Recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency with its Energy Star Partner of the Year Award ten years running, Commonwealth Edison, better known as ComEd, has built a reputation for its energy efficiency incentives.
The Energy Star program has been around for 30 years, founded in 1992, and is the nation’s resource for reducing energy consumption and minimizing environmental impacts. In 2020, Energy star and its partners, like ComEd, were instrumental in reducing the country’s electricity consumption by over 10 percent and reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent.
ComEd offers assessments, discounts, and rebates that can make a company more environmentally conscious. APenergy partners with ComEd, to help companies save a substantial amount of money, significantly decrease their carbon footprint, and utilize utility incentives to complete projects at a lower cost.
ComEd has been in business for over a century, founded in 1907. But the company’s foundation took root in Chicago as The Western Edison Light Company in 1882 — three years after Thomas Edison developed the first sustainable light bulb.
The company rebranded in 1887 and became known as the Chicago Edison Company. Samuel L. Insull, whose life, in part, was an inspiration for the film Citizen Kane, became president of the company in 1892.
Insull incorporated the Commonwealth Electric Light and Power Company in 1897. Ten years later, in 1907, Insull merged the two companies into Commonwealth Edison. ComEd’s growth expanded quickly under Insull. By the 1920s, the company’s annual revenue reached almost 40 million dollars.
However, during the Great Depression, Insull lost everything and fled the country to avoid prosecution for fraud. He was later extradited back to the United States to stand trial and was found not guilty.
Despite the tumultuous years, ComEd stayed afloat, providing power to the people of Chicago. The company eventually rebounded with innovation, becoming a world leader in nuclear power.
Today, ComEd operates under its parent company, Exelon Corporation, a Fortune 100 energy company headquartered in Chicago. ComEd provides electricity to more than four million customers across Northern Illinois — 70 percent of the state’s population.
The government gives energy companies incentives to reduce their carbon footprint, and energy companies, in return, want to help customers reduce their energy usage by providing incentives and rebates.
The ultimate goal behind these programs is to reduce the overall load on the electric grid. As ComEd’s customers become more energy-efficient, they preempt the need for time-consuming and expensive power plants. Additionally, the supply and demand are better regulated, reducing the risk of power outages and grid failures.
Manufacturers present the most significant opportunity for energy companies to reduce the overall load on the electric grid. The largest share of energy usage for manufacturing plants and facilities comes from producing compressed air, so power companies nationwide target incentive and rebate programs toward manufacturers.
Some customers may not realize that they have already paid for the programs, which appear under the taxes and fees section on their electricity bills. So every company might as well use the available incentives and rebates.
After utilizing the programs to fix their inefficient compressed air systems, customers can save thousands of dollars on their electricity bills.
ComEd has various incentives and rebates available to its industrial customers, which pay for air leak detection and leak repairs. There are also rebates for Variable Speed Drive compressors and other compressed air system upgrades.
ComEd’s industrial programs include:
- The Standard Prescriptive Rebate Program
- The Custom Efficiency Program – APenergy utilizes this program to offer manufacturing companies the most benefits.
- The Small Business Program
- The Comprehensive Program
The Standard Prescriptive Rebate Program gives customers a rebate when they purchase a certified energy-saving upgrade for their compressed air system, like a Variable Speed Drive compressor.
The Custom Efficiency Program provides rebates for improvements based on the kilowatt-hour (kWh) reduction of their overall electric consumption.
Frequently, ComEd’s Prescriptive and Custom programs cover the cost of new equipment, but the programs do require pre-approval before the new equipment can be purchased and installed.
The Small Business Program offers incentives for companies with usage less than 200 kilowatts (kW) of peak demand. In comparison, the Comprehensive Program has incentives for companies with usage greater than 400 kW of peak demand.
The APenergy team has years of experience transforming facilities by implementing utility incentive and rebate programs. Our team has managed over 12 hundred programs to completion in nearly every state and can help any company navigate all available programs.
Energy utilities are beginning to explore renewable energy sources like solar energy in the United States. ComEd is already offering incentive programs to utilize the potential and explore technological advancements.
In an interview with Crain’s Chicago Business, Scott Vogt, vice president of strategy and energy policy at ComEd, spoke about the role solar energy plays in powering Chicago businesses:
“Residential and commercial rooftop projects are popular throughout our service territory. The number of residential and business customers who have installed solar systems has grown from 7 hundred at the end of 2016 to almost 30 thousand at the end of June 2022. Most of these systems are installed on the rooftops of homes and businesses and either provide power directly to the customer at the time of generation or back to the grid if the host customer is generating more power than they need. Over 70 community solar projects have also come online over this same timeframe, which allows customers who do not have roofs suitable to host solar to buy subscriptions from these large solar arrays. The total installed capacity of distributed generation solar systems has grown from around seven megawatts at the end of 2016 to almost 5 hundred today.”
ComEd’s renewable energy programs include Renewable Energy Credits and Solar Renewable Energy Credits.
“ComEd buys renewable energy credits (RECs) from solar facilities across the state,” Vogt said. “RECs certify ownership of electricity generated from renewable energy resources, and they are retired on behalf of all customers when they are fed back into the grid—meaning everyone in Illinois benefits.”
APenergy has years of experience working with ComEd and helping clients implement incentive and rebate programs. Through our incentive management service, APenergy can help companies set energy-saving goals, track progress, and achieve favorable ROIs.
Our expert team is ready to help companies become energy-efficient with ComEd’s programs. For more information, contact the APenergy team, the leading energy efficiency consultants, at 740-862-4112 or message us at (www.apenergy.com).