US utility ComEd has launched a new mobile app and website to help consumers in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighbourhood to increase their energy savings.
The Save and Share mobile app and website are being piloted under the utility’s existing smart grid programme Community of the Future. The pilot will run over a period of one year. Results will determine rollout to other ComEd customers.
The two portals allow consumers to set and track daily and weekly targets for reducing their energy use based on their historic use and weather forecasts.
Energy use is recorded in 30-minute intervals and displayed the next day. The portals provide consumers with recommendations on how to improve their daily energy use.
The recommendations include linking consumers with relevant ComEd energy efficiency offerings and rewards them with Save and Share dollars if they meet their goals.
Consumers can share rewards earned for reducing energy use with participating local non-profit organisations.
“By making smarter energy choices, customers can save money and live better – and we’re developing the creative solutions that empower them to do that,” said Dana Bolton, ComEd vice president of customer solutions. “Our energy efficiency offerings already make it easy for customers to reduce their energy use and expenses. With the addition of our mobile app pilot, customers who call Bronzeville home can make their energy savings work harder for them and help support non-profits that serve their community.”
“Residents of Bronzeville and other neighborhoods are looking for additional opportunities to make our communities healthier,” said Rev. Brian J. Sauder, executive director of nonprofit Faith in Place, which works to raise awareness of energy efficiency offerings in Bronzeville. “Programmes like ComEd’s Save and Share provide us pathways to use less energy, reduce electric bills and give back to our communities, at the same time.”
The launch is part of efforts by ComEd to expand its energy efficiency investments as directed by the Future Energy Jobs Act, enacted in 2017.
The law stipulates the utility must increase funding from $250 million in 2017 to about $400 million by 2030.
This includes approximately $42 million per year from 2018 to 2021 for programmes that specifically help income-eligible customers reduce their energy use and save money.
Income eligible offerings include free home energy upgrades, free multi-family energy upgrades, deep discounts for LEDs at local retailers and free energy saving kits at community action agencies.