- Commonwealth Edison has rolled out a new marketplace where customers can purchase discounted thermostats as part of the utility's "One Million Smart Thermostats" initiative begun two years ago.
- Customers can receive up to $150 in rebates on the purchase, which ComEd says could help consumers cut cooling costs by 10-20%.
- ComEd targeted 25,000 thermostats during the first year of the program, with an average 300 kWh saved annually for every home with a smart thermostat. There are now about 50,000 smart thermostats in its territory.
Smart, learning or programmable thermostats are growing in popularity, and utilities increasingly see them as an effective device for lowering cooling demand and enabling demand response programs. The Commonwealth Edison program, launched in partnership with Environmental Law & Policy Center and Citizens Utility Board, could help lower Illinois utility bills by millions.
"The savings from these easy-to-use devices could be substantial," CUB Executive Director David Kolata said in a statement, and he called the thermostat rebates "unprecedented."
To help boost awareness of the program and thermostat adoption, ComEd said it launched an educational campaign and a new instant discount option for customers.
Other utilities have begun offering smart thermostats. Last year, the city of Austin, Texas, began requiring all new home construction to include smart thermostats with either a wi-fi or cable internet connection.
Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative President and CEO Patty Durand previously said that smart thermostats are "probably the best gateway to engage consumers. ... If you're going to pick one thing, the research points towards thermostats. It's something everyone is already aware of. Very high numbers of people want one."