Supporting Customers

At Shedd Aquarium, Savings Run Deep as ComEd, Community Partners Celebrate an Ocean of Energy Efficiency Programs

June 30, 2017

Is it possible to save big when you are responsible for housing and feeding a “family” of thousands?

At Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, the answer is yes.

Home to a family of approximately 32,000 animals, the Shedd has saved more than $131,000 in energy costs since 2011 by participating in ComEd’s Energy Efficiency Program.

Your home or business doesn’t have to be underwater to save big, though.

In its 10th year, the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program has saved customers $2.5 billion on their energy bills.  And now, through the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), the opportunity to save will be even greater, as energy efficiency programs will almost double by 2030.

“Through FEJA, one of the nation’s best performing energy efficiency programs will get even better with more funding and innovation, bringing even greater value and savings to our customers,” says Fidel Marquez, senior vice president, Governmental & External Affairs, ComEd.

To celebrate this $2.5 billion savings milestone and the pending growth of ComEd energy efficiency programs through FEJA, ComEd joined the Shedd Aquarium on June 28 to give away 250 energy efficient products to ComEd customers visiting the Shedd.

“As a customer and partner with ComEd, we’ve participated in their Energy Efficiency Program that has saved us nearly 1.5 million kWh at the aquarium helping us reach our goal in energy savings, and reducing our environmental footprint to protect animals and the environment for future generations,” says Bob Wengel, vice president of facilities at Shedd Aquarium.

Several members of the Clean Jobs Coalition, who helped craft and support passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act, were also in attendance, including the Citizens Utility Board, Elevate Energy, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The members highlighted the energy savings opportunities – and associated new clean jobs – ahead.

“About 85,000 people in Illinois work in the field of energy efficiency,” says Anne Evens, the chief executive officer of Elevate Energy. “The Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) will push that number higher, as more customers and more types of facilities will be encouraged to take advantage of energy efficiency.”

Dave Kolata, the executive director of the Citizens Utility Board, says, “Illinois already enjoys some of the lowest electricity bills in the Midwest because of energy efficiency, and the Future Energy Jobs Act expands on that, establishing one of the nation’s most ambitious efficiency programs.”

The Shedd Aquarium, a partner dedicated to cutting its energy consumption, has conducted four projects to increase energy efficiency since 2011.

Among the projects completed were:

  • Two variable frequency drive pumps, which provides more efficient water flow control
  • Monitoring-based commissioning software to optimize energy usage
  • Replacement of three 500-ton chillers, a cooling system that redistributes heat

“At Shedd Aquarium, we believe sustainable, energy-efficient practices is both good for business and good for the environment, which is why we’ve committed to a robust Master Energy Roadmap, which aims to cut our energy consumption in half by 2020,” Bob says.

In addition, the Shedd Aquarium has conducted a number of sustainable projects to reduce its energy usage including installing 913 solar panels, retrofitting more than 1,000 light fixtures with LED lightbulbs, and installing a one-megawatt lithium ion battery storage system to offset its consumption of energy from local power plants.


The ComEd® Energy Efficiency Program is funded by ComEd customers in compliance with Illinois law.