To help connect northern Illinois families and businesses to climate-friendly programs and related services, ComEd today announced the selection of the nonprofit organizations that will administer nearly $1.4 million in grants through the energy company’s new Climate-Friendly Grant Assistance program.
Grants in 2022 have been awarded to Community Investment Corporation (CIC), Equiticity and Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action (PLCCA) to either expand and improve access to climate-friendly programs across northern Illinois, or partner with local organizations to provide business advisory and consulting services in the administration of these programs. Governmental reports show climate change disproportionally impacts under-resourced communities.
“As a long-time member of the community, ComEd is proud to support agencies that are stepping up to fill the gap created by the pandemic, the economy and other world events,” said Melissa Washington, senior vice president of customer operations and chief customer officer, ComEd. “I was impressed with the quality of proposals submitted to lift up both families and local businesses and ensure everyone shares in the benefits of clean energy.”
In July, ComEd announced one-time grants of up to $450,000 to organizations offering clean energy-focused assistance programs, with an emphasis on low-income customers in communities ComEd serves. Twenty-one nonprofits applied to the first-year program. Eligible nonprofit candidates were required to be 501(c)(3) certified, serve the northern Illinois ComEd service territory, and support diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.
Community Investment Corporation (CIC): As one of the region’s leading lenders of privately-owned, naturally occurring affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization, CIC looks to build vibrant communities, strengthen local businesses, and provide well maintained homes for families. CIC serves as a one-stop resource for local owner-operators and property managers of affordable rental housing. With its grant, CIC plans to work with local owner-operators of multi-family buildings in Chicago’s South and West sides to provide education, increase capacity and support climate resiliency measures; all of which will improve housing units for low- and moderate-income tenants living in these buildings.
“For nearly fifty years, CIC has championed the preservation of affordable rental housing, and I am thrilled that this grant will broaden access to clean energy resources for the small, local and minority-owned businesses that we work with,” said Stacie Young, President and CEO of CIC. “Improving a rental building’s resiliency and performance is critical for preserving affordability and maintaining high-quality units for tenants. This partnership with ComEd will create a path for Chicago’s small operators to invest in critical building improvements, participate in the clean energy economy, and address the impact of climate hazards on the housing industry.”
Equiticity: This Chicago-based racial equity movement works to operationalize racial equity by harnessing its collective power – through research, advocacy, programs, Community Mobility Rituals and social enterprises – to improve the lives of Black, Brown and Indigenous people across the U.S. With its grant, Equiticity will create a Mobility Opportunities Fund, which will provide stipends that help limited-income Black and Brown residents of North Lawndale, on Chicago’s West Side, purchase climate-friendly transportation, including conventional bicycles, e-bikes, e-cargo bikes and electric vehicles. Equiticity will also offer education programs to recipients of the stipends, as well as low- to no-cost repair services for bikes and e-bikes. Repair services will be performed by young people who are part of Equiticity’s training programs.
“Equiticity’s Mobility Opportunities Fund will begin to close the mobility equity gap for residents of North Lawndale, where people are at risk of being left behind by the transportation revolution in our society,” explains Equiticity President & CEO Olatunji Oboi Reed. “With support from ComEd, we will begin to shift our communities to climate-friendly modes of transportation which promote economic opportunity and improve quality of life.”
Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action (PLCCA): Established in 1968 to administer workforce development programs to low-income residents, PLCCA will use its grant to support five nonprofits in hiring and training northern Illinois residents who will become educated and certified in the solar installation process and serve as ambassadors to inform communities about the benefits of solar.
“The Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action looks forward to partnering with ComEd to continue our mission of service to our community,” said Bishop Dr. Claude Porter, PLCCA president and CEO. “Promoting renewable energy will not only bring environmental benefits to those who have disproportionately suffered from the effects of fossil fuels, but it will also provide long term job opportunities for careers in the growing solar industry. We are excited to advance the cause of justice while doing our part to protect the planet.”
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 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, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.