Illinois Energy Innovation Board issues grants to further smart meter literacy


US Smart grid Consumer Education Fund, Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation ( ISEIF) has this week announced that it will issue grants to further Energy Literacy and Home Energy Management.

According to a company statement, the grants will be given to 12 organizations who will educate Illinois residents in the state’s transition to a digital, smart electric grid.

“Each organization represents a unique consumer education tactic or demographic reach. By funding them we’re supporting diverse messengers reaching consumers in multiple languages and telling them there are opportunities to reduce energy usage and save money, while solving a massive energy challenge,” said Program Director Clare Butterfield.

Executive Director Jason Blumberg said, “As other states and countries shift to a smart grid, we’ll have best practices to share with them about how to get consumers, especially low-income and senior populations, engaged.”

Organizations receiving the grant include the city of Chicago, Citizens Utility Board, Faith in Place, Institute of Cultural Affairs USA, University of Illinois at Chicago and Illinois State University.

The grants come at a time when over a million smart meters have been installed in illinois, and nearly 1 million additional units will be installed on ComEd and Ameren Illinois metering points in 2016.

Furthermore,in Q2 of 2015, ISEIF released a review of its program to engage school children with grid modernization and increase energy literacy.

ISEIF said the purpose of the report – Smart Grid for Schools: To Reach Parents, Teach Children – is to share what the foundation has learned about energy literacy programs that target youth both as the intended primary audience and as an avenue to reach parents.

The initiative trained 208 teachers, many of whom are in low-income neighbourhoods where energy savings can equal substantial cost savings.

Teachers interviewed in the report said students find the interactive displays fun and engaging, although the tracability of using a curriculum for children to reach their parents is a challenge.