smart thermostats

WSIU Radio: Ameren Illinois Announces Money-Saving Program For Customers

May 17, 2018
Ameren Illinois Announces Money-Saving Program For Customers
By Kevin Boucher

A major power supplier is working to save customers 10 to 15 percent on their electric bill.  Ameren Illinois held a news conference on Thursday, May 17th, 2018 in Marion to unveil a new initiative designed to put 300–thousand new smart thermostats in Illinois homes over the next decade.  According to the press release, current Ameren Illinois customers can buy a qualified smart thermostat and then go online to apply for a 100 dollar rebate. Ameren’s John Carol says the new devices can easily replace an existing thermostat.  He adds these new smart thermostats work by recording user settings and using that information to heat and cool the home when the home is not occupied.

Kelly Hendrickson, Communications Executive with Ameren, has been using one for several months and says it adds convenience to people with busy schedules.  She says she can be at a little league baseball game  and use her smartphone app to turn the air down so when the family returns home  the house will be comfortable.

Rob Kelter, Senior Attorney for the Environmental Law and Policy Center says the new thermostats will help consumers to stop cooling and heating empty homes.

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Press Release: Smart Thermostat program Features Record Rebate to Help Consumers Cut Cooling Costs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 25, 2017

Contact: David Jakubiak

CONSUMER ALERT: YOU COULD BE WASTING MONEY COOLING AN EMPTY HOME
SMART THERMOSTAT PROGRAM FEATURES RECORD REBATE TO HELP CONSUMERS CUT COOLING COSTS BY 10-20%

CHICAGO (July 25, 2017) – Amid the hottest time of the year, consumer advocates joined with Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) Tuesday to make Chicago-area consumers aware that cooling an empty home, while they are away at work or on vacation, can cause summer energy bills to soar.

Smart thermostats provide the easy solution to high seasonal bills, and this summer, northern Illinois consumers can take advantage of unprecedented rebates as part of one of the largest thermostat rebate programs in the country.

The “One Million Smart Thermostats” initiative, launched in October 2015, is a partnership between the utilities and the advocacy groups Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) and Citizens Utility Board (CUB). Under this initiative, smart thermostats are eligible for up to $150 in rebates offered by ComEd and other Illinois gas utilities for customers with WiFi, central air and a furnace. The rebates can help cut the cost of some of these smart devices by more than 50 percent and give more control to northern Illinois consumers to save money by reducing wasteful energy use.

The goal of the program this year is to double the adoption to 100,000 smart thermostats in households across Illinois. To help create awareness and boost adoption, ComEd has launched an educational campaign and a new instant discount option for customers.

“ComEd’s smart thermostat rebate initiative is one of the largest and most active programs in the nation, reducing up-front costs for our customers on a product that gives them more control and even greater savings over time.  With just a few taps on a smart thermostat app, customers can manage their household temperature while away from home avoiding unnecessary energy use and costs,” said ComEd President & CEO Anne Pramaggiore.

Smart thermostats are WiFi-enabled devices that allow residents to easily control the heating and air conditioning settings through their smartphones, tablets, and computers.  The technology is smart because it learns or adapts to user behavior over time and can generate energy savings with very little effort. Residents remain comfortable when home and save money on heating and cooling energy costs while away at work or on vacation.

“Smart thermostats do the work for you – they adjust the temperature automatically when you’re not home,” said Rob Kelter, senior attorney for ELPC. “We want even more customers to take advantage of the great technological innovation of smart thermostats and keep more money in their pockets.”

CUB Executive Director David Kolata said smart thermostats can help consumers cut their cooling costs by an estimated 10 to 20 percent. “Smart thermostats prove just how easy and effective energy efficiency can be,” Kolata said. “The savings from these easy-to-use devices could be substantial—potentially cutting northern Illinois electric bills by millions of dollars. We urge ComEd customers to take advantage of the unprecedented discounts – available online and in stores- to buy a smart thermostat this summer.”

“The best way for consumers to control their electric bills, and help the environment, is to reduce consumption,” said Brien J. Sheahan, Chairman of the ICC. “Smart thermostats give consumers greater control of, and visibility into, their energy use which promotes conservation and helps save money.”

To make it easier for customers to redeem rebates, ComEd launched a new website, ComEdMarketplace.com, where customers can shop for smart thermostats and other top-rated energy products and take advantage of online instant rebates that reduce purchase costs.

ComEd officials said the smart thermostat program is part of one of the nation’s best-performing energy efficiency programs, saving consumers some $2.5 billion. The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program is about to get even better, thanks to the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), a bipartisan bill that passed the Illinois General Assembly late in 2016 and was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

In June, ComEd filed with the ICC a new Energy Efficiency Program, under FEJA. The law will double customer savings and reduce electricity use in Illinois by 21 percent by 2030.

 

 

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About ComEd

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.9 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

About ELPC

The Environmental Law & Policy Center is the Midwest’s leading public interest environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization. We develop and lead successful strategic advocacy campaigns to improve environmental quality and protect our natural resources. We are public interest environmental entrepreneurs who engage in creative business deal making with diverse interests to put into practice our belief that environmental progress and economic development can be achieved together. 

About Citizen’s Utility Board

Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, the nonprofit utility watchdog group has saved consumers more than $20 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds. For more details, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline, 1-800-669-5556, or visit CUB’s award-winning website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org

About ecobee

ecobee Inc. introduced the world’s first smart wi-fi smart thermostat to help millions of customers save money, conserve energy and seamlessly bring home automation into their lives. The company’s first flagship consumer device – ecobee3 – introduced pioneering room sensor technology to deliver comfort in the rooms that matter most, leading it to become a top-selling smart thermostat on the market and achieve a No. 1 ranking on Navigant’s Smart Thermostat Leaderboard. Learn more about ecobee and its smart home technologies at www.ecobee.com.

About Nest

Nest’s mission is to create a home that’s thoughtful – one that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it. The company focuses on simple, beautiful and delightful hardware, software and services. The Nest Learning Thermostat™ and Nest Energy Services keep you comfortable and address home energy consumption. The Nest Protect™ smoke and carbon monoxide alarm helps keep you safe and Nest Safety Rewards lets you save money through participating home insurance providers, while Nest Cam™ keeps an eye on what matters most inside and outside your home. For more information, visit www.nest.com.

FOX32: Save up to 20% on your a/c bill with a smart thermostat

ELPC Senior Attorney Rob Kelter spoke with FOX32 about how smart thermostats can save consumers money — the rebate cuts the cost of the thermostats in half, and the energy savings pay for the rest of the cost of the device within a year.  The Chicago area has the largest rebate in the country for smart thermostats, and ELPC helped make that happen.

Howard Learner appears on WGN Radio’s “The Download” to talk about the Paris Climate Conference and More

ELPC Executive Director Howard Learner talks with WGN Radio host Justin Kaufmann about the Global Climate Treaty established in Paris, what climate change will mean for the Midwest, and how energy efficiency is a “two-fer” for environmental protection and economic development.

Listen to the broadcast on WGN’s website. Howard’s segment begins at minute 36. 

ELPC 2015: What We’ve Achieved, and What’s Next

This is a transformational year for the environment. ELPC is seizing strategic opportunities for progress on the big issues. We’re achieving strong results in these politically gridlocked times.

First, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan caps two decades of sustained advocacy by ELPC and many environmental and public health colleagues backed by sound scientific findings. The U.S. is now stepping up as a global leader advancing clean energy solutions to reduce carbon pollution.

Second, solar energy, wind power and innovative energy efficiency technologies are poised to transform the electricity market just as wireless transformed telecommunications, changing the ways that we live and work. ELPC is driving new policies to accelerate distributed Midwest solar energy installations and install one million new smart thermostats in Illinois.

Third, ELPC’s successful litigation to stop the fiscal folly Illiana Tollway, protect the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie and promote sound regional planning is transforming transportation policy to prioritize public transit and modern regional rail instead of politically clouted boondoggles. ELPC attorneys are winning in both the court of law and the court of public opinion.

ELPC is effective. Our teams of expert public interest attorneys, M.B.A.s, policy advocates and communications specialists, combined with the ELPC Science Advisory Council, play to win and know how to get things done.  ELPC is truly making a difference for a better world.

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Your support has helped ELPC advance a cleaner renewable energy mix for the Midwest, accelerate cleaner transportation, and clean up the rivers and great lakes that we all care about. Please consider ELPC’s results and make a financial contribution to support our successful program work in 2016:

 

Ditching the Illiana Tollway Boondoggle and Protecting the Remarkable Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

Midewin_Illiana_250x330The proposed new Illiana Tollway is a fiscal folly, undermines sound regional planning and would harm wildlife and ecological values in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. On June 16th, Federal District Court Judge Jorge Alonso granted Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and declared that the federal and state transportation agencies’ approval of the Tier 1 final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision “for the proposed new Illiana Expressway was arbitrary and capricious and in violation of NEPA.” This is a tremendous litigation victory for ELPC’s public interest attorneys on behalf of our clients Midewin Heritage Association, Openlands and Sierra Club.

More than a dozen newspapers across Illinois have editorialized against the Illiana “road to nowhere” during the state’s fiscal crisis and when there are much higher priorities for limited transportation infrastructure funds to enable badly-needed fixes for transit and commuter rail, intercity higher-speed rail, and highway and bridge repairs.

ELPC’s legal, economic and media advocacy and our clients’ public engagement have changed the proposed new boondoggle Illiana Tollway from a “done deal” to “terminal life support.” It’s time for Governor Rauner and Illinois’ political leadership to finally ditch the Illiana once and for all. ELPC is working hard in the federal and state courts, and in the courts of public opinion, to bring the proposed Illiana Tollway to its well-deserved end.

 

Installing One Million Smart Thermostats in Illinois – A National Model

NestThermostat_250x330ELPC and Commonwealth Edison worked together creating an ambitious new program to install one million new smart thermostats in Illinois homes and small businesses over the next five years. U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy joined us for the October 8th public announcement. This leading-edge initiative provides rebates up to $120, using the consumer-funded Energy Efficiency Performance Standards program resources, for the new generation of Ecobee, Nest and Honeywell thermostats that learn customer behavior and adjust cooling and heating without complicated programming. These “smart thermostats” can save consumers 15%-25% from their heating and cooling costs and reduce pollution. Once the Illinois program is off the ground, ELPC plans to replicate it in more Midwestern states. This innovative technology is a winner.

 

Accelerating Solar Energy in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota

SolarShedd_250x330Solar energy installations in the Midwest grew by 70% last year, creating jobs, new businesses and economic growth. However, the coal industry and some electric utilities are seeking to impose regulatory barriers to protect their polluting power plants and their electricity monopolies. ELPC is working to advance sound policies that drive clean solar energy forward and remove regulatory barriers to development.

In Illinois, ELPC was instrumental in helping enact and then design the state’s first $30 million distributed solar generation procurement.

In Iowa, ELPC successfully repelled Interstate Power & Light’s attempt to impose new barriers to solar development after we won a major case before the Iowa Supreme Court to remove utility-imposed barriers to conventional third-party financing arrangements for solar energy development projects.

In Minnesota and Michigan, ELPC is making steady progress with our state-based partners to design new distributed solar programs and strategies. We’re moving forward at this transformational time to accelerate solar energy development for a cleaner energy future. ELPC is pro-technological innovation, pro-competition and pro-removing regulatory barriers to solar.

 

Keeping the Great Lakes and Midwest Rivers Clean

LakeMichiganMichigan-sidebarThere are two main types of water pollution – from a single, identifiable “point” source and the “non-point” flows from farms, ranches and streets. ELPC is working on both.

This is the first year that the SS Badger car ferry did not dump about 1,000,000 pounds of toxic coal ash into Lake Michigan. The ship now has a new coal ash containment system thanks to an effective advocacy campaign led by ELPC with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and our good colleagues. ELPC’s work to stop the SS Badger from polluting the drinking water supplies for 42 million people is a strong precedent that reinforces that it’s no longer acceptable to dump toxic pollution in our Great Lakes.

ELPC also brought together more than 60 scientists and policymakers for our second annual Great Lakes Science-Policy Confluence Conference to discuss solutions to mitigate “nutrient pollution” – agricultural runoff that helped cause toxic blue-green algae blooms in Western Lake Erie. In summer 2014, 500,000 people in the Toledo area were without safe drinking water supplies for 72 hours. That’s not acceptable. ELPC is stepping up our advocacy for the necessary actions to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from agricultural operations that caused the toxic algae and contaminated water supplies.

ELPC continues our Mississippi River protection legal leadership, and we convened a new collaboration of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia groups for coordinated multi-state action to help clean up the Ohio River, considered by some to be America’s most polluted waterway.

 

ELPC Is Accelerating the Next Generation of Sustainable Transportation

AmtrakELPC is a recognized leader in advancing the Midwest high-speed rail network, which will improve mobility, reduce pollution, create jobs and pull together the regional economy. We are working to accelerate new clean cars and trucks, which use modern technologies to increase fuel efficiency and reduce pollution.

This year, I was honored to be asked by Amtrak’s CEO to serve on a four-member Blue Ribbon Panel analyzing and recommending strategies and better practices to increase fluidity and reduce congestion for higher-speed passenger rail and freight rail in the “Chicago Gateway” leading to St. Louis, Detroit and the East Coast.

 

 

Making the Clean Power Plan Standards Work Well

coal_250x330This is the federal cornerstone for America’s commitment to climate change solutions. ELPC is working with many business, environmental, health and faith-based allies to overcome the coal industry’s and certain politicians’ litigation efforts to stall progress, and to effectively implement state climate solution action plans in the Midwest states. Overall, ELPC is advancing new policies to drive energy markets with technological innovations that can change the world.

 

 

 

 

ELPC believes in the core principle that environmental progress and economic growth can be achieved together, and we put that sustainability principle into practice every day. ELPC’s solutions-focused strategies engage diverse partners and seize opportunities to accelerate clean energy development and clean transportation technologies, protect clean air and clean water, and preserve the Midwest’s wild and natural places.

ELPC’s multidisciplinary staff teams of public interest attorneys, M.B.A.s, policy experts and communications specialists are fully engaged across the Midwest, and we’re making progress. It isn’t easy; real change never is. We don’t give up. Let’s keep working together to win.

Thank you for engaging and making a contribution to support ELPC’s work to harness this change and achieve a brighter future.

 

The Huffington Post: Unleashing Innovation for a Clean Energy Economy

One of America’s greatest assets is the ingenuity of its people. President Obama has been driving that theme home since the beginning of his Administration. At EPA, we’ve seen time and again that by unleashing homegrown American innovation, we can bring about big wins for both the environment and the economy.

Just look at renewable energy — today the U.S. generates three times as much wind power, and 20 times as much solar power as we did in 2008. And since the beginning of 2010, the average cost of a solar electric system in the U.S. has dropped by half. At the same time, the U.S. solar industry is creating jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy.

And look at the auto industry — we’ve set historic fuel efficiency standards that promise to send our cars twice as far on a gallon of gas by the middle of the next decade — a move that will reduce pollution and save families money at the pump at the same time. Today, every major U.S. automaker offers electric vehicles. And since 2009, the American auto industry added more than 250,000 jobs.

These are wins all around. That’s why states, communities and leading private sector companies are investing in clean energy innovation. Because it’s good for the environment and it’s good for business. There are countless state-based projects already underway to reduce energy waste, boost efficiencies, and vastly increase the amount of energy solar panels can produce from the sun.

We’re already seeing tremendous progress across the country — including the development of smart, low-cost technologies that help households save on their energy bills. On this front, the state of Illinois is moving ahead at full speed.
Just last week, I was proud to join officials from the City of Chicago, utility companies, citizen groups and two energy-technology companies — Nest and Ecobee — as they announced a major new initiative to get one million “smart” thermostats into northern Illinois homes by the year 2020.

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Chicago Tonight: Smart Thermostat Initiative Aims to Cut Energy Bills in Northern Illinois

A new energy initiative is encouraging northern Illinois residents to get smart—by purchasing so-called smart thermostats—under a rebate program that aims to help cut heating costs. Will homeowners warm up to what is planned to be the country’s largest smart energy initiative?

Joining us to discuss the plan are Val Jensen, senior vice president for customer operations at Commonwealth Edison; Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center; and Jim Chilsen, communications director for the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), a consumer advocacy watchdog group.

How it works

Smart thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled devices that enable a user to control home heat and air conditioning settings through their smartphone, tablet and computer while inside or outside of the home.

With the support of the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency, the smart thermostat initiative is a public-private partnership between ComEd, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas and CUB.

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The Motley Fool: Alphabet’s Nest Gets a Boost From an Unlikely Source

Alphabet (nee Google) (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) may be compared to Apple in many respects, and vice versa, but there’s one area where Cupertino soundly bests Mountain View: devices. On one hand, Apple’s iPhone alone is responsible for $147 billion in revenue over the trailing 12-months versus Alphabet’s total haul of $70 billion.

Alphabet, on the other hand, has struggled with devices. After buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in 2011, the company sold the division to Lenovo for $2.9 billion after years of red ink, although it should be noted the company kept certain high-value patents and sold off a portion of the business to Arris for $2.5 billion as well as keeping Motorola’s $3.2 billion cash pile at the time of acquisition.

So while the deal may not have been as bad as advertised, it certainly did not bear fruit in respects to bringing a game-changing device to market. In addition, Alphabet’s Nexus line of phones have failed to catch on in a meaningful way versus Apple’s iPhone and Samsung‘s Galaxy line of phones. However, there is one device Alphabet has that could become its most important: Its Nest line of thermostats the company purchased in 2014 for $3.2 billion.

Will a subsidy turbocharge sales?

If a recent report from The Washington Post comes to fruition, look for Nest unit sales to skyrocket. ComEd, owned by major electric and natural gas supplier Exelon, announced an ambitious project to get 1 million Nest and Ecobee thermostats into homes in its service area of Illinois by the end of this decade.

To accomplish this goal, the company plans to heavily discount the cost by providing rebates up to $120 — or nearly half — on units that cost $249. And while this is only one state, this program has the potential to spread to all of Exelon’s 7.8 million customers in 48 states if successful.

In the end, this is a win/win for everybody. ComEd benefits by being able to better control the grid and the positive recognition of working to eliminate greenhouse gases. For users, this will result in lower electrical bills — the Post reports the Environmental Law and Policy Center estimates savings as much as $130 annually by swapping out manual thermostats for smart ones, paying for itself in exactly one year with the full discount.

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E&E Publishing: Utilities, Nest Aim to Put 1M Smart Thermostats in Chicago Area

EE Publishing

October 9th, 2015

Utilities, Nest Aim to Put 1M Smart Thermostats in Chicago Area

By Jeffery Tomich

Commonwealth Edison and a group of partners yesterday set out to make Illinois’ newest power plant a virtual one that will be attached to the walls of more than one-fourth of the electric utility’s 3.8 million customers in and around Chicago.

But instead of generating electrons, the mission of deploying 1 million tiny devices is to avoid them.

ComEd, Chicago-area gas utilities along with smart thermostat markers Nest Labs Inc., ecobee and other partners crafted a program with the goal of putting 1 million thermostats in northern Illinois homes by 2020 by offering rebates that cut the cost in half.

The idea isn’t new — utilities in the United States and elsewhere have been offering smart thermostat rebates for years. But the Chicago-area program is unrivaled in scale and ambition, participants said.

Nest, owned by Google Inc., has millions of thermostats in homes in seven countries, Ben Bixby, Nest Labs’ general manager for energy products, said in an interview. “But we’ve never targeted this type of density of a million thermostats in a single service territory, and all that that can bring.”

The smart thermostat initiative was announced at a news conference yesterday morning in Chicago that included U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy as well as the Illinois Commerce Commission chairman, utility executives, and representatives of the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) and the Citizens Utility Board, a consumer advocate.

“What makes this a game changer is that customers can achieve significant savings on their energy bills while improving the comfort of their homes,” said Robert Kelter, a senior attorney for Chicago-based ELPC, a Midwest environmental advocacy group that was instrumental in fostering the partnership. “It’s a high goal, but a reasonable goal and an achievable goal for the ComEd service area.”

Kelter said the program also will have broader benefits by reducing the need to run power plants as often or build new ones.

And 1 million smart thermostats could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 700,000 metric tons, or the annual emissions of 150,000 cars, according to the ELPC.

That would prove useful as EPA issued the final rule for its Clean Power Plan, which will require Illinois to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 42 percent over the next decade and a half. While energy efficiency was eliminated as a “building block” for setting the target, it is expected that states will lean heavily on energy savings measures to reach their goals.

The program covers ComEd’s 11,000-square-mile service area in northern Illinois and includes participation by Nicor Gas, North Shore Gas and Peoples Gas, the natural gas utilities whose territories overlap and who will also help fund rebates.

The program is available to utility customers with Wi-Fi, central air and a furnace. They qualify for a $100 to $125 rebate on Nest or ecobee devices depending on where they are purchased.

The rebates will be provided using funds already allocated by ComEd and two natural gas utilities under existing energy efficiency programs.

The idea for the program originated from a wasted energy study that ComEd was required to do a couple of years ago to demonstrate energy efficiency potential. It showed that consumers could achieve a 38 percent savings on heating and cooling by properly setting their thermostats, Kelter said.

By law, energy efficiency programs in Illinois must be found to be cost-effective by regulators to enable the use of ratepayer funds.

“We have strong standards in Illinois requiring that ratepayer dollars can only be used in energy efficiency programs if those programs can deliver real savings to customers,” ICC Chairman Brian Sheahan said. “The smart thermostat initiative meets that test.”

Money back

Years ago, programmable thermostats gave hope for slashing residential energy use. But studies showed they were largely ineffective because consumers didn’t understand how to use them or bother to set them properly. Ultimately, they were withdrawn from the federal Energy Star program because savings were negligible.

But Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostats have sensors that know when you’re home, software that learns your preferences, and technology that allows you to monitor and adjust them from a computer or a smartphone.

Stuart Lombard, president of Toronto-based ecobee, estimates that consumers can shave a combined 23 percent off heating and cooling costs. In the Chicago area, that would be 50 to 70 percent of total energy use, he said.

Meanwhile, Nest cites data from three studies that show consumers can save an average of 10 to 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling costs for homes with central air conditioners. That can mean $130 to $145 annually, Bixby said.

“That’s millions of dollars that ends up back in people’s pockets rather than figuratively — I guess it’s almost literally — sending that money up a smokestack,” he said.

According to data gathered by ELPC’s Howard Learner, 1 million smart thermostats across ComEd’s service area could save 342 million kilowatt-hours of electricity — annual energy savings totaling as much as $119 million, or $131 a year per customer.

Savings estimates also don’t include the potential for the smart thermostats to be used as part of demand-response programs, which could ultimately unlock even more value for participating customers, according to Nest and ecobee executives.

Marketing can make or break

Lauren Callaway, an analyst at Navigant Research, said the actual energy savings data won’t determine the fate of the incentive program or the goal of 1 million devices installed in five years, a goal that she describes as “very ambitious.”

More important, she said, is the effort put into reaching consumers.

“It depends on how the device itself is marketed by the utility and its partners,” Callaway said.

Lombard of ecobee agrees. “I think if the customers see it and understand it, they’ll get it,” he said. “It’s really about letting customers know that the solution exists and it can have a big impact.”

At $100 per rebate, the tab for incentives to cover 1 million smart thermostats could exceed $100 million. But Kelter believes that increased market penetration will, over time, help reduce costs for thermostats themselves, putting them within reach of more consumers.

Said Kelter: “Utility-run programs like this help transform the market, and that’s our hope here.”

 

Get Your Smart Thermostat – New Program Offers Up to $120 in Rebates

SmartThermoResidents across Northern Illinois are now eligible for rebates on smart thermostats that will nearly cut the cost of the devices in half. Cutting-edge smart thermostat technology offers residents increased convenience, comfort and control related to heating and cooling their homes – leading to greater energy savings that benefit the environment as well as your pocketbook.

The smart thermostat initiative – a partnership between Environmental Law & Policy Center, Citizens Utility Board, ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas – is the largest effort of its kind in the nation. It makes the ecobee3 and Nest Learning Thermostat eligible for up to $120 in rebates for utility customers with WiFi, central air, and a furnace.

Our goal is to get one million smart thermostats installed in the next five years.

Smart thermostats are WiFi-enabled devices that allow residents to easily control the heating and air conditioning settings in a home through their smartphones, tablets and computers. The technology is “smart” because it learns or adapts to user behavior over time and can generate energy savings automatically. Residents remain comfortable when they’re home and reduce wasted energy dollars on heating and cooling when they’re at work or on vacation. The average Illinois consumer will save approximately $50-$130 annually on their heating and cooling bills – meaning that the smart thermostat pays for itself after just 1-3 years.

Please visit ELPC.org/SmartThermostats for an overview of basic questions about the program. Help us spread the word by sharing this information with your friends and neighbors so they too can take advantage of this limited and unique opportunity.

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