Making the Switch is Easier Than You Think

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

By: Ashmar Mandou

Residents in the Lawndale Community now have the opportunity to be environmentally friendly while cutting costs just by switching over to smart meters. Uzma Noormohamed, Program Analyst of Illinois Science Energy Innovation Foundation explains just how residents can make their homes energy efficient.

Lawndale Bilingual Newspaper: For our readers in the Lawndale community, what can you tell me about how smart meters will help make their homes energy efficient?

Uzma Noormohamed: With the rollout of smart meters, Lawndale residents will have a powerful tool to help them save energy. They’ll have the opportunity to rethink the way they’re using energy in their homes thanks to access to more information that can help them make more energy-conscious decisions. Smart meters will give Lawndale residents the ability to monitor their electricity usage to avoid overuse and peak spending times. People largely underestimate how much energy is involved in activities and in the use of specific devices in their homes–information from smart meters about usage can reduce bills and energy consumption. Smart meters can also be coupled with technologies such as smart thermostats, which allow consumers to adjust the temperature of their home on-the-go. They can also take advantage of programs like ComEd Peak Time Savings, where consumers can receive notifications about peak savings times and get a credit on their bill for turning down their air conditioners during very hot summer days when electricity demand peaks.

Homeowners and renters are becoming environmentally aware of the benefits of switching over to smart meters. Can you expound on these benefits?

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

As people learn about their opportunities to promote energy efficiency in their homes, they’re excited to be able to take matters into their own hands and save money each month on their electricity bills. Customers can see and manage their electricity usage data, allowing for better management of energy and bills. For example, ComEd has hourly pricing programs, allowing residents to opt-in to variable electricity rates based on grid demand and the price of wholesale electricity – which can save them more than 15 percent on their bills. Using less electricity, especially during peak hours, means you prevent the dirtiest and most inefficient coal fire plants from coming online – saving your community from the air pollution resulting from these plants that come online to meet peak customer energy demand.

What would you like our readers to know about smart meters?

Smart meters are bringing transparency to your electricity consumption. You’ll now be able to take advantage of pricing programs that allow you to make financially savvy decisions about when to do your laundry or run the dishwasher to help you save money on your electricity bill. You’ll be able to understand how much energy you’re using on a daily basis and find opportunities to save and budget better. You can learn more by attending a utility bill clinic, hosting an informational gathering or receiving a free home audit. Smart Power Illinois’ website will also keep Lawndale residents up to speed on energy efficiency in Illinois as the state continues to adapt.

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