ComEd is a transmission and distribution utility with 5,300 miles of overhead transmission lines and 36,000 miles of overhead distribution and 29,000 miles of underground lines. ComEd’s service territory covers 11,411 square miles in Northern Illinois including the city of Chicago. ComEd serves about 70% of the population of Illinois, about 3.8 million customers. ComEd’s peak system demand is just under 23,000 Megawatts.
Spurred on by Illinois’ new energy efficiency legislation in 2008, ComEd’s Smart Ideas for Your Business program doubled its goals between Year One and Year Two, and is slated for an additional 50% increase for Year 3. Over the course of the three program years, ComEd expects to help customers save 486 net GWh. With funding capped and performance penalties in place, the program raced through available Year One funding in four months, and Year Two’s in less than six months. This paper will discuss how ComEd managed the challenges of high program growth in a previously untapped market, managed customer expectations, developed market channel partners and exceeded program goals while remaining under strict budget caps. ComEd also employed tactics throughout the program year to help manage customer interest and build a solid framework for a growing program. We will summarize two full years of program operations statistics, comparing Year Two experience to the initial start-up year ComEd recognized and addressed key trends and changes, including significant changes in the average size of projects submitted, most popular energy efficiency measures, trade ally performance, and the realities of program implementation vs. original program design. To meet increased goals for the 3rd program year, ComEd has increased its marketing through customer case studies, trade ally events, and increased Account Manager efforts.