Letter to the Editor: Energy innovation = lower utility bills

Illinois is a leader in energy innovation.  For proof, look no further than the ambitious smart campaign launched recently to put 1 million smart thermostats in homes across northern Illinois over the next five years.

A smart thermostat brings control over home energy literally into customer hands.  With a simple touch, customers can adjust the temperature from the convenience of a smartphone, tablet, or home computer.   That means families can enjoy heating and cooling when they need it, and eliminate wasted gas and electricity costs when they don’t.

The devices even “learn” customer behavior over time to automatically adjust temperature settings without having to lift a finger.  Saving energy has never been simpler.

Northern Illinois residents are now eligible for up to $120 in utility rebates for ecobee3 and Nest Learning Thermostats, cutting the price tag of the thermostats nearly in half.  With the rebates, the devices, which can cut home heating and cooling costs by up to 20 percent, can potentially pay for themselves within two years—and then go on to generate hundreds of dollars in savings subsequently.  With the goal of reaching 1 million new households, we now have the potential to save nearly $120 billion in energy costs across Illinois.

This initiative—a unique partnership among the utilities, thermostat manufacturers, and advocacy groups— is the largest of its kind in the nation, and makes advanced money-saving technology affordable and accessible to a whole new class of customers.  Illinois is truly leading the charge towards a smarter, more energy-efficient tomorrow.

For more information on the smart thermostat rebates, visit ComEd.com or CUB’s Energy Efficiency page at CitizensUtilityBoard.org.

David Kolata
Executive Director
Citizens Utility Board

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