Projects

Learn about our current and past projects that are making a difference.

To request a final report for any completed projects, please email Customer.Innovation@ComEd.com with the project name in the subject line.

Project NameProject TypeLead PartnerStatusReport Summary
120V HPWH Field DemonstrationThe purpose of this project is to test the 120V heat pump water heaters (HPWH) in ComEd customer homes to understand installation experience, resident experience/satisfaction, and the equipment’s performance through data monitoring.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsSlipstreamActive
Heat Pump Rooftop Unit (RTU) Market ResearchRooftop units (RTUs) are particularly ripe for market transformation as they are ubiquitous in the commercial sector with decades of little to no advancement and innovation. Heat pump RTUs could achieve enormous energy savings and carbon emissions reduction. Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) specializes in electrification technologies, field performance of these technologies, and overcoming the unique technical and market challenges these emerging technologies face. With CEE’s combined specialization in emerging heat pump technologies combined with our market transformation approach, this project will uncover barriers, opportunities, and potential for heat pump RTU technology
Market CharacterizationCenter for Energy and EnvironmentActive
Resilient Canopies in the Chicago RegionThis project is studying the localized impact of afforestation to mitigate urban heat island effects in ComEd communities. Climate simulations using current and projected future conditions will be employed to calculate Cooling Degree Days (CDD) and Heating Degree Days (HDD) with and without afforestation. In addition, potential claimable kWh savings for each planned afforestation scenario will be estimated using the methodology defined in Illinois Technical Reference Manual (TRM) version 11 (2023) measure 5.7.5 “Tree Planting”.
Market CharacterizationUniversity of IllinoisActive
Building Energy Resource HubComEd is serving as a partner and sponsor for the Building Energy Resource Hub. This hub provides training and resources to customers and stakeholders across Chicago and Northeastern Illinois to support the region in meeting aggressive climate action goals, improve building performance, and building an inclusive green economy. The hub focuses on serving building owners, developers, and contractors in the large multifamily and commercial building sectors with an emphasis on those in disinvested communities.
Market DevelopmentIllinois Green AllianceActive
Residential Heat Pump Water Heaters (240V)The purpose of this project is to implement a “beachhead” strategy for heat pump water heater (HPWH) installations in ComEd’s territory and prepare the market for new HPWH offerings and broader adoption. Through this work, up to 50 HPWHs will be installed and monitored to better understand potential energy savings, market actor experiences, and supply chain implications to inform ComEd offerings.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsCLEAResultActive
Fan Energy Index (FEI) Market DevelopmentPrevious research on the Fan Energy Index demonstrated significant energy savings potential from adopting equipment with an FEI exceeding code requirements. While ComEd currently offers FEI-based incentives through the Standard program, additional market development and promotion of the FEI metric for distributors and designers would improve adoption of FEI and achieve increased energy savings. The project team investigated the optimal program pathway for promoting FEI exceeding code requirements through interviews with ComEd program teams, distributors, and design engineers. The team also conducted training sessions for distributors and designers to educate them on the benefits of adopting the FEI metric. Training session recordings and other educational materials are hosted online.
Market DevelopmentSlipstreamCompleteView PDF
Communities of the Future Next Generation HVAC Demonstration This project seeks to better understand the needs of the Bronzeville community and its businesses. Through a more comprehensive community-driven outreach approach, the project team will examine how innovative technical solutions and methods of delivering energy efficiency may be able to help address those needs.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsSlipstreamActive
Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) TrainingThe purpose of these trainings is to increase contractor knowledge of heat pump systems, break down market barriers, and increase adoption of air source heat pumps. The training content is intended to be iterative and responsive to market needs. The project team is also developing a contractor designation to indicate which EESPs have completed core trainings. The intent of this designation is to enable customers to find a contractor who is knowledgeable of heat pumps and understands the best practices for heat pump installation and maintenance.
Market DevelopmentSlipstreamActive
Lithium-Ion Electric Forklift Case StudiesTo support and promote the new Fork Truck offering in the ComEd EE Midstream Program, R&D is funding a case study pilot to dive deeper into the energy use and application of Lithium-Ion Fork Truck technology. The project is looking to recruit two customers with different end-uses to show how this new technology can be applied across the commercial and industrial sectors.
Market DevelopmentDNVActive
Commercial Food Service Electrification (eCFS)The Commercial Food Service Electrification Pilot (eCFS) will leverage existing market research, along with Frontier’s CFS industry connections, and other recent industry studies to establish the savings potential associated with commercial kitchen electrification opportunities in ComEd service territory (roughly defined as northern Illinois). In parallel, Frontier will engage key industry stakeholders in the Illinois foodservice market to identify barriers to kitchen electrification and create impactful strategies for addressing these barriers.
Market CharacterizationFrontier EnergyActive
Cold Climate Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) HVACVariable refrigerant flow systems (VRF) allow for varying degrees of heating and cooling in certain areas of a building, reducing energy consumption. Recent advances in cold-climate variable refrigerant flow (ccVRF) systems allow this technology to be viable in northern Illinois, providing buildings with energy savings, space savings, and cooling in places where there was only heating beforehand. The project team is currently recruiting a sample of buildings to test VRF systems and quantify the energy and comfort benefits of these systems in cold climates. Key outcomes will include understanding potential savings (energy and demand), cost effectiveness, and overall system satisfaction for owners/operators and occupants. These outcomes will inform potential pathways to integrate this technology into the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsSlipstreamComplete
Very High Efficiency (VHE) HVACThe VHE HVAC approach seeks to improve ventilation and indoor air quality while dramatically reducing building energy use, allowing for smaller systems and ducts. The project team will recruit a sample of buildings in the ComEd service territory to test the VHE HVAC systems approach for HVAC retrofit/replacement. Installations will be evaluated for energy savings and indoor air quality, with the overall goal of understanding potential savings, cost effectiveness for customers, and pathways to integrate the approach into the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsInstitute for Market TransformationActive
Liquid Cooling in Data CentersThe majority of current IT equipment in enterprise and consumer spaces is air-cooled; fans blow over heat-producing components such as CPUs and graphics cards, and this hot air is exhausted and cooled by HVAC equipment. In contrast, liquid-cooled systems move system heat through a cooling fluid, and recent advances in these technologies have made cost-effective energy savings possible for some facilities. Based on encouraging savings results from previous Customer Innovations research into a particular application of liquid cooling technology, the project team will survey the market of potential liquid and hybrid cooling technologies, as well as data center customers in ComEd territory to understand the network of stakeholders enabling cooling interventions at data centers, establish customer challenges and potential mitigation, and ultimately identify a cost-effective program design for future evaluation.
Customer ResearchERICompleteView PDF
Energy Management Systems (EMS) for Small and Medium BusinessThis project is testing the implementation and performance of an Energy Management System (EMS) offering for ComEd’s small and medium commercial business customers. The project design was informed by the recommendations from the Smart Controls for Small and Medium Buildings research conducted by E Source in 2021. The project team is working with service providers to recruit small and medium business customers to participate in the demonstration and install one of three EMS products that can provide HVAC, lighting, and/or refrigeration controls. The goal of the project is to determine the viability of an EMS offering for small and medium sized business customers and specifically the ability to generate cost-effective operational energy savings.
Scaled DeploymentResource InnovationsActive
Pressure Independent Control Valves Retrofit StudyA Phase I study investigated the savings from a pressure independent control valves (PICVs) retrofit of a chilled water system, finding high energy savings potential for facilities with older water-cooled chiller systems. Phase II seeks to understand whether water-cooled chiller systems equipped with PICVs may also see energy savings via the addition of electronic controls and integration with the existing building automation system. The project team will provide an overview of the savings opportunity, as well as identify a methodology and framework for accurately estimating the savings for smart-controlled PICV installations as differentiated from retrofitting existing PICVs with smart controls.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsSlipstreamActive
HPWH Incentives BenchmarkingThis study will conduct a series of in-depth interviews with participating utilities and their applicable EM&V stakeholders to learn more about existing programs and goals, the types of measures promoted by the program and reasons for promoting, the current status of program participation and any changes, and current and past incentive structures.
Customer ResearchICFActive
Illinois Building Energy Code AdvancementThis multi-phase project began as a joint research initiative of ComEd, Nicor Gas, People’s Gas, North Shore Gas, and Ameren. In Phase 2, the project will work with interested municipalities to adopt and implement stretch codes and building performance standards (BPS) within their jurisdictions. This project will develop fact sheets, slide decks, and code support programs to support municipal stretch code and BPS adoption. In addition, savings attribution models, Natural Market Baseline (NMB), and evaluation pathways documents will be developed in collaboration with the evaluator in support of a stretch code and BPS Market Transformation initiative in ComEd territory.
Market DevelopmentSlipstreamActive
Passive House Affordable Housing New Construction (AHNC) Portfolio Integration PilotBuildings in this pilot will pursue Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) certification, resulting in long-lasting energy savings and healthy, comfortable living spaces while increasing market adoption of best-in-class building energy efficiency. This project builds on prior R&D work which studied the energy savings and cost effectiveness of affordable multifamily buildings built to the PHIUS standard. A new tier of residential new construction with enhanced incentives will be integrated into the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program portfolio. ComEd will work with builders and developers of multifamily affordable housing to achieve PHIUS certification. A PHIUS advisor will work with the project team and all major building construction elements will be addressed: HVAC, domestic hot water, lighting, windows, roof, walls, and insulation. Incentives will be provided both pre and post-construction to help defray costs for the builders. Tenants of buildings that achieve PHIUS certification will benefit from lower energy costs compared to non-certified buildings as well as a healthier living environment.
Market DevelopmentSlipstreamActive
EE Electrification Savings and Bill Impacts EstimationComEd is required to communicate to customers expected energy bill impacts from fuel switching, and in some cases, can only incentivize fuel switching if the expected bill impacts are beneficial to the customer. This project team is developing effective methods for calculating customers’ energy bill impacts from fuel switching and is coordinating among programs to ensure consistency. This project will not only meet the legislative requirements, but also provide ComEd customers the necessary information to make informed decisions about appliance choices and provide ComEd the necessary information to make informed decisions about program design.
Customer ResearchCenter for Energy and EnvironmentActive
Income Eligible Whole Home ElectrificationComEd is partnering with Elevate to support a large-scale pilot initiative that will demonstrate the feasibility of whole-home weatherization and electrification retrofits for both single and multifamily income eligible customer housing. This partnership has two phases. For Phase 1, ComEd is supporting monitoring and analysis (with partner Slipstream) of a full electrification demonstration at an affordable multifamily building. In the selected building, the gas cooking ranges, domestic hot water heaters, gas clothes dryers, and gas furnaces will be retrofitted with electric ranges, clothes dryer, heat pumps, and heat pump water heaters. The project team recruited nine building residents to participate in detailed monitoring that will help ComEd and Elevate assess how the electrification retrofits impact energy savings, utility bills, and indoor air quality. Monitoring equipment was installed in each of the nine units at least two months prior to the retrofit to aid in the comparison of pre and post-installation monitoring data. For Phase 2, Elevate is implementing a larger-scale electrification program with the goal of recruiting 100 customers across a mix of single and multifamily income eligible customer homes. These customers will be offered combined weatherization and full electrification retrofits, as well as electrical upgrades as needed. Elevate will conduct air quality monitoring at selected sites and also survey participating customers about their experience.
Scaled DeploymentElevateActive
Industrial Energy Management Information Systems (EMIS)This project tests new program design approaches for implementing energy management information systems that help industrial customers optimize their energy use. This project aims to recruit up to five large industrial customers with the goal of installing a new energy management information system (EMIS) and implementing related energy efficiency recommendations over a two-year period. This program model has been successfully demonstrated in another Midwest state to yield high-volume, low-cost savings opportunities beyond the industrial measures typically incentivized by utility energy efficiency programs. In the first year, the project team will focus on developing and implementing a unique EMIS at each pilot site. In the second year, they will focus on helping each participant use the EMIS to achieve energy savings.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsLeidosActive
Commercial Refrigeration Controls During Phase I, the project team defined the market in the ComEd service territory, quantified the potential energy savings, and established the feasibility of shifting load throughout the day for each TES approach. Phase I results demonstrated that TES in refrigerated facilities has potential to save kWh for several ComEd customer types and offers customers the ability to reduce peak demand by shifting their loads. Phase II of this project is underway. This phase of the project will study on-site performance of the TES approaches identified as the most promising in Phase I—static thermal mass and phase change materials.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsSlipstreamActive
Retail Products PlatformThis project is the implementation of the ComEd ENERGY STAR® Retail Products Platform (ESRPP) in their service territory. The ESRPP is a national midstream market transformation (MT) program that promotes higher levels of efficiency in consumer goods sold via retail channels.
Scaled DeploymentEnergy SolutionsActive
Streetlight Smart Nodes The addition of smart nodes to LED streetlights enhances the ability to control how they are operated. Smart nodes have been installed on LED streetlights in two communities served by ComEd, and savings generated through two control strategies (dimming and lumen maintenance) will be measured.
Scaled DeploymentComEd InternalActive
Variable Speed Heat Pumps as AC ReplacementThis field evaluation assesses the performance, energy savings, and cost savings of variable speed heat pumps as replacements for air conditioners for residential customers. This field evaluation pilot is assessing energy and cost savings that can be achieved by installing cold climate variable speed heat pumps (VSHPs) as replacements to central air conditioning equipment in residential customers’ homes in ComEd’s service territory. It is estimated that if every ComEd customer with central air conditioning were to adopt this technology it could result in 231 GWh of incremental savings for cooling alone. The project team will recruit contractors to install VSHP systems in participating customers’ homes. Following the installation, the project team will conduct continuous monitoring to assess the performance, costs, and energy savings of the VSHP system.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsCenter for Energy and EnvironmentCompleteView PDF
Heat Pump Customer Education Resource DevelopmentThe purpose of this web resource is to present accumulated information on heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and other electric appliances in an accessible web format to provide both customers and Energy Efficiency Service Providers (EESPs) a trusted resource when considering the installation of these technologies in their homes. This resource will serve multiple purposes – an educational resource and product-neutral buyers’ guide for customers, as well as a central location for training and promotional materials aimed at EESPs.
Market DevelopmentEnergy SolutionsActive
Commercial Automated System Optimization (ASO) TechnologyFollowing a Request for Proposals released in 2022, ComEd selected an Automated System Optimization (ASO) technology provider to install and implement their product at a commercial building. The ASO software will manage building automation system control settings to optimize HVAC energy usage in real time while maintaining occupant comfort. The purpose of this field test is to understand the potential of ASO technology to drive deep energy savings at the customer facility and evaluate the fit for this technology to be an addition to ComEd’s commercial/public sector building optimization program.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsHankActive
Energy AllyThe Energy Ally project provides customers with an in-home display that communicates real-time, actionable energy use information, including energy prices, budget trends, and weather. By using ComEd’s existing paging network to deliver real-time information through third-party manufactured devices, ComEd’s Energy Ally project empowers customers with limited or no access to broadband connectivity to participate in programs, including Residential Hourly Pricing to save energy and help reduce bills.
Scaled DeploymentThe Will Group, Calico, Eire Direct Marketing, PrismActive
Automated Carbon Reduction Reporting (ACRR)The ACRR project builds on the “If This Then That” (IFTTT) Internet of things (IoT) program, which utilizes optimization applets to enable load shifting in response to real-time price signals and/or carbon signals. ACRR offers customers that are using applets to control their IoT devices in response to carbon intensity with information about the carbon emissions associated with their energy use through a report that details their reduction of carbon as a result of using the IFTTT IoT carbon responses solutions.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsWattTime, CalicoActive
“If This Then That” (IFTTT) Internet of ThingsThrough the IFTTT IoT project, ComEd provides customers with options for automating their participation in programs, such as Hourly Pricing and Peak Time Savings, to reduce energy and demand usage, as well as help customers react to carbon signals. The applets connect to select smart devices to enable automated control of these devices.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsIFTTT, CalicoActive
Income Eligible Smart Homes RoadmapThis project is designed to support income eligible (IE) customers in their energy management journey by connecting customers with smart devices and a home energy management system solution that will better control their home energy use for comfort and cost-savings. The project team is analyzing broadband technology capabilities and working to determine connectivity potential for ComEd IE customers in the near future. The team then plans to install energy management devices (bundle TBD, potentially smart plug equipment with energy hub control) to support customer insights and management as well as monitoring equipment into the homes of participating income eligible customers. The team will quantitatively and qualitatively assess the end-user experience of a smart home energy management platform for these participants, including use cases, ease of installation, and typical energy and bill savings.
Market CharacterizationSlipstreamActive
Cold Climate Combination Heat Pump Study Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Oak Ridge National Lab, GTI, and Emanant Systems are crafting a project proposal to compress the costs of HVAC and domestic hot water systems for residential buildings in cold climates. The goal of the project is to develop a low-global warming potential combi heat pump with integrated thermal storage that can achieve lower capital, installation, operating, and maintenance costs than a traditional cold climate heat pump with backup electric resistance heating. By operating a single heat pump with compact cascading temperature phase change material (PCM) thermal energy storage (TES), it’s possible to achieve better space and water heating performance in a small spatial footprint without expensive electrical panel upgrades. In locations with well-crafted residential time of use tariffs (or real time pricing), the project team can save occupants money on their monthly utility bills, with the greatest economic impact for low-income residents. Furthermore, the proposed technology supports decarbonization of the building sector by introducing temporal flexibility to align electricity use for heating with renewable energy supply.
Market Characterization, Field Tests & DemonstrationsLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)Active
Heat Pump Rating Representativeness This study will modernize the metrics used to predict the field performance of residential heat pumps and assess the representativeness of two heat pump testing and rating procedures. ComEd is co-funding a multi-year project managed by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) and run by DNV to provide data needed to determine if the test procedures and ratings of residential heat pumps provide accurate representations of how the equipment performs in the field. The project team will conduct field experiments and data analysis to assess the representativeness of the AHRI 210/240 and the CSA EXP07 rating procedures.
Lab TestingNortheast Energy Efficiency PartnershipsActive
Income Eligible Weatherization Bill Impacts – Phase 2Income eligible weatherization programs are a longstanding and important component of energy efficiency offerings in Illinois. This project was a multi-utility effort which sought to identify better ways to communicate with and serve customers within this program category. The project investigated opportunities to communicate bill impacts to customers and for creating processes to proactively identify cases where customers aren’t experiencing the expected savings.
Customer ResearchResource InnovationsActive
BlocPower Retrofit Partnership DevelopmentBlocPower’s technology platform enables homeowners and communities to understand the benefits they may experience from energy efficiency retrofits, including key electrification measures. BlocPower developed its mapping and evaluation platform with a focus on income eligible areas. The results of this development were shared with ComEd for consideration with larger electrification efforts to reach and impact income eligible communities.
Market CharacterizationBlocPowerComplete
Income Eligible Weatherization Bill Impacts – Phase 1Income eligible weatherization programs are a longstanding and important component of energy efficiency offerings in Illinois. This project reflects a multi-utility effort and seeks to identify better ways to communicate with and serve customers within this program category. The project will investigate opportunities to communicate bill impacts to customers and for creating processes to proactively identify cases where customers aren’t experiencing the expected savings. The project will also investigate whether the programs should consider including emerging technologies in their offerings, as well as providing perspective from other similar programs across the country.
Customer ResearchResource InnovationsComplete
Home Builder and HVAC Contractor Home Electrification Tech StudyThis study interviewed homebuilders and HVAC contractors to better understand current perceptions of various residential energy efficiency and electrification opportunities.
Market CharacterizationRabin ResearchComplete
Propane Heating Market CharacterizationCustomers with propane heating are a niche market in ComEd’s service territory and compared to customers with electric and natural gas heating, less is known about them. This project sought to learn more about this customer segment and to identify potential pathways for ComEd to better serve them. The research team completed an in-depth characterization of propane-heat customers, which included identifying their location, the size of the existing market, and better understanding propane rates. The research team also determined whether certain electrification opportunities make sense for propane-heat customers and provided program future design considerations and recommendations for serving these customers.
Market CharacterizationSlipstreamCompleteView PDF
Illinois High Performance Window Quantitative Market ResearchThis market research sought to understand better the status of awareness and penetration of advanced windows among the residential population and it documented building stock and consumer characteristics. A statewide general population survey explored awareness, penetration, and future adoption of high-performance windows on behalf of Nicor Gas, ComEd, and Ameren IL. Outputs from this market research will support the development of an IL-based natural market baseline for residential windows in support of an IL-focused market transformation initiative.
Market CharacterizationResource InnovationsCompleteView PDF
Bronzeville Community Microgrid AnalysisThis project examined electric load characteristics of the Bronzeville Community Microgrid area and identified peak reduction and energy efficiency opportunities across a host of customer facilities.
Customer ResearchILLUME AdvisingComplete
Water Market AnalysisThis research project identified the greatest opportunities to reduce both water and associated energy consumption in the ComEd service territory. This water channel characterization study analyzed industry trends and technologies used by some of the biggest users of water in northern Illinois. The study was conducted in multiple stages:
*In-depth interviews with municipal leaders responsible for the water system, sustainability experts and water consultants
*Analysis of U.S. Geological Survey data using a customized Tableau tool
*Data analysis of local municipal wastewater plants
*Delphi study to identify technologies and the potential adoption rates
Market CharacterizationAxiom Marketing Inc.CompleteView PDF
Smart Pressure Independent Control ValvesThis project explored the potential savings from smart valve technology in chilled water systems at commercial sites in the ComEd service territory. Smart valves reduce demand for chilled water by stabilizing pressure and flow in connection with detailed sensors that integrate with building automation systems. This coordination allows for optimal energy savings and performance. In the first phase of the project, the team conducted product analysis to compare manufacturer savings estimates to other small smart pump technology and verify their savings methodology. In Phases 2 and 3, the project team recruited a customer site for an installation of smart valves, then conducted field monitoring, energy modeling and savings verification. The selected customer site was a hospital located in Rockford, IL.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsSlipstreamCompleteView PDF
Savings for SeniorsThis outreach pilot established partnerships with senior care agencies to better reach income eligible senior customers with energy efficiency measures. The pilot team offered income eligible senior (aged 60 and older) residential ComEd customers free direct installation of a standard measure package including weather stripping, door sweeps, caulking, smart thermostats, LED lamps, and LED night lights. Green Home Experts worked with AgeOptions, the Area Agency on Aging for suburban Cook County, Illinois, to attract and verify participants. Because of their direct interaction with the target audience, AgeOptions and similar agencies proved to be promising avenues for income eligible participation in energy efficiency offerings.
Scaled DeploymentGreen Home ExpertsCompleteView PDF
Residential Real Estate OpportunitiesThis project sought to expand the amount of home energy information available to homebuyers with the goal of increasing participation in the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program. The project team performed outreach to the real estate professional community in the ComEd service territory in the form of lunch-and-learns, trainings, and affiliation with local real estate associations. Content was focused on energy efficiency program offerings and Energy eCompliance, a tool that provides access to home energy use information via real estate listings. The project team also conducted focus groups with recent homebuyers to understand what energy efficiency features are most important to them. These findings were used to outline how ComEd can better integrate the residential real estate transaction into energy efficiency outreach strategies. The team also worked with Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) to understand how Energy eCompliance is currently being used by homebuyers and sellers.
Market DevelopmentElevateCompleteView PDF
Plug Load ResearchThis research identified and prioritized energy end uses with high-potential impact on plug load consumption, and assessed the effectiveness of different energy efficiency program design approaches on these device categories. Plug load, the energy used by plugged-in devices, is increasing its share of overall energy use in commercial buildings. The California Plug Load Research Center (CalPlug) at the University of California, Irvine, identified new opportunities for managing and reducing energy consumption associated with commercial customer plug loads. Their research involved reviewing utility programs, historical activity and trends in ComEd’s plug load measures, regional estimates for current commercial stock of device categories matching the territory and population served by ComEd, and trends in commercial devices.
Market CharacterizationCalifornia Plug Research CenterCompleteView PDF
Passive HouseThis project studied the energy savings and non-energy benefits of the Passive House standard in affordable new construction multifamily buildings. This project examined the energy savings and non-energy benefits of the Passive House building standard for a multifamily building constructed and owned by Chicago-based affordable housing developer LUCHA (Latin United Community Housing Association). The building is one of the six buildings in LUCHA’s Tierra Linda housing development located in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. The building was constructed and certified according to the Passive House Institute’s PHIUS+ building standard, which provides unique design and construction requirements with the goal of low energy consumption, including:
*Continuous insulation throughout the building envelope to prevent thermal bridging
*Triple-pane, low-E glass windows
*Utilizing balanced heat and moisture-recovery ventilation with air source heat pumps
*Exploiting and minimizing solar gain strategically
Before construction was completed in late 2018, the project team embedded energy and air quality monitoring equipment throughout the Passive House building as well as a neighboring multifamily building constructed to ENERGY STAR® standards. The two buildings were monitored from November 2018 through October 2020 to examine and compare differences in energy consumption, operating costs and indoor air quality.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsSlipstreamCompleteView PDF
Multifamily Benchmarking OutreachThis project tested a novel targeting and outreach strategy for the income eligible multifamily sector by using energy benchmarking results. For this project, Elevate and the Institute for Market Transformation partnered with the City of Chicago to design and test a novel outreach strategy for the income eligible multifamily sector. The objective of the project was to determine if implementing an outreach strategy targeting underperforming properties subject to the city’s benchmarking ordinance would lead to increased participation in energy-saving offerings. The pilot team analyzed benchmarking results for large income eligible multifamily buildings in Chicago and tested various targeted-outreach strategies with their owners.
Market DevelopmentElevateCompleteView PDF
Indoor Agriculture Future OpportunitiesThis research project aimed to help ComEd better promote energy efficiency to indoor agribusiness, determine the current marketplace’s baselines and standard practices, and evaluate the challenges and opportunities the indoor agribusiness sector faces in the ComEd service territory. With the passage of HB 1438, the indoor agriculture sector is expected to grow significantly in the ComEd service territory in the coming years. This study is an important first step in understanding not only the impact this will have on ComEd’s grid, but also what baselines and standard practices are currently observed in the industry and what role energy efficiency can play. The project team gained first-person insights through primary and secondary research methods, including interviewing growers in the ComEd service territory.
Market CharacterizationEnergy & Resource SolutionsCompleteView PDF
Income Eligible High User Needs AssessmentIn order to better serve income eligible customers with high energy use, this research project identified key factors that limit their participation in the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program. ComEd teamed up with Evergreen Economics to conduct a needs assessment for income eligible residential customers with high energy use. Bilingual surveys, in-home assessments, focus groups, and interviews were used to determine: Common factors that discourage these customers from participating in ComEd Energy Efficiency Program offerings and gaps in current energy efficiency offerings that do not fully address their needs.
Customer ResearchEvergreen EconomicsCompleteView PDF
Healthy Homes This pilot targeted income eligible communities with high numbers of severe asthma patients. The objective was to determine whether both health and energy efficiency outcomes could be achieved in patients’ homes using a coordinated service delivery model. The goal of the pilot was to develop a coordinated service delivery model that achieves a whole-home retrofit for ComEd customers with significant health, safety, and energy benefits, while leveraging the time and financial resources of health industry partners. Elevate partnered with Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), AMITA Health, and Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI); AMITA Health received co-funding for the pilot and led the participant recruitment and enrollment, SUHI community health workers led patient education and support, GHHI provided technical assistance, and Elevate led the energy assessments and interventions. Funds from ComEd provided energy efficiency and health and safety modifications that improved indoor air quality for asthma patients, while the healthcare funds supported in-home education for asthma self-management.
Scaled DeploymentElevateCompleteView PDF
Green Stormwater InfrastructureThis research project identified municipalities in the ComEd service territory with the greatest potential for adopting green stormwater infrastructure in order to create new energy savings opportunities in the wastewater treatment sector. The potential energy savings and non-energy impacts of adoption were then quantified. To assess the market potential for a green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) incentive program, the research team: Created a scoring tool to assess which municipalities could most benefit from GSI, conducted interviews with leadership at the top nine municipalities, quantified the energy-saving potential of GSI for each municipality, identified and assessed the non-energy impacts most attractive to each municipality, and recommended next steps to build a GSI-based energy efficiency offering.
Market CharacterizationGreenprint PartnersCompleteView PDF
EcoAdvocatesSlipstream and Faith in Place recruited and trained community residents to become trusted energy advisors in their neighborhoods to boost participation in energy efficiency offerings. Eight local residents from the two selected communities, Waukegan and South Shore, were hired as EcoAdvocates to coach, promote, and track energy efficiency participation within their community. Through community events and regular interactions, the EcoAdvocates educated and engaged with fellow community members to overcome barriers of awareness and trust to facilitate their participation in the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program. The EcoAdvocates also worked within their communities to support citizen science initiatives to conserve native ecosystems and distributed school supplies and personal protective equipment kits to those without access during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project served as a job training and workforce development initiative by providing training, oversight, mentorship, and career counseling for the EcoAdvocates to prepare them for permanent jobs in energy efficiency or in similar fields.
Scaled DeploymentSlipstreamCompleteView PDF
Ductless Heat Pumps for All-Electric MultifamilyThis project tested high-performance, cold-climate mini-split ductless heat pumps (DHPs) for income eligible customers living in multifamily buildings in ComEd’s service territory. This project targeted income eligible customers living in low-rise, all-electric multifamily buildings. The objective was to evaluate energy savings across various scenarios for multifamily customers moving from electric resistance baseboard heat to cold climate DHPs. During this project, DHPs were installed in 80 apartment units across seven low-rise multifamily buildings along with submetering of systems to capture relevant performance data. The following variables were studied to gain a better understanding of their impact and to help evaluate whether this technology makes sense for integration into future energy efficiency programs: Supplemental electric resistance heat education-only approach vs ambient temperature lock-out device integration, multi-head vs single-head DHP installations, DHP installations with building shell treatment vs DHP-only installations, and single-zoned air conditioning displacement vs no existing air conditioning displacement. Energy use was monitored over a 12-month period, with quarterly checkups and participant surveys. The project was completed in the spring of 2020.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsCMCCompleteView PDF
Breathe EasyInitially funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), this study investigated the health impacts of installing mechanical ventilation systems in the homes of income eligible customers. The Breathe Easy study began in December 2016. It was initially funded by HUD in partnership with Elevate and Illinois Institute of Technology. The goal of the study was to investigate the ability of three distinct approaches to mechanical ventilation to improve indoor air quality in the homes of income eligible customers. In 2018, ComEd joined as a partner and co-funder of the study. With ComEd’s support, an evaluation of the ventilation systems on the building energy use and life cycle costs was layered into the study, as well as impact testing of the replacement of permanent split capacitor air handler motors with electrically commutated motors (ECM). ECMs are significantly more energy efficient and allow for variable run speeds. A total of 40 homes with 51 participants were retained until the end of the two-year-long study. The participating homes were low and moderate-income, single and multifamily residences with at least one asthmatic adult resident. Participants were divided into three groups to receive one of three different types of ventilation system upgrades. All systems were designed to provide minimum flow rates specified by ASHRAE Standard 62.2.
Scaled DeploymentElevateCompleteView PDF
Adsorbent Air Cleaner Field StudyThis pilot assessed the energy and indoor air quality impacts of enVerid’s HVAC Load Reduction Module, a new adsorbent air cleaning technology that filters, cleans, and recycles indoor air to reduce a building’s need for energy-intensive ventilation. Adsorbent air cleaning technology is intended to reduce the amount of energy used by commercial HVAC systems. The enVerid HLR Module adsorbs gas-phase contaminants from ventilation air, allowing outside air intake to be reduced. Phase I of this pilot included developing energy models for technology deployment, completing a technology risk management whitepaper, and performing outreach for a field study. Phase II evaluated the energy use and non-energy benefits of a participating commercial building customer.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsSlipstreamCompleteView PDF
Understanding Water Solution ProvidersThis research project sought to deepen the understanding of business goals and needs of water solution providers so ComEd can collaborate with them to implement significant water and energy savings. The project team conducted interviews with ComEd customers, regional water associations, special interest groups, engineering firms and water solution providers in the ComEd service territory to understand needs, barriers and past experiences with water conservation and upgrade projects. The team identified opportunities for ComEd to work with water solution providers to implement new measures that will provide their customers with water and energy savings. The team worked with ComEd to review and select the opportunities with the greatest water, energy and cost savings potential and developed a strategy to test and implement the new measures.
Market CharacterizationAxiom Marketing Inc.CompleteView PDF
Water Heating Technology OpportunitiesThe project team conducted research into water heating equipment technologies with significant energy savings and market potential for ComEd residential and commercial customers. The project team researched a variety of water heating advancements to identify the most promising technologies for ComEd to pursue. Due to high penetration of natural gas water heating in northern Illinois, this end use has historically been underserved by the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program. The team reviewed a broad list of technologies, including different types of water heaters, and water heating systems and controls. The market potential assessment included primary research with relevant market actors and secondary research on supply chain structures, product costs, and the complexity of program intervention needed. Finally, the team developed proposed program strategies for the residential sector based on the insights from the research.
Market CharacterizationEvergreen EconomicsCompleteView PDF
Thin Triple Windows Market CharacterizationThis project was a collaboration between utilities to assess the existing thin triple-pane window market in ComEd’s service territory. Thin triple-pane windows (TTW) are currently the most energy-efficient commercially available windows on the market; they well out-perform single- and double-pane versions in energy and cost savings. Roughly 30% of homes do not currently have double or triple pane windows. At 12% savings per home and 2% market share, the total market savings potential for TTW in ComEd’s service territory is 14.3 GWh. This project aimed to qualitatively estimate the market size and potential for TTW technology in ComEd’s service territory. The project team also identified drivers and market barriers for thin triple-pane windows and used qualitative findings from this study to inform the scope of quantitative research in the next phase of this research. Key market actors such as manufacturers, installers, homeowners, homebuilders, and more were interviewed to qualitatively assess the TTW market in ComEd’s service territory.
Market CharacterizationResource InnovationsCompleteView PDF
Switched Reluctance Motors Field Evaluation This field evaluation sought to better understand energy savings and economic viability of switched reluctance motors in commercial HVAC applications in the ComEd service territory. This field evaluation of switched reluctance motors (SRMs) targeted the HVAC systems of non-residential customers. The project team installed SRMs in the rooftop units of selected customer sites, then analyzed the energy savings and operating characteristics of each retrofitted motor. Data from both pre- and post-installation operating periods was weather-normalized and extrapolated to a typical year to estimate annual energy savings. Additionally, the project team conducted market research to understand ComEd territory building stock with rooftop units and applicable motors. The team then extrapolated the estimated annual energy savings to the most common building and system types in ComEd territory to estimate the total energy-saving potential.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsSlipstreamCompleteView PDF
Water Energy Savings with Strategic Energy ManagementComEd’s Strategic Energy Management offering tested how commercial and industrial customers can reduce their water consumption in addition to energy savings. This project used the Strategic Energy Management (SEM) offering structure and approach to save energy and water for commercial and industrial customers. The project team recruited seven customers enrolled in the alumni SEM offering to participate in the project. Each participant received a site water audit and was offered an incentive for a water sub-meter to monitor water consumption on site. The SEM coaches worked with each participant to identify a list of low-cost water conservation measures and developed a plan to monitor and evaluate the water and energy savings at each site.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsCLEAResultCompleteView PDF
Smart Controls for Small and Medium Commercial Buildings ResearchEnergy management systems (EMSs) are used to control and optimize HVAC, lighting, refrigeration, process loads, and plug
loads in commercial buildings while still providing a specified level of occupant comfort. This market characterization project included research of over 150 EMS technologies, a review of industry EMS offerings, and interviews with market actors to understand the current barriers and opportunities. The findings from this research were used to develop recommendations for a pilot to test the implementation of an EMS offering for small and medium businesses customers.
Market CharacterizationE SourceCompleteView PDF
Innovations in Efficient Elevator SystemsThis research project explored potential energy savings from several measures related to modern elevator operation. Energy savings in passenger and freight elevators can be achieved via various retrofits, including the installation of regenerative drives with variable speed drives, permanent magnet synchronous motors, power management systems, variable speed drives on elevator doors, polyurethane coated ropes to replace existing cable, and upgraded lighting system and controls. While the energy savings of new, efficient elevators are well documented, research that identifies the disaggregated contribution of component-level retrofits is not as well understood. This market research study sought to identify energy-efficient measures that have high savings potential and are good candidates for elevator retrofits. The project team identified baselines and standard practices in the current market and determined the energy savings opportunity for elevator retrofits in the ComEd service territory. To understand market drivers for elevator retrofits, they also conducted interviews with elevator manufacturers, building managers, architectural/engineering firms, contractors, and consultants.
Market Characterization360 Energy GroupCompleteView PDF
Secondary Glazing Systems Market CharacterizationThis project was a collaboration between utilities that assessed the existing secondary glazing system market and determined the growth potential for this technology. Secondary Glazing Systems (SGS) are window attachments with insulating high-performance glazing in anodized or painted aluminum frames with low-e coating on double-lite glass. With an estimated 20% savings over a typical single-pane window, the total market savings potential in ComEd’s service territory is approximately 13.8 GWh, assuming full market saturation. Despite improvements in window technology, the SGS market is still small in northern Illinois. There remain significant barriers to substantial growth in sales of secondary windows in ComEd’s service territory. A combination of market research, quantitative analysis and stakeholder engagement was used to fully understand these barriers. After assessing the existing SGS market, the project team focused on determining what market interventions would be most impactful and whether this measure is best suited for program deployment or market transformation.
Market CharacterizationSlipstreamCompleteView PDF
Utilizing Smart Meter Data to Improve Cost-Effectiveness and Customer OutcomesThis project tested how smart meter data can be utilized to predict customer and program performance in demand-side energy efficiency programs, improve savings, and boost cost-effectiveness. Recurve conducted an analysis of four ComEd offerings: residential market rate weatherization, residential income eligible weatherization, residential early replacement for air conditioners, and commercial air conditioner tune-ups. The study used a rigorous experimental design that divided participants into a testing group and a control group in order to scientifically test the predictive capacity of the customer targeting methods developed by Recurve.
Market CharacterizationRecurve AnalyticsCompleteView PDF
Normalized Metered Energy Consumption Targeting for Energy Efficiency ProgramsThis research project explored how ComEd might use a normalized metered energy consumption approach to identify customers with high energy savings potential. Power TakeOff analyzed building advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) data across three measure categories for commercial customers: indoor lighting, outdoor lighting, and variable speed drives. The study used site-level normalized metered energy consumption (NMEC) to predict high savers and enable targeted engagement for those specific customers into the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program.
Market CharacterizationPower TakeOffCompleteView PDF
Liquid Cooled Server RacksImmersion cooling consists of placing servers in a dielectric liquid to efficiently remove heat. In a traditional data center, waste heat from servers is rejected into the server room before being moved around and cooled. In immersion cooling, the heat is absorbed by a liquid at the point of heat generation. The liquid is significantly more effective at absorbing heat than air because of its higher density and heat capacity. As a result, the liquid can be maintained at higher temperatures than room air in a traditional data center, improving chiller performance and allowing for more free cooling opportunities.

The project team conducted a field evaluation of savings from a liquid-cooled server rack at a telecommunications customer site in the ComEd service territory. The study established baseline energy use, monitored data after the installation and analyzed the energy savings. To understand market barriers for implementation in the ComEd service territory, the team also interviewed manufacturers and potential customers.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsFranklin EnergyCompleteView PDF
Commercial Interior Insulated ShadesThe project team evaluated savings from an insulating shade system in conjunction with a building control system in a high-rise office building in Chicago. Interior insulating shades provide extra thermal insulation to minimize heat loss/gain through glass windows. Automated systems monitor sky conditions and open or shut the shades for optimal energy efficiency. The project team evaluated the potential energy and cost savings of installing interior insulated shades manufactured by Parata and control systems manufactured by Amatis Controls in a high-rise commercial building. Heating and cooling season data were collected to compare four shade control strategies: baseline, manual, on-schedule, and dynamic.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsIllinois Institute of TechnologyCompleteView PDF
Home Panel Electrical UpgradesIn this market research project, Slipstream is assessing the costs and feasibility of home electrification upgrades in the ComEd service territory for single and multifamily customers. Slipstream will review existing market research and will conduct interviews with ComEd market actors to help ComEd better understand the costs and barriers associated with electrification and the installation of measures that require electric service upgrades. This research will help inform ComEd’s strategy and program design for home electrification upgrades to meet the needs of residential customers.
Market CharacterizationSlipstreamCompleteView PDF
Cooling Tower Future OpportunitiesThis research project reviewed the technical savings and market potential of several alternative cooling tower technologies to save both energy and water in the ComEd service territory. The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) led a multi-utility-client cooling tower study, including ComEd. PNNL collected data on cooling tower water consumption and developed a Cooling Tower Estimating Model (CTEM) to determine cooling tower cooling demand and water consumption. Along with the CTEM, PNNL developed best practices for identifying water-cooled facilities and estimating their consumptive and non-consumptive water demands for cooling. ComEd supported additional tasks to determine the water savings and energy savings potential of new and alternative treatment technologies for cooling towers and to identify potential barriers to implementing these technologies
Market CharacterizationPacific Northwest National LaboratoryCompleteView PDF
BIT Building Neighborhood ProjectThis project assessed the effect of using the BIT Building Standard as the basis for a workforce training program and the impacts it may have on the energy efficiency of multifamily buildings in income eligible communities. The project applied BIT Building practices to unite energy efficiency and workforce development in income eligible communities. BIT Building is a set of cost-effective industry standards for existing buildings that enables all types of commercial and multifamily residential property owners and operators to adopt high-performance best practices. Ten Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) residents were recruited and trained, and three of them were selected to serve as energy performance improvement coaches, called BIT Aides, using the BIT curriculum. In addition to training BIT Aides, the project team recruited 30 CHA buildings to participate in benchmarking their energy, air quality, water, and waste performance in order to seek opportunity for improvements. The BIT Aides also assisted CHA building operators in making operational improvements that generate energy savings and support owners/operators through utility energy efficiency incentive application processes. The project team assisted BIT Aides in collecting operational and energy usage data for each building and created a robust measurement and verification strategy to understand the project’s overall impact on energy use over time.
Scaled DeploymentSlipstreamCompleteView PDF
120V HPWH Market CharacterizationThe project team conducted market research to investigate the technical potential and adoption considerations for 120-volt heat pump water heaters in ComEd territory. While standard 240-volt heat pump water heaters potentially require costly panel or electric service upgrades for installation, 120-volt heat pump water heaters can plug into a standard wall outlet, lowering customer barriers for adoption. The project team studied the market readiness of 120-volt heat pump water heaters in ComEd territory and their applicability for residential customers; modeled the impact of usage profiles, draw patterns, and cold climate conditions on 120-volt heat pump water heater efficiency and cost impacts; and determined the scale of the market opportunity for this technology, including best use cases.
Market CharacterizationSlipstreamCompleteView PDF
EV Companion – Phase 1This project utilized vehicle telematics to collect charging data of the participating EV customers. It provided personalized MyCharge reports and demand response (DR) notifications to these enrolled EV customers for insight into their EV charging patterns, seasonal profile, and seasonal pricing and DR event response results.​ Quantitative and qualitative analyses were completed to determine the value of a software-based solution and inform ComEd customers on charging patterns and DR events. Plus determine the effectiveness of customers to shift load for both DR and cost savings given notifications and reports. The project also collected information across all of the ongoing Exelon EV charging programs to understand and bring together the key learnings and recommendations to inform future EV load management filings and strategy and provide recommendations on considerations when defining new programs, metrics, and innovation pilots in the space of EV managed charging.
Phase 2 currently TBD, resulting from BE Plan.
Scaled DeploymentRolling Energy ResourcesComplete
Building Operator CertificationBuilding Operator Certification® (BOC) is a leading training and certification program for building engineers and maintenance personnel. Graduates are trained in how to make their buildings more comfortable, efficient, and environmentally friendly. ComEd partnered with the other Illinois utilities and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance to create a new program offering for building operators as part of ComEd’s commercial RCx offering.
Market DevelopmentMidwest Energy Efficiency AllianceComplete
All-Electric Residential New ConstructionSlipstream conducted a market analysis and testing of an incentive offering for all-electric new construction homes in Illinois to determine the viability of a program offering. This research project quantified the current market size, homebuyer demand, and growth trajectory of the all-electric homes market in Illinois along with associated program cost and energy savings potential. This included a market analysis informed by secondary research and interviews with local builders and home energy raters. The findings from the market analysis were used to evaluate potential pathways for incentivizing deeper levels of energy efficiency in residential new construction. The research team then compared various incentive strategies for all-electric homes using existing ComEd incentive offerings. The team’s recommendations for an all-electric homes pilot led to the creation of partnerships with builders and incentivizing 5 – 20 homes for construction in 2020 – 2021.
Scaled DeploymentSlipstreamComplete
Alternative Refrigerants Slipstream assessed the energy use and performance impacts of using an alternative refrigerant product in commercial walk-in coolers and freezer refrigeration systems. This pilot focused on commercial customers with walk-in cooler and freezer refrigeration systems using HFC blend refrigerant R-404A. Alltemp-M refrigerant is marketed as a replacement product for R-404A, as R-404A is now discouraged for use in retrofits due to its high global-warming potential. In early 2018, Slipstream recruited five sites for the pilot, including three quick-service restaurants and two hotels. Among these sites, seven systems were selected for testing, including four walk-in freezers and three walk-in coolers, all using R-404A. Monitoring of the systems included measurement of refrigeration system electrical energy consumption; temperatures of the freezer or cooler interior, the room area near the freezer or cooler, and outdoor temperature for systems with outdoor condensers and freezer or cooler door opening times.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsSlipstreamComplete
AMI Data Analytics for Program Administration EnhancementThrough analysis of customer usage and energy efficiency program participation data, EnergySavvy will detect program trends with potential to benefit the Residential HVAC and Small Business offerings. ComEd will provide Uplight (formerly EnergySavvy) with historical and current customer energy usage data, firmographic and demographic data, and energy efficiency program participation data. The Uplight software performs large-scale analyses to detect useful trends, and for this pilot, the ComEd Emerging Technologies Team will apply these analyses to the Residential HVAC and Small Business offerings. These analytical approaches will be evaluated based on their ability to improve program cost-effectiveness through customer targeting, increase the cost-effectiveness of QA/QC inspections, support successful trade ally networks, and potentially support a platform for future Pay for Performance models.
Customer ResearchUplightComplete
Commercial Geothermal AdvancementThis pilot helped create a streamlined incentive for geothermal heat pump installations at commercial, light industrial, and public sector buildings. Prior to this pilot, ComEd customers could only receive custom incentives for nonresidential geothermal or ground-source heat pump (GSHP) installations. Feedback from the geothermal installer community indicated that a more streamlined incentive process could help drive customer adoption. The pilot team collected information on the market opportunity for commercial GSHP projects, developed a streamlined incentive offering of $1,000/ton and submitted a Technical Reference Manual workpaper to help standardize measurement and verification. Installations were completed at four locations with a total of 48 tons of geothermal capacity. Guidehouse, ComEd’s evaluation partner, completed customer interviews of both pilot participants and near-participants to determine the effectiveness of the pilot incentive rate and other key customer motivators.
Customer ResearchAECOMComplete
Dipper Wells Market Potential StudyThis research project assessed the market potential for efficient dipper well technologies in the ComEd service territory. The project team explored the market potential of efficient dipper well technologies at foodservice facilities in the ComEd service territory. Previous field studies have shown the conservation capabilities of these technologies and their suitability for the foodservice market in other states, but their potential in this market is not yet understood. The project team conducted market actor interviews with end users, distributors and health departments, as well as surveys to determine the market potential and characterize the supply chain of three different efficient dipper well technologies. They also completed an econometric analysis of the identified technologies to determine which technologies are best suited to the ComEd market.
Market CharacterizationFrontier EnergyComplete
Energy Efficiency in Two-to-Four Unit BuildingsThis market assessment of small residential buildings in the ComEd service territory focused on two-to-four-unit buildings to identify new energy-saving opportunities for retrofits and new construction. This project was made up of two parts: a market assessment of the two-to-four-unit building market sector in the ComEd service territory, including a review of best practices from other markets and an analysis of the northern building stock, and a technical assessment of new energy-saving opportunities for deep energy retrofits and new construction markets.
Market CharacterizationElevateComplete
Energy Efficient Electrification Customer CommunicationThe project team is researching effective methods to communicate to customers the energy bill impacts caused by switching to electric appliances. As a result of recent legislative changes, Illinois utilities are required to communicate to customers the expected average energy bill impacts caused by fuel switching. This communication is stipulated to occur prior to the installation of new electric appliances. Through benchmarking and interviews with market actors, the project team will identify and develop effective methods to meet this requirement and provide ComEd customers the necessary information to make informed decisions.
Customer ResearchILLUME AdvisingComplete
Energy Incentive AccelerationAECOM tested new strategies to introduce information about ComEd energy efficiency incentives to commercial real estate customers and better understand how to take advantage of the limited selling period to motivate building owners. When commercial real estate changes hands, the new owners typically make significant investments in upgrades and repairs. For this project, AECOM took advantage of this time-of-transfer period to help building teams better understand how to employ ComEd Energy Efficiency Program offerings to help real estate investors attract and retain tenants while meeting energy efficiency goals. For each participant in the pilot, AECOM developed a tailored energy incentive acceleration plan. This plan provided the customer with energy efficiency opportunities and assisted them in participating in existing ComEd Energy Efficiency Program offerings. AECOM held follow-up meetings to encourage each customer to apply by the end of the year.
Scaled DeploymentAECOMComplete
Energy Usage Baseline and Potential StudyItron surveyed ComEd customers to understand the current landscape of energy use as well as the energy savings potential for more efficient equipment and behaviors in program design. This large-scale research project consisted of two main components. Baseline study: A statistically representative survey of ComEd residential, commercial, and industrial customers to determine energy-using equipment stock, efficiency, age, and utilization. Potential study: A determination of energy-savings potential for more efficient equipment and behaviors to guide ComEd Energy Efficiency Program design. Itron took a multi-modal data collection approach leveraging web-based surveys to greatly increase sample size while reducing cost. Using ComEd’s previous potential and baseline studies as initial guideposts, the research team worked closely with ComEd to identify the highest-priority energy end uses and customer segments of interest. Approximately 5,000 multi-modal surveys were issued for the residential sector and a total of 450 onsite nonresidential surveys were conducted. Both the baseline and potential studies break out information on public sector and income eligible customers. In addition to gaining a holistic understanding of energy end uses and energy efficiency at each survey site, the project team also investigated the prevalence of and potential for solar, electric vehicles, and related charging infrastructure.
Customer ResearchItronComplete
Energy-Water Nexus Savings ResearchThis research project helped ComEd quantify the system-wide energy savings associated with water efficiency and explore new approaches to encouraging ComEd customers to save water. The research was cross-cutting in scope, addressing all market segments of ComEd customers. Elevate conducted a literature review and led discussions with local water utility stakeholders (Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and Chicago Department of Water Management) to develop a TRM workpaper with an energy-water factor accounting for water-system-wide energy savings created during conservation activities at customer sites. The energy savings from hot water reduction (water heating) was already known for many measures; however, the distribution and treatment system savings of cold-water reduction had not yet been explored.
Market CharacterizationElevateComplete
Flash Gas Condensers Field StudyThis field evaluation intended to assess the potential savings of a refrigeration technology that may benefit ComEd commercial customers. Some refrigeration systems experience a reduction in efficiency due to refrigerant material boiling before entering the evaporator (“flash gas”). Flash gas condensers use a phase change material to remove heat absorbed by refrigerant when forced through the thermal expansion valve before entering the evaporator, keeping the refrigerant in liquid form. This reduces the energy required to cycle the refrigeration system and stabilizes the refrigeration cycle. The project team attempted to evaluate the energy savings of installing flash gas condensers into the walk-in coolers and freezers of commercial customers in the ComEd service territory.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsDNVComplete
Gear and Hydraulic Oils Efficiency EvaluationThis field evaluation examines the energy savings potential of energy-efficient gear and hydraulic oils. The project team is currently recruiting demonstration sites. Industrial gear reduction and hydraulic systems use gear and hydraulic oils to transfer input energy to output power. Gear and hydraulic oils also protect critical system components from premature wear. Energy-efficient gear and hydraulic oil lubricants meet these requirements and provide reduced energy consumption in addition to having a lower coefficient of friction which reduces the friction between moving parts in the motor. The total savings potential in ComEd’s service territory is estimated to be 21.5 GWh for gear oils and 6.5 GWh for hydraulic oils. The project team is conducting field tests for both energy-efficient gear and hydraulic oils to validate the savings potential across multiple sites and customer types in ComEd’s service territory. Both technologies are currently in the Illinois TRM as provisional measures and the project team is hoping to collect the necessary data to make them permanent measures in the TRM in addition to incorporating them into the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program portfolio.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsLeidosComplete
Heat Pump in Cold Climate ApplicationsNREL’s research partnership with ComEd examined the technical aspects and potential energy savings of high-efficiency variable-speed air-source heat pumps in cold climates. Recent technological advances in variable-speed compressors and electronically commutated fan speed modulation allow some modern heat pumps to operate efficiently in more extreme temperatures than traditional models. Through laboratory testing, NREL mapped the expected performance of ducted split heat pump systems under steady-state conditions to determine the coefficient of performance (COP) and unit capacity across a range of modes and conditions. These findings were used to develop performance curves that accurately represent how this technology would perform in the ComEd service territory.
Lab TestingNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)Complete
High-Efficiency Water-Cooled Display Case RetrofitNREL’s research partnership with ComEd examined the technical aspects and potential energy savings of new generation high efficiency self-contained water-cooled medium temperature display cases. The use of reach-in refrigerated display cases is widespread in supermarkets and convenience stores across ComEd’s service territory. This study assessed the energy savings resulting from retrofitting only self-contained units, converting from traditional air-cooled remote refrigeration systems to liquid-cooled self-contained systems. The results demonstrated this technology could yield significant energy savings and expand the market for these types of refrigeration systems in ComEd’s service territory.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)Complete
Home Energy Monitor Disaggregation ToolThis pilot tested the Bidgely Home Energy Monitor application for behavioral change in residential customers. This pilot targeted residential customers, combining energy usage information and digital messages to help customers save energy. Customers opted in to downloading Bidgely’s Home Energy Monitor application. Using AMI data for their households, customers received energy usage information in hourly, daily, and monthly increments. This information was further disaggregated into heating load, cooling load, pool pump load, and always-on load segments. Customers also received tips and recommendations to reduce consumption, as well as actual and projected spend for the current billing cycle. Some pilot participants also received a HomeBeat Home Area Network device allowing real-time usage information through a connection with their smart meter.
Scaled DeploymentBidgelyComplete
Home Energy Reports Paperless ExperienceThis field test of monthly electronic Home Energy Reports and High Bill Alerts for residential customers by Oracle helped determine whether savings can be generated in a more cost-effective manner. Oracle field tested a paperless, fully digital behavioral program for residential customers. Oracle provided monthly electronic Home Energy Reports (eHERs) and High Bill Alerts (HBAs) to up to 20,000 customers who had not previously received digital home energy reports. An equivalent number of customers served as a control.
Scaled DeploymentOracleComplete
Home Energy Reports Target RankOracle field tested a Target Rank module in their Home Energy Reports for residential customers with the aim of providing greater savings motivation than their Neighbor Comparison module. Target Rank was an alternative user experience that was deployed for 18,000 income eligible customers already receiving electronic Home Energy Reports (eHER). During the pilot, the Neighbor Comparison module was replaced with a Target Rank module for six months. The new module provided the customer with a short-term achievable energy-saving target (called a “challenge”) in the format of a score on a 100-point scale. The pilot impacted 38,000 total customers receiving eHER; 18,000 received the Target Rank module as a treatment group, and the rest served as a control.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsOracleComplete
HVAC SAVEThe HVAC SAVE pilot trained contractors to perform Quality Installations for residential air conditioning units and ensure they are performing at optimal efficiency. For this midstream-focused pilot, approved contractors who participated in the residential HVAC rebate program were trained and certified to perform a Verified Quality Installation (QI) for residential HVAC equipment, in accordance with the HVAC SAVE (Systems Adjustment and Verified Efficiency) program model developed by MEEA. Special software and bonus incentives were provided to service providers verifying each QI project. To adequately evaluate the impact of training and the QI process, this pilot aimed to complete 400 projects across the 2018 cooling season.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsCLEAResultComplete
Hybrid Heat Pump Systems and Future Beneficial Electrification OpportunitiesThis research project reviewed various use cases for residential air source heat pumps as well as a range of potential future measures related to electrification. The project team performed an economic analysis on a variety of measures to determine where the greatest potential for cost and energy savings lies for ComEd’s customers. As part of this research, the team analyzed ComEd’s market, interviewed market actors, and characterized a variety of measures according to metrics relevant to the ComEd service territory. The research supported ComEd’s ability to identify potential program barriers or opportunities for their portfolio to allow delivery of the most benefits to their customers.
Customer ResearchCenter for Energy and EnvironmentComplete
Income Eligible Electric Heating Heat Pump Barriers ResearchThis study assessed the all-electric income eligible market in ComEd’s service territory and how to best serve this customer segment. Over the past several years, a very limited volume of heat pumps has been installed in income eligible customers’ homes through ComEd’s weatherization offerings. Knowing that customers with existing inefficient electric heating are poised to see significant operational savings from heat pump conversion, this project aimed to identify the barriers to including heat pumps in these offerings. Other utilities with successful energy efficiency programs serving this customer segment were surveyed to learn new program designs and identify best practices. The project team also evaluated how current home energy assessment findings can be used to establish measure package recommendations for income-eligible customers with inefficient electric heating.
Customer ResearchResource InnovationsComplete
Income Eligible Paging DisplayThis project aimed to provide a simple and inexpensive real-time messaging channel to ComEd customers without requiring access to the internet, smartphones, computers, or similar devices. This project is in Phase Three. Phase One tested the ability to connect a prototype paging device to the 152 MHz paging network and receive data from it. A customer roundtable discussion was also conducted to validate the design of using a simple set of indicators on a fridge magnet to relay information to the customer. Phase Two deployed the devices to 30 ComEd employee homes to test the robustness of the paging signals in home settings, device battery life, and participant reactions to better understand how the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program could leverage these devices to help customers save energy. Phase Three tested devices in the homes of customers.
Scaled DeploymentComplete
Income Eligible Weatherization Program DesignFranklin Energy tested a variety of program design and outreach strategies to improve the delivery of the ComEd single-family income eligible weatherization offering. The pilot brought together local community-based organizations to serve as trusted advisors to homeowners in Elgin, Joliet, and Aurora. Three communities were selected to test the effectiveness of working with different market providers, or local community organizations, to recruit customers for home energy assessments and weatherization work.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsFranklin EnergyComplete
LED Holiday Light ExchangeThis pilot offered customers the opportunity to exchange their traditional holiday light strands for energy-efficient LED holiday lights. This pilot took place in the winter of 2017/18. It targeted LED holiday string lights as a new energy efficiency measure. Customers were encouraged to exchange their traditional (incandescent) holiday light strands for efficient LED strands. Exchange events were held in convenient locations such as Home Depot and Lincoln Park Zoo and supplemented with educational materials and other efficiency measure giveaways.
Scaled DeploymentCLEAResultComplete
Market Development Initiative ResearchThe project team is conducting research to support the creation of a robust Market Development Initiative (MDI) to be administered in 2022 – 2025. The goal of the MDI will be to increase contracting opportunities for diverse business enterprises and community-based organizations and assist them in developing the necessary capabilities to participate in the delivery of the energy efficiency program portfolio. The Market Development Initiative strives to elevate diverse supplier participation in the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program. To that end, the project team will conduct internal and market assessments to determine best practices and a recommended roadmap for achieving desired goals. The scope of research will address several questions: Is ComEd meeting its diversity and inclusion goals? How is ComEd implementing its goals (what is working well and what can be improved)? Who is benefiting most from ComEd investments and diversity programs? What are demand-side gaps and barriers? What are supply-side availabilities and capacities? What are best practices in diverse supplier inclusion strategies and related workforce development?
Market DevelopmentGriffin & Strong P.CComplete
Municipal Energy Planning EngagementThis research project explored the opportunity to provide future service offerings for strategic energy planning and implementation support for municipalities to meet their energy and carbon reduction goals.
Customer ResearchSlipstreamComplete
Municipal Water Infrastructure Leak ReductionThis project created water and energy savings by identifying leaks in municipal water infrastructure and opportunities for infrastructure upgrades. Leaks in municipal water structure waste energy and water, as additional pumping is required to deliver water to customers. The project team recruited four communities in the ComEd service territory and analyzed problems and risk areas in their water infrastructure using geographic information system (GIS) modeling and energy use data. This analysis was then used to guide onsite testing of the municipal water systems to pinpoint active leaks and to inform infrastructure repairs and upgrade plans developed for each of the communities. TRC also worked with a subcontractor to help identify potential funding opportunities to help cover the cost of the water infrastructure upgrade plans and support the communities in applying for those funds.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsTRCComplete
Networked Lighting Controls Market Adoption ResearchThis research surveyed customers and energy efficiency service providers to understand the barriers and drivers to adopting networked lighting controls. There is growing industry recognition that networked lighting controls (NLC) may represent a significant source of potential future savings for utility energy efficiency programs. While ComEd’s NLC offering has been successful in adapting to and capturing an emerging market, there are still many barriers to customer adoption. ILLUME conducted qualitative research in the form of in-depth interviews with commercial and industrial customers and energy efficiency service providers. These interviews explored: Knowledge, perception and experience with NLC technologies, primary motivators and perceived benefits/downsides to NLC installation, perspectives on NLC equipment and current ComEd offerings, business decisions and priorities, and equipment and system operation practices.
Customer ResearchILLUME AdvisingComplete
Online Choice Engine Program ModelThis project tested the evaluable energy savings impact associated with the Enervee Efficient Choice platform and its potential fit for the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program. The Enervee Efficient Choice platform brings together data for users to review and compare residential appliances and electronics, including pricing, features, popularity, and user feedback. The platform also rates the energy efficiency of products compared to similar models and provides links to local retailers where chosen products may be purchased. By providing energy information in an accessible format, the platform seeks to drive customer behavior without the use of utility incentives. ComEd customers were invited and directed to the platform through various marketing methods, including emails and notices on the ComEd website. A sample of customers who use the platform were surveyed to understand how their purchasing decisions were impacted by the Efficient Choice platform, and whether their purchases resulted in measurable and predictable energy savings.
Scaled DeploymentEnerveeComplete
Permanent Magnet AC Motor Market Adoption ResearchQualitative research helped define the drivers and barriers for customers and energy efficiency service providers to adopting permanent magnetic alternating current fan motors in walk-in coolers and freezers. Permanent magnetic alternating current (PMAC) motors in walk-in coolers and freezers represent a significant source of potential future savings for utility energy efficiency programs. However, the technology currently has very low market penetration. This study explored why market adoption was low and created an intervention strategy to increase it. To develop the strategy, ILLUME conducted in-depth interviews that helped the project team characterize and better understand the target market.
Customer ResearchILLUME AdvisingComplete
Public Housing Needs AssessmentFor this research project, SEDAC identified ways to increase participation in ComEd’s energy efficiency offerings among public housing authorities. SEDAC completed a needs assessment to identify barriers to Public Housing Authority engagement in ComEd energy efficiency offerings and recommend solutions to increase participation and savings. The project consisted of four tasks: a literature review, a future-looking technical strategies assessment, a stakeholder engagement process, and a final roadmap report.
Customer ResearchSmart Energy Design Assistance Center at the University of Illinois at UrbanaComplete
Real Time Virtual CommissioningThis project tests whether more granular usage data provided in real time can result in deeper energy savings for virtual commissioning projects. ComEd’s Virtual Commissioning (VCx) offer remotely identifies and verifies operational improvements for commercial and public sector customers using 30-minute near-real-time Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) usage data. In the first phase of this project, ComEd partnered with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to investigate if the addition of one-minute AMI data provided in real time would allow identification of deeper energy savings and broaden the range of buildings on which VCx can be performed. Site selection was conducted to capture locations with a wide range of characteristics to yield results applicable to many other commercial and public sector customers. While evaluation for the original installations is ongoing, additional installations in CPS along with new sites at other school districts and some businesses have been added to the project.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsPower TakeOffComplete
Refrigerated Display Cases with Propane RefrigerantNREL’s research partnership with ComEd examined the technical aspects and potential energy savings of refrigerated display cases cooled by R290 propane refrigerant. The use of reach-in refrigerated display cases is widespread in supermarkets and convenience stores across the ComEd service territory. Replicating the typical range of indoor conditions in supermarkets and convenience stores, NREL evaluated the technical aspects and potential energy savings of refrigerated display cases that use R290 propane refrigerant through laboratory testing. R290 is an environmentally-friendly refrigerant with an extremely low Global Warming Potential (GWP = 3) compared to the existing baseline refrigerant R134A (GWP = 1,300). The study aimed to characterize the energy efficiency of R290 cases for future program integration.
Lab TestingNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)Complete
Residential Dryer Moisture SensorThis project was a savings evaluation of a product that converts a standard clothes dryer into a smart dryer, informing users when clothes are dry. When using a residential clothes dryer, many customers waste energy by running the dryer on a timer setting, drying clothing for longer than necessary. This device is a retrofit technology to turn an electric residential dryer into a smart dryer. A temperature and humidity sensor is attached to the dryer drum via a permanent magnet to monitor when the clothes are dry. Users can take action to shut off the dryer upon the notification to their smartphone or manually at the machine to save energy. There is potential to pair the monitoring device with a smart plug to shut off the dryer on its own after the smartphone application notifies the smart plug.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsGas Technology InstituteComplete
Retrofit Chicago Roadmapping 2.0Building on the 2012 Gateway Energy Roadmaps developed for customers participating in the Chicago Energy Retrofit Challenge, AECOM developed and tested an improved Energy Roadmap process to help achieve greater energy savings for ComEd customers. The first phase of this pilot was a review of the 2012 Gateway Energy Roadmaps developed for customers participating in the Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge. AECOM reviewed the energy savings of participants and conducted interviews to see how future energy roadmap efforts could be more effective. For the second phase, AECOM developed an improved energy roadmap process and engaged with several facilities in Chicago to test the procedure. The improved roadmap included several features:
*Establishment of baseline energy use conditions. Incorporation of past studies, capital plans, operating budgets, contracts, and proposals
*Consideration and planning for capital investment constraints
*Alignment with the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program
*Prioritization of energy efficiency projects
Market DevelopmentAECOMComplete
RTU Motor StudyComEd’s research partnership with NREL examined the energy and peak demand savings potential of new rooftop unit (RTU) technologies. This project was part of a four-stage effort by ComEd to evaluate the energy-savings potential of emerging technologies in the Chicago area. The first stage evaluated the potential for energy and peak demand savings of RTUs, including:
*Two-stage RTUs
*Variable-speed compressor RTUs
*Switched reluctance motor (SRM) RTU supply fans
Field Tests & DemonstrationsNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)Complete
Save and ShareTM AppThe ComEd Save and Share™ mobile app was designed to give eligible residential customers weekly targets for reducing their energy use and Save and Share Dollar rewards, which they could share with local, participating community organizations. This project was aimed at income eligible residential customers within Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. The app provided users information on their energy use and personalized recommendations on how to use less. Any Save and Share Dollars customers earned would be matched by ComEd in a special account they could use to share with churches, youth organizations, and other non-profit community groups.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsUplightComplete
Scalable Community Building Energy ModelingThrough geospatial data, remote sensing and energy modeling at the individual building level, this project will identify aggregate energy efficiency opportunities for ComEd. While analysis of customer meter data may be useful in identifying energy efficiency opportunities on its own, the addition of high-quality geospatial and remote sensing data can provide a more complete picture of individual building characteristics and requirements that allows energy efficiency offerings to provide the greatest possible impact. As part of this project, the team will deploy a proprietary rapid baseline energy modeling technology to a community of interest in the ComEd service territory. Data from the baseline energy modeling technology will identify confidence levels for the assessment of energy efficiency opportunities at the individual building level and insight at the aggregate level for the community. An analysis of a random sample of buildings across the ComEd service territory will be conducted to determine the territory-wide potential for this assessment approach.
Market DevelopmentMapdwellComplete
Seasonal SavingsThis pilot involving over one hundred thousand customers verified the energy savings potential of a smart thermostat schedule optimization program. This pilot was conducted in two phases across 2017 and 2018. The Seasonal Savings offering allows customers with Nest Learning Thermostats to opt-in to a service that makes small adjustments to thermostat setpoints over a three-week tune-up period, while maintaining customer comfort. On average, scheduled setpoints are adjusted up by 1.5°F during the cooling season, with the biggest temperature adjustments taking place when customers are typically away from home. The pilot was implemented using a randomized encouragement design, in which all customers in the ComEd® service territory with a Nest thermostat were randomly assigned into a treatment or a control group. Treatment group participants opted in using a prompt shown on their thermostat.
Scaled DeploymentGoogle Nest LabsComplete
Smart Home Income Eligible PilotThis project, led by the Customer Innovation Technologies Team, was designed to evaluate the viability of novel smart home product solutions for income eligible (IE) customers without broadband internet access. Smart home platforms offer opportunities for residential customers to reduce energy use, but some customers may be left out, including those without broadband internet access. New products present potential to decrease technological and cost barriers to these platforms. The project team planned to install smart plug equipment to meet customer needs as well as monitoring equipment into the homes of participating income eligible customers. The team would quantitatively and qualitatively assess the end-user experience of a smart home platform for these participants, including use cases, ease of installation, and typical bill savings from the different installed measures.
Scaled DeploymentSlipstreamComplete
Smart Home Interaction StudyThis pilot examined how residential customers view and interact with smart home technologies by analyzing bundles of connected devices in customer homes. This pilot, a partnership with the ComEd® Customer Solutions Innovation Team, aimed to gain a better understanding of how residential customers view and interact with smart home technologies. Numerous devices exist to control home functions remotely or wirelessly, from light bulbs and outlets to thermostats and faucets. Green Marbles installed bundles of connected devices in eight homes and Slipstream analyzed device-level usage data and surveyed homeowners to determine how people use connected devices that impact energy, how customers feel about that experience, and which functions within these devices have the potential to save energy.
Scaled DeploymentSlipstreamComplete
Smart VentsSmart vents allow residential HVAC systems to operate dynamically. The vents use motion and proximity sensors to detect which rooms are occupied, allow residents to set room-by-room target temperatures and feature motorized vents that automatically open and close to redirect air as needed. Used with a smart thermostat, smart ventilation systems can save energy and increase comfort.

The project team researched smart vent’s market potential and barriers to adoption through literature review and interviews with manufacturers, distributors, and customers.
Market CharacterizationSlipstreamComplete
Street Operating SystemThis outreach pilot studied the impact of increased community-based infrastructure and communication on awareness of the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program in the West Woodlawn neighborhood. Blacks in Green (BIG) developed a novel outreach concept to increase awareness of energy efficiency offerings in Chicago’s West Woodlawn neighborhood. Through this pilot, BIG brought real, trusted avenues to reach populations that face barriers to participation in the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program. Coinciding with the Street Operating System (SOS) pilot launch, BIG also opened their Green Living Room, a physical community gathering place that includes free Wi-Fi and similar amenities, through which climate, energy, emergency, community news, career connections, and conservation lifestyle tips are shared.
Scaled DeploymentBlacks in GreenComplete
Switched Reluctance Motor Conveyor SystemsNREL’s research partnership with ComEd examined the technical aspects and potential energy savings of switched reluctance motors (SRM) in conveyor applications. High rotor pole switched reluctance motors were evaluated for performance and energy consumption compared to standard two-horsepower induction motors. The performance characterization of these motors were used to model their energy savings potential in conveyor applications. Results of this research project will inform the development of a new addition to the Illinois Statewide Technical Resource Manual and ultimately the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program.
Market CharacterizationNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)Complete
Synchronous MotorsThis pilot studied the energy savings and demand reduction from retrofitting refrigerated cases and walk-in coolers with synchronous motors. The pilot team deployed Q-sync motors, a new type of Permanent Magnet Alternate Current Motor that can replace shaded pole or EC motors in existing refrigerated cases and walk-in coolers/freezers and monitor fan/motor energy performance before and after replacement. Slipstream recruited three supermarkets and deployed 18 Q-sync motor retrofits in walk-in coolers and refrigerated display cases. Slipstream analyzed field data and provided qualitative lessons derived from field work, including cost, installation, and operational impacts.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsSlipstreamComplete
Total Connected SavingsComEd and Nicor Gas collaborated to test an over-the-air deployed algorithm that used real-time weather data to convert connected thermostats to smart thermostats. This pilot, a collaboration between ComEd and Nicor Gas, tested an over-the-air deployed algorithm that promised to convert a connected thermostat (from manufacturer Honeywell) to a smart thermostat. Whisker Labs leverages real-time weather data to update setback schedules and shorten run times, potentially presenting ComEd with a lower first-cost alternative to expensive smart thermostats. If the algorithm and advanced control being tested were successful, this system had the potential to expand to other brands and types of thermostats, providing ComEd with a unique retrofit path toward smart thermostat customer adoption goals.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsWhisker LabsComplete
Ultra-High Efficiency Public Housing HVACThis project tested new technologies with standard weatherization practices to reduce HVAC energy use in a public housing authority complex by up to 50%. This pilot is a carryover project from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s research and development initiative. The goal was to test low-capacity furnaces and cold climate heat pumps with standard weatherization practices in seven units in Rockford Housing Authority residential properties. Modeling suggested these measures could reduce total energy use by over 50%. Franklin Energy and the Gas Technology Institute led the testing of the ability of these newer technologies to deliver efficient comfort and recorded installation costs and experience.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsFranklin EnergyComplete
Upstream Small Embedded Data CentersThis research project evaluated the market potential for an upstream program targeting small, embedded data centers for commercial customers. This research project will evaluate the market potential for an upstream SEDC program for commercial customers in ComEd service territory. Slipstream will first characterize the magnitude of potential energy savings and translate their recent Minnesota and Wisconsin research results to the ComEd service territory. They will then develop a preliminary program design vetted through conversations with key market actors, including data center owners and operators and IT equipment suppliers and installers. The results of this research will be used to recommend a program design for implementation of an upstream SEDC program with ComEd.
Market CharacterizationSlipstreamComplete
Variable Frequency Drives for Refrigerator Condenser FansSlipstream studied the impact of adding variable frequency drives (VFDs) to refrigeration system condenser fans in 23 condensers in four supermarkets. The pilot compared pre and post-condenser fans retrofit with VFDs and provided energy and cost impacts in a TRM workpaper.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsSlipstreamComplete
Voltage OptimizationThis pilot tested new, grid-side hardware and software solutions that can enhance ComEd’s Voltage Optimization efforts and increase customer energy savings. This pilot project installed and tested new technology from grid technology company Sentient (formerly Varentec) to evaluate potential improvement of energy savings for ComEd customers. These devices are deployed in a strategic manner to optimize distribution grid voltage, resulting in increased energy savings at feeder lines serving a group of customers. This pilot examined the use of this new Voltage Optimization (VO) technology to enhance the energy savings for the customer complementary to the existing VO solutions already in use on ComEd’s grid.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsSentient EnergyComplete
Market Transformation Initiative DevelopmentThis research project included discussions with internal stakeholders and external partners to identify new market transformation initiative concepts for ComEd.
Market CharacterizationILLUME AdvisingComplete
Induction Cooktops for Income Eligible CustomersThis project conducted research to better understand customer perceptions and barriers related to induction cooktops and to determine how to best promote the technology to income eligible customers.
Customer ResearchILLUME AdvisingComplete
All Electric Single Family Income Eligible Customer ResearchThe goal of this research project was to characterize ComEd’s income eligible, single family, all-electric customer segment and identify strategies and approaches to serve these customers. This market segment is important because customers that meet their space and water heating needs with only electricity can experience high relative energy costs and unique barriers that limit the management of their home’s energy usage. Additionally, with the right technologies applied, these projects could be more cost-effective for utility funding and offer operational savings opportunities for customers. The research also sought to estimate the average energy burden of the ComEd all-electric income eligible customer to define the direct customer
benefit of the energy efficiency services provided by the utility.
Customer ResearchResource InnovationsComplete
Smart ConnectDERThe overall objective for this project is to demonstrate a reliable, safe, cost-effective solution for solar integration into the grid by documenting a low-cost DER installation solution to provide equitable entry points for IE customers (avoids costly panel upgrade, reduces install time, no home entry requirements) and overall better customer experience​, and providing utility insights on behind-the-meter solar data that can be used to enable load management, maintain grid reliability, and optimize future grid expansion needs.
Scaled DeploymentTBDIn Development
Grid Interactive Display CaseThis project quantifies the energy efficiency benefits of retrofitting an air-cooled, constant-speed compression, self-contained medium-temperature open-vertical display case with a high-efficiency, water-cooled condensing unit. Future efforts will evaluate the potential of integrating Thermal Energy Storage technologies into these systems.
Field Tests & DemonstrationsNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)Active