Smart, learning or programmable thermostats are growing in popularity, and utilities increasingly see them as an effective device for lowering cooling demand and enabling demand response programs. The Commonwealth Edison program, launched in partnership with Environmental Law & Policy Center and Citizens Utility Board, could help lower Illinois utility bills by millions.
"The savings from these easy-to-use devices could be substantial," CUB Executive Director David Kolata said in a statement, and he called the thermostat rebates "unprecedented."
To help boost awareness of the program and thermostat adoption, ComEd said it launched an educational campaign and a new instant discount option for customers.
Other utilities have begun offering smart thermostats. Last year, the city of Austin, Texas, began requiring all new home construction to include smart thermostats with either a wi-fi or cable internet connection.
Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative President and CEO Patty Durand previously said that smart thermostats are "probably the best gateway to engage consumers. ... If you're going to pick one thing, the research points towards thermostats. It's something everyone is already aware of. Very high numbers of people want one."
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