Utility Billing Relief Program

 

Utility Billing Relief (UBR) provides low-income City of Chicago residents with a reduced rate on their water, sewer, and water-sewer tax as well as debt relief for those who demonstrate they can manage the reduced rate bills for one year. Benefits for UBR participants include:

  • A reduced rate on water, sewer, and water-sewer tax
  • No late payment penalties or debt collection activity including water shut-off
  • Debt forgiveness after successfully completing one year with no past due balance

Operating in partnership with the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County (CEDA), who operates the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the UBR program will utilize their expertise and extensive network of partner organizations to conduct outreach and enroll homeowners.

 

Apply here:


For more information, call 312.744.4426 or email utilitybill@cityofchicago.org

 

Eligibility

  • What if my name is not on the bill?
    • In order to be eligible to participate in the program, you must be the property owner, reside at the address and your name must appear on the bill as the customer. If you are the owner of the property and your name is not listed on the bill, please feel free to contact (312)744-4426.

 

How to Apply

  • If you have applied and qualified for a LIHEAP benefit within the past 12 months, you can check if your property qualifies and apply using the Simplified UBR application. You will need:.
    • Chicago utility bill account number
    • PIPP ID or LIHEAP DVP ID, or associated utility account number (ComEd, Nicor or People’s Gas)
  • If you have not received a LIHEAP benefit in the last 12 months and would like to apply, you can check if your property qualifies. If your property qualifies, you can complete an application remotely through one of CEDA's Partner Intake Sites.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Benefits
  • How much can I save?
    • 50% on water, sewer and water-sewer tax going forward (garbage fees are not included).
    • After successfully completing the first 12 months of the program, your previous unpaid balance will be forgiven.
Application Process
  • What is required to apply?
    • The same documentation required for a LIHEAP application and your City of Chicago utility account number.
      • Proof of identity and proof of income for all members of the household regardless of age or legal residency.
      • If you don’t have access to your City of Chicago utility account number, you can call us at (312)744-4426 to request a copy of your bill.
  • What’s the turn-around time?
    • Processing time for applications is up to 30 days from the receipt of the complete UBR application.
  • How do I know if I’m approved?
    • You will receive a welcome letter and enrollment confirmation.
  • I received a denial letter; what should I do?
    • If we are unable to approve your application for UBR, you will receive a letter in the mail with the reason(s) for denial. If you feel you were denied in error please contact (312)744-4426.
Information for Enrolled Customers
  • Will my billing change?
    • Customers with metered accounts will be billed monthly.
    • Customers with non-metered accounts will receive a monthly reminder notice in addition to their regular 6-month bill.
  • What happens to my previous balance?
    • During the first 12 months of program participation, your previous balance will be set aside, and no payment will be required on the previous balance.
    • After successful completion of the first 12 months of the program, your previous unpaid balance will be forgiven.
  • What is required to successfully complete the program?
    • You must pay all current charges at the reduced rate during the 12-month program period.
  • What will my rates be?
  • How often do I have to apply?
    • Once enrolled, your enrollment will be active for 12 months. At the end of your 12-month enrollment period you must reapply to remain enrolled.
Other Program Questions
  • What happens if I don’t complete the program?
    • You will have one more opportunity to complete the program successfully if you reapply and continue to meet the account and income eligibility criteria.
    • If you don’t complete the program successfully, your past debt will not be forgiven and the 50% rate reduction will end.
  • If I don’t successfully complete the program, will I be disconnected?
    • If you do not successfully complete the Utility Billing Relief Program you will be subject to the normal collection process.
  • I’m currently enrolled in the MeterSave program; can I apply for UBR?
    • MeterSave customers are eligible for the UBR Program, but will be permanently removed from the MeterSave program if they enroll in the UBR Program. If the customer does enroll in UBR they will no longer be eligible for the MeterSave Program.
  • What will happen for customers with the Senior Citizen Sewer Exemption?
    • Senior citizens with the Senior Citizen Sewer Exemption will lose this exemption if they choose to enroll in the UBR Program.
    • If the customer exits from the UBR Program, the Senior Citizen Sewer Exemption will be restored automatically.
    • If you are receiving the Senior Citizen Sewer Exemption the UBR Program may benefit you financially if you have a past due balance. If you successfully pay all UBR bills for a year your past due balance will be forgiven.

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