ComEd Customers Can Lower Bills with New Smart Meter Program
Chicago-area ComEd customers with newly installed smart meter technology will soon be able to save a few bucks by cutting electrical usage during peak hours.
According to the Illinois Citizens Utility Board, the 425,000 Chicago-area ComEd customers with the digital smart meters can sign up for a program that could credit them up to $12 per billing cycle by limiting activities like running a vacuum, washing clothes and turning up the thermostat during hot weather. Smart meters collect energy usage data in real time and automatically send the information to ComEd, eliminating the need for human meter readers.
How does it work?
First, eligibility requires a smart meter. While ComEd plans to install smart meters to 4 million northern Illinois customers by 2018, currently only about 425,000 customers have the technology. Those customers are located in the central Cook County communities of River Forest, Melrose Park, Bellwood, North Riverside, Maywood and Forest Park. To find out when smart meter technology is coming to your community, check ComEd’s deployment map.
After signing up for the program, ComEd will credit customers for reducing electricity use during peak times on summer days when demand is highest. Credits will appear as dollars taken off on customer bills. ComEd estimates a savings of $12 in credit per customer per billing cycle if all possible actions are taken to limit electricity use.
The credit customers earn is based on their previous electricity usage, and $1 is credited for every kilowatt hour of power saved during peak hours.
Customers can choose to receive alerts of peak usage hours via email, phone call or text message. Those hours will occur between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. beginning in the summer of 2015. Customer alerts will be sent 30 minutes before peak hours begin.
To check your eligibility and to sign up for the program, visit the ComEd website.
Looking for more ways to make your home more energy efficient? Hire a highly rated electrician to help you switch out inefficient systems or an energy consultant to conduct a thorough analysis of your home.