Commonwealth Edison wants customers to make "smart" energy choices. Beginning Monday, the company launches a pilot program that let's customers track their daily energy use on line and find ways to reduce their bills, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
That on line tracking is made possible through newly installed "smart meters." The new meters send ComEd information about energy use every 30 minutes. The goal is to arm consumers with information that will lead to behavior changes - mainly consuming less energy.
"Smart meters" have only been installed in nine suburbs - Bellwood, Berwyn, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, Maywood, Melrose Park, Oak Park, and River Forest. In the city, meters were placed in Chicago's Humboldt Park Neighborhood.
Anyone in those areas will start receiving letters this week from ComEd with instructions on how to sign up and use the new program's tools. The site features ways for customers to track how much electricity they used not just for the month, but daily and even hourly. It even allows customers to check how energy efficient they were compared to the most energy efficient neighbors on the block.
Once customers have that information, the site will help them use it to reduce energy use. It ranges from advice like buying more energy efficient appliances to smaller every day steps like unplugging computers and even gives an estimated savings amount.
According to the Sun-Times, ComEd will share its findings with the Illinois Commerce Commission. Together they'll try to figure out what information and technology consumers found most useful and helped them find ways to lower energy use and costs.
Meanwhile, the energy agency is still working to restore power to some 14,000 customer after a pair of weekend storms ravaged the city.
Com ed has restored power to more than half a million customers since the storms rolled through Friday.