What’s going on? Beginning July 1, 2015, the funds available to the PIPP program have been reduced (utility specific) and the number of households receiving PIPP has been reduced as well.  Since the PY16 funding levels will not support the current volume of PIPP participants, DCEO is reducing the number of participants in utilities and areas affected by the funding constraints.


Utilities affected are: Ameren, and Peoples Gas

Is this everywhere in the state? 

So why am I recertifying?  Although your Peoples Gas account will drop on June 30th, your ComEd enrollment will continue into PY16, if you choose to recertify and you will be eligible to come in to complete a DVP/RA application for only your Peoples Gas account during your appropriate priority enrollment period in the Fall of 2015.

What if I don’t want to stay on PIPP at all?  You may also “opt-out” of the PIPP entirely for PY16, but you should still complete an application to ensure you know all your options.  If you choose to opt-out at the time of your recertification, both of your accounts would drop on June 30th, and you would come back to apply for DVP/RA benefits for both accounts during your appropriate priority enrollment period in the Fall of 2015.


What criteria were used to pick who would be dropped? The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, who administers the LIHEAP and PIPP in Illinois, decided to base the removals on the length of the client’s participation in the program- the number of months the client has received PIPP benefits in a lifetime. Drop approach is based on Last In First Out method. In other words, clients with fewest number of months of PIPP benefits will be dropped first.  Clients who have received 28 grants or fewer on their Peoples Gas accounts will be removed.


I heard the governor wanted to cut state LIHEAP funding—is this why PIPP is being cut?  This funding reduction has nothing to do with the Governor’s proposed budget cuts for FY16.


What’s next after the client is removed from the Peoples Gas PIPP starting July 1, 2015?  Once your PG account is removed from the PIPP, your PG account will be removed from budget billing and the balance on your Peoples Gas account will become due immediately.  You may qualify for a payment plan on the remaining balance, which you would request from the utility.  After the entire balance becomes past due, you may also qualify to apply for Share the Warmth assistance on that balance after July 1st (not before the balance becomes past due). 


When can I get help on my Peoples Gas balance?  These clients will be eligible to apply for energy assistance benefits (DVP and RA) during their appropriate enrollment period during this fall.  Once the balance becomes past due (i.e. the balance must be billed, then the due date must pass), the client may be eligible to apply for the Peoples Gas Share the Warmth program, under the same eligibility criteria and rules of the program.


I disagree with this decision to drop my Peoples Gas account.  I want to appeal.

Clients can appeal the decision.  Here are the appeal steps:

--Client must submit a written notice of appeal to your Local Agency within five (5) business days of the receipt of the PG Drop Notice (which was sent in April) to CEDA PIPP Unit, 567 W Lake St, Suite 1200, Chicago, IL  60661. [Submitting an issue ticket and having us call the client will not take the place of the written appeal.]

--The local agency will review the appeal within seven (7) business days of the receipt of the client’s notice of appeal request and conduct an informal meeting, or with the client’s consent a phone conference, to explain the decision. Within three (3) business days of the informal meeting, the LAA will provide written notification of its decision to the client.

--If client is not satisfied with the decision, client has three (3) business days to file a request for a State’s review.  The State/DCEO will notify the LAA of the appeal.  State/DCEO case officer is assigned and has seven (7) business days from the receipt of the request for State/DCEO review.

--State/DCEO case office will provide the client written notification of the State/DCEO findings within ten (10) business days of the request for State review.

--Decision- If client was dropped from PIPP wrongly; client must be re-enrolled in PIPP immediately.  

  Peoples Gas customers:

After your account is removed from PIPP, your budget bill plan will end immediately.


The pre-program balance (if you had any) and your budget bill balance will become due with the first bill issued after the PIPP removal. A payment plan with Peoples Gas may be available to pay this balance.


You may qualify for other assistance programs through Peoples Gas, such as Share the Warmth after your account is removed from PIPP.

If client is interested in Share the Warmth, go ahead and screen client for eligibility and give them further instructions on applying if they qualify.


Your ComEd account will continue on PIPP.  When your ComEd account trues up, you’ll have the choice to recertify your ComEd account on PIPP for PY16, or switch that account to the DVP program as well.  Your Peoples Gas account will be eligible to apply for DVP/RA benefits during your appropriate priority period.



For additional questions or concerns:

ü  Citizens Utility Board (CUB):  (800) 669-5556 Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 3:00pm

o   CUB is a consumer advocacy group available to assist Illinois consumers with questions and complaints regarding the utility companies. It has no affiliation with the LIHEAP or PIPP programs. Please note CUB does not provide financial assistance and may only be of assistance after you've tried to address your concern with your utility company.

We should only refer to CUB if the client has attempted to resolve a billing/account dispute with the utility and it has not been resolved.  CUB does not pay bills or provide assistance.


ü  LAF (f/k/a Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago), Client Screening Unit:  (312) 341-1070

o   Service area covers the following LAA:  Cook County


Similarly, LAF does not provide bill payment assistance, but will represent clients with complaints of utility and supplier wrongdoing.