ComEd filed on Wednesday a request with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), which regulates the state’s public utilities, seeking cost recovery of $50 million that would support expanded programs to help customers reduce their energy usage and bills and contribute to a cleaner environment. The cost increase would support the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), the state’s new energy law, and ComEd’s ICC-approved four-year energy efficiency plan, which significantly increases funding for programs benefitting low-income customers.
“ComEd energy efficiency programs have only grown more effective in helping customers of all kinds reduce their energy bills and consumption, which also helps us reduce dependence on fossil fuels,” said Gil Quiniones, CEO, ComEd. “Customers now can save as much energy in five years’ time what used to take them a decade. And the cost to customers is still far less than what it was under the energy efficiency program prior to 2017. Thanks to CEJA, customers have more savings opportunities than ever.”
If approved, the request would add about 30 cents to ComEd’s average monthly residential customer bill beginning in January 2023. ComEd customers have saved more than $6.4 billion on their bills as a result of the energy efficiency program that ComEd launched in 2008, with nearly 460,000 families and businesses participating in 2021.
For the first time, ComEd’s programs include measures by residential and commercial customers to electrify vehicles or processes that would otherwise require fossil fuels. CEJA also allows utilities to fund solutions that enable business, public sector and residential customers to electrify space heating, water heating, cooling, drying, cooking, and industrial end uses that reduce energy consumption. ComEd will launch pilot projects this year, including an offering for income-eligible (IE) customers to fully electrify their homes with HVAC systems, water heating, appliances, and necessary electrical upgrades. ComEd will increase electrification opportunities over the course of four years and plans to spend an average of $10 million annually on solutions for IE customers, who earn at or below 80 percent of average area income.
“CEJA is widely recognized throughout Illinois and beyond as ambitious clean energy legislation, and the ComEd energy efficiency programs that it supports will contribute significantly to reducing carbon emissions,” said Stacey Paradis, executive director of the Midwest Energy Efficiency Association. “In Illinois, energy efficiency is a key component to achieving climate targets while reducing household costs, decreasing emissions and improving indoor air quality and resiliency.”
Last year, more than 15,000 ComEd customers took advantage of ComEd’s free home energy assessment, which includes a customized report and free installation of energy-saving products, such as LED bulbs, advanced power strips, low-flow showerheads, hot water pipe insulation, bathroom and kitchen sink aerators, and discounted smart thermostats.
In coordination with the local natural gas utilities, ComEd also offers customers rebates for installing high-efficiency equipment, including air conditioning systems and weatherization. Business and public sector customers can take advantage of a wide range of EE incentives and services, including free facility assessments and larger incentives are available for customers in ComEd’s most in-need communities.
CEJA also encourages diverse businesses and service providers to become involved in delivering ComEd energy efficiency programs, which ComEd will pursue through a new Market Development Initiative that will be funded at a level of $4 million annually over four years.