CHICAGO -- ComEd's Energy Efficiency Program has saved customers a record-breaking $2.5 billion through energy efficiency programs and will save even more with a new plan to be filed under the Future Energy Jobs Act that will nearly double savings for customers and reduce electricity use in Illinois by 21 percent by 2030, the company announced.
ComEd, along with members of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, celebrated the milestone that has led to ComEd's recent ranking as one of the top 10 most energy-efficient utilities in the nation by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The celebration took place at Shedd Aquarium, which has saved nearly 1.5 million kWh and $131,000 through ComEd's Energy Efficiency Program.
ComEd also announced it will file with the Illinois Commerce Commission a new program that will provide energy efficiency funding of $350 million per year for each of the next four years.
The expanded energy efficiency funding is a key provision of the Future Energy Jobs Act, passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Rauner last year. Through FEJA, which went into effect this month, ComEd's investments in energy efficiency programs will almost double by 2030. Significant funding will be provided to grow existing programs for residential and business customers, such as product rebates, energy assessments, weatherization offerings and retrofitting initiatives. There also will be significant funding for low-income energy efficiency programs and research and development of new and innovative products and services.
"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," said Fidel Marquez, senior vice president, Governmental & External Affairs, ComEd.
Energy efficiency investments made through FEJA also will create thousands of clean energy jobs through expanded programs and energy innovation, while also preserving low rates and creating a competitive economic advantage for Illinois.
"About 85,000 people in Illinois work in the field of energy efficiency. Those people are in cities across Illinois, including in the low-income communities that we serve," said Anne Evens, CEO 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."
"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," said Dave Kolata, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board (CUB). "Residential customers will enjoy at least $4 billion in lower electric bills over the lifetime of the law, which also includes important safeguards to cap any cost impact on consumers," he said.
Shedd Aquarium has committed to reducing their energy consumption in half by 2020. Over the last four years they have conducted a number of sustainable projects, including: installed 913 solar panels on the roof of the aquarium, retrofitted more than 1,000 light fixtures with LED light bulbs and most recently, installed a one-megawatt lithium ion battery storage system to offset its consumption of energy from local power plants.
"Shedd Aquarium is the perfect place to celebrate the program's $2.5 billion milestone, as they demonstrate what can be accomplished by investing in sustainable and energy-efficient business practices," said Marquez. In addition, to help jump-start customer savings, ComEd gave away 250 energy efficiency products to customers visiting the Aquarium, including smart thermostats, power cords, and more.