- Low-income and low-use customers would save significantly with Commonwealth Edison's hourly pricing program, according to Elevate Energy, the group administering the time-of-use program.
- The hourly pricing program, in effect now for almost a decade in northern Illinois, so far has helped about 10,700 customers save more than $15 million, according to Elevate. So far, electricity savings have reached 22 million kWh.
- The rate is open to all customers with a smart meter, which ComEd is currently rolling out in its service territory, Midwest Energy News reports. According to Elevate, only a small fraction of customers would see their bills rise under the rate plan.
Commonwealth Edison is in the process of installing 4 million smart meters in its service territory, and data from the group running its hourly pricing program indicates wide use could save customers millions of dollars.
Just 10,700 customers have saved roughly $15 million since the program went into effect in 2007, according to Elevate Energy. Right now, the utility is roughly halfway through the rollout of smart meters, which was authorized by Illinois lawmakers in 2011. It is a decade-long, $2.6 billion grid modernization effort. In 2012, the utility announced it had postponed the campaign due to cost recovery disputes, and began installations in 2013.
Midwest Energy News reports the Elevate believes the vast majority of customers would see significant savings, with only a few bills actually writing. Elevate estimates 97% of the utility's customers would save money, including 99% of low-income homes and almost 90% of low-use customers. Annual savings for those three groups could run $123, $136 and $28, respectively.
Program participants are given access to tools to keep track of prices and monitor electricity use. Real-time day-of alerts and day-ahead price alerts are provided when prices are expected to be high. According to the company, customer energy savings have avoided more than 22 million kWh of energy usage and more than 46 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.
“There are benefits for both participants and non-participants,” Sarah Gulezian, director of dynamic pricing programs for Elevate, told the news outlet. “When participants are able to shift their use, it lowers the demand for electricity for everyone. And that can help your electricity prices go down and the grid is less stressed."