult to reach with this important information.
Exelon recognizes that sustained access to a financial backstop–and an innovative approach to getting the word out about that assistance—helps customers prevent disconnection of service, helps families maintain safe and stable housing, and restores dignity by helping customers pay bills in full and on time.
For example, Pepco, PECO, Delmarva Power and Atlantic City Electric conducted extensive community outreach campaigns during the pandemic to help customers learn more about energy assistance opportunities and partnered with trusted organizations and community voices, local government and hospitals to reach tens of thousands of customers in need. ComEd launched a Community Energy Assistance Ambassador program that reached thousands of customers and provided jobs for local residents. BGE and Pepco successfully advocated for systemic policy changes to continue to support low-to-moderate income customers and helped efficiently disseminate an additional $83 million in relief for Maryland customers. And all six Exelon utilities made it easier to sign up for assistance funds and have those funds applied to customer accounts.
More information about National LIHEAP Action Day 2022 is available at neuac.org