Supporting Customers

Go Green and Get Green with Peak Time Savings

February 21, 2017

Smart technology is helping people all over the world save money. In some cases, this smart technology can also help people save the environment.

Here in northern Illinois, millions of people can save the green in their wallets by reducing their energy usage during times of the day when energy is most in demand — which is usually during very hot days when most air conditioners are on, stores are open and factories are running.

By enrolling in ComEd’s Peak Time Savings program, customers can earn a credit on their energy bill when they voluntarily reduce their energy use during these high usage times – what ComEd calls “Peak Time Savings Hours.” Customers with smart meters can enroll in Peak Time Savings for the 2017 summer season now through April 7 by mail or registering online through the ComEd website.

Here’s how it works if you enroll: if it’s a hot day and everyone is running their air conditioners, causing a high demand for power, ComEd would alert you to the option to reduce your energy use.  Participating in the program enables you to not only save energy, but you also earn credits that decrease your energy bill. Participants can earn a $1 bill credit for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity they reduce during Peak Time Savings Hours. There is no cost to enroll and no penalty to a customer who enrolls and does not participate.

“Peak Time Savings is another way smart meter technology is bringing value to our customers,” says Val Jensen, senior vice president of Customer Operations for ComEd. “We continue to use smart meters and smart grid technology as platforms to explore innovative solutions that give customers more information and control over how they manage their energy costs.”

Last summer, ComEd customers participating in Peak Time Savings received more than $868,000 in total bill credits on their electric bills for reducing their energy use. Since launching in the summer of 2015, Peak Time Savings delivered participants more than $1.2 million in total bill credits.

In 2015, ComEd, working in collaboration with the Citizens Utility Board and the Environmental Defense Fund, developed a metric to measure the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions associated with smart meters.

The results showed that smart meter technology and the Peak Time Savings Program helps contribute to the “greening” of our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Because ComEd’s smart meters can be read remotely, fewer ComEd vehicles are needed on the road. Fewer vehicles on the road means less greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

In 2015, this reduction in vehicle use and related fuel consumption reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 18 percent in five ComEd regions within the Chicago area compared to previous three-year averages for those regions. This reduction is equivalent to removing from the road 22 passenger vehicles which would have been driven daily for one year. The study also showed that in 2015 the Peak Time Savings program reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent by comparing the reduced energy loads of a sample of Peak Time Savings customers with those of similar customers who did not participate in the program.

To date, ComEd has installed more than 3 million smart meters in homes and businesses. ComEd plans to complete the installation of 4 million smart meters throughout northern Illinois by the end of 2018.