Utility Bill Assistance



Illinois Power Warm Neighbors Cool Friends utility bill assistance.

In an effort to help Illinois Power customers that are in a short term, unplanned for crisis with paying their utility bills, the Warm Neighbors Cool Friends program was created. It was originated as a donation based service and was created by various local groups, employees from the company, and other generous members of the community.

It was recognized that there is a gap in many of the government run energy assistance programs, such as LIHEAP. They too often fail to offer emergency aid or they are under-allocated funding. So that usually means there is a need from the most vulnerable, such as the elderly or homes with children, for additional assistance.

With that goal in mind, Illinois Power Warm Neighbors Cool Friends is a donation based program. The company collects funds from anyone who wants to give back. There are contributions from individual's that live in the region, churches, and employees as well. In addition, executive management will also often contribute some of their salary in an effort to give back to the less fortunate.

When contributing, a receipt can be given to the donor has it for tax filing purposes. This allows them to get a deduction on their federal taxes. The donation service is flexible in that no amount of money (no matter how small or large!) will even be turned away. Every dollar counts to help someone keep their power on.

When facing a crisis, applications can be submitted for utility assistance to the service. This program, while limited in funding, can offer short term help for paying bills. It can fill the gap while the household is waiting on (or applying too) long term solutions. Or maybe they are just living in a home that is too expensive, and it can provide them time to move.

When seeking funding from Illinois Power Warm Neighbors Cool Friends, note it does use donations from the community. This tends to mean any support is more limited as well as temporary. It is not at all similar to LIHEAP, which is an annual, recurring service.






Applications will require proof of income, need, and why someone is struggling to pay their energy bills. Since the donation service is much different that a government benefit, the companies and staff that work on Illinois Power Warm Neighbors Cool Friends will closely review all requests. They will try to target the assistance at those customers who would be most at risk without help.

Even if there is no help offered, referrals can still be given. The customer service team will direct the family to other low income or emergency utility bill programs, if and when needed. Dial the company or a local non-profit for information on Warm Neighbors Cool Friends.



By: Jon McNamara


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