US utility ComEd secured an approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission to expand its portfolio of energy efficiency programmes.The approval enables the energy provider to implement its four-year plan to increase consumer energy efficiency savings. The utility’s new energy efficiency programmes are part of the Future Energy Jobs Act, a policy introduced in June under efforts to increase investments in energy conservation and clean energy technologies to stabilise grid networks, reduce consumer energy bills and carbon emissions in the State of Illinois.
The Future Energy Jobs Act comprises three energy efficiency plans of which Comed’s is the first to be implemented. In total, programmes to be implemented under the new policy are expected to result in $4 billion in consumer benefits.
In line with mandates and recommendations set under the Act, ComEd will increase its annual investments in energy efficiency programmes by 40% from $250 million in 2016 to $352 million.
The majority of the funding will be directed towards improving existing energy efficiency programmes for residential, commercial and industrial consumers. For instance, ComEd will improve its rebates for energy efficiency products, continue to provide consumers with home energy assessments, weatherisation offerings and retrofitting offerings.
At the same time, the utility firm will set aside $42 million to implement energy efficiency initiatives for low-income consumers each year whilst $50 million will be directed towards research and development of new and innovative products and services.
The policy will help ComEd prepare its workforce for the future smart grid landscape through job training and help the utility expand its portfolio of solar energy through to 2021.
ComEd says it will use the programme to increase its customer services to more than 3.9 million consumers in northern Illinois. In total, Comed has a total customer base of more than 10 million consumers in the US.
Val Jansen, senior vice president of customer operations at ComEd, commented: “We are pleased the ICC has approved our four-year Energy Efficiency Plan, which we expect to provide significant tangible benefits for all of our customers.
“These 30-plus programs will result in more customer savings and ensure all communities benefit from this landmark legislation. As with the legislation, this plan reflects a level of collaboration with environmental and consumer groups that is rarely seen around the country. We know this plan is better for that collaboration.”
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