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Chicago may not seem like the best place to go solar, what with the long winters and all.
"We want to see whether consumers have the ability, with this technology, to become little utilities. They will be able to buy and sell electricity at a real-time hourly price, which is very close to the wholesale price, from their homes," said Val Jensen, ComEd's vice president for marketing and environmental programs.
This experiment is being funded by a stimulus grant of $5 million dollars from the U.S Department of Energy. In addition, Com Ed is matching $3 million dollars funds from its vendors, including solar-power technology from Gridpoint company.
Within the next couple of weeks ComEd will mail surveys to customers who live in single-family homes.
“The outcome will depend on such things as the type of house, how shaded it is by trees, and the orientation of the roof” Jensen said.
ComEd hopes to gain new insight on the smart electric meters installed in each of the homes which are capable of transmitting wirelessly data back to a central computer.
"This pilot program, which will run for a year, is the largest in the country to focus on the customer experience," Jensen said.