CHICAGO — Consumers in Chicago and across northern Illinois are now eligible for rebates on smart thermostats that can cut the cost of the devices nearly in half, making their convenience and increased control of energy use more affordable.

“As managers of one of the largest energy efficiency programs in the nation, we are always looking for opportunities to bring value to our customers and provide them with access to new technologies that will help them enhance their electric usage, reduce costs, and improve their green footprint. We are glad to be collaborating with advocacy, government, utility, and product partners who have the same goals and believe that by working together, we can achieve greater success,” said Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd president and CEO, at a press conference.

Pramaggiore was joined by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Brien Sheahan, officials from Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, the Environmental Law & Policy Center, and Citizens Utility Board, and executives from smart thermostat manufacturers ecobee and Nest Labs.

The smart thermostat initiative, a partnership between the utilities and advocacy groups, is said to be the largest effort of its kind in the nation. It makes the ecobee3 and Nest Learning Thermostat eligible for up to $120 in rebates for customers with Wi-Fi, central air conditioning, and a furnace. The rebates almost halve the cost of the devices which retail for $249.

There are three ways customers can take advantage of the rebate the savings: DIY installation, purchasing through a utility energy advisor during a home energy assessment, or purchasing through a heating and cooling contractor.

“We have a target of installing 1 million smart thermostats across ComEd, North Shore Gas, and Peoples Gas territory over the next five years,” said Rob Kelter, senior attorney with the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “What makes this a game changer is that customers can achieve significant savings on their energy bills, while improving the comfort of their homes.”

Brien Sheahan, chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, applauded the public-private partnership that led to the initiative.

“Innovation in energy-efficient products creates enormous opportunities for cost-effective energy savings,” he said. “This initiative, which will be the largest smart thermostat effort in the nation, is the direct result of collaboration between ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, ELPC, and CUB with the support of the Illinois Commerce Commission to deliver cutting edge technology to homes across northern Illinois. I am proud that a public-private partnership is embracing the opportunities that come with being technology enablers and I am even more proud that this initiative has the capacity to deliver real savings to customers.”

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Nicor Gas:

Peoples Gas:

North Shore Gas:

Publication date: 10/22/2015