In an attempt to help Chicagoans save money on energy bills, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) joined forces with ComEd and the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Environmental Law and Policy Center. Educating the public on how to save money from their energy bills, the first piece of advice was to invest in a smart thermostat.
A recent announcement was made by these organizations that a new incentive will be put into place, giving customers an immediate rebate for the purchase of a smart thermostat which can be programmed to automatically adjust to specific living arrangements. In other words, instead of having the air conditioner on 24/7, the thermostat will raise a few degrees while you’re out of the house and lower, just before you return.
It’s not just a smart thermostat that will do this. smartphones and (Amazon) Alexa will do the same job. But the advantage of a smart thermostat is that they actually figure out how to adapt to their users’ behavior, identify patterns and thereafter manage heating and cooling systems which will significantly reduce energy costs.
Suburban ComEd customers can expect to see a reduction in their delivery rates of about 2 percent beginning in January. That translates to about $1 for every $85 spent on electricity. The Citizens Utility Board, a watchdog group says that the reduced cost is a good beginning, and is planning on asking for further reductions in the next month.
Jim Chilsen, spokesperson for the CUB said:
“We hope this decrease is a sign that ComEd has taken a step forward in building a more efficient and reliable power grid that gives consumers the opportunity to save money. Illinois has a long way to go to build a power grid that maximizes consumer benefits. So our message to the state’s biggest electric utility is: Don’t stop now. We are paying for these power grid upgrades, so we deserve the benefits.”
ComEd asked for the reduction last April, requesting a total cost break of $50.4 million. Further adjustments were added by the Illinois Commerce Commission last week, approval a reduction of 2.58 percent, or a total of $66.5 million.
“The smart grid program is delivering on its promise to generate efficiencies and we are pleased to pass along those savings to our customers by decreasing their electric delivery costs,” ComEd President and CEO Anne Pramaggiore said. “The investments in the smart grid program are producing a stronger, more reliable system with fewer outages. Those results mean less operational costs and greater savings for our customers.”