According to the Metropolitan Mayor's Caucus, the pandemic has worsened the "energy burden" some households face. Energy burden is the percentage of household income spent on energy costs. Home energy costs that are under 6% of gross household income are considered “affordable” by researchers. Households that are paying more than 6% of their income on energy costs face a “high energy burden” and those paying more than 10% are dealing with a “severe energy burden,” according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Low-income families in Illinois face a severe energy burden because they spend an average of 13% of their income on energy costs, according to Elevate Energy. A household that is energy burdened may need to decide whether to pay for their utility bills or buy medicine and other necessities, which can result in serious consequences.
To help consumers save money and become more energy efficient, ComEd has partnered with local natural gas utilities to offer free in-person or virtual home energy assessments for single-family homes, two-flats, condos, and townhomes. Renters in these building types are eligible, with permission from their landlord. Multi-family building energy assessments for landlords or property managers are also available.
The assessment includes a free inspection to determine energy-saving opportunities, a personalized assessment report, and free energy-saving products. The free products ComEd offers are LED bulbs, energy-efficient showerheads and aerators, hot water pipe insulation, and programmable thermostats. Smart thermostats are available for purchase at a discount. ComEd energy advisors will install the products at no cost during in-home assessments and will send the customer products during virtual assessments. For more details, go to the ComEd Energy Assessments webpage. To schedule an assessment, call 855-433-2700.
Additional information and resources are available at the following links:
ComEd Smart Thermostat Rebates
Nicor Free Products and Services
Illinois Science & Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF)