As one of the nation’s largest initiatives of its kind, ComEd’s Customer Innovation offers an ideal testing ground in a service area comprised of four seasons and a diverse urban and rural population. Review our focus areas, scoring criteria and submission guidelines to see how to develop your idea or pre-proposal.

Focus Areas

Priority for proposal selection and funding in 2024 will be given to the following areas, with solutions aimed at serving income eligible customers1 prioritized across all areas. Please check back as these can change as the Customer Innovation team identifies new areas of focus.
Residential Energy Efficiency
  • Explore and validate “next generation” energy efficiency technologies and program designs
  • Seek cost-effective energy efficiency measures, especially for income eligible customers in affordable housing
  • Advance energy efficient electrification across all residential end uses by expanding adoption of cost-effective electrification technologies, identifying methods to generate adoption and overcome common barriers, and create actionable and forward-looking guidance for contractors and implementers
C&I Energy Efficiency
  • Identify viable commercial and industrial (C&I) energy efficiency technologies, particularly for HVAC, to generate energy savings
  • Advance electrification across end uses for both commercial and industrial customers
Market Transformation
  • Identify viable market transformation opportunities in ComEd territory, including novel ways ComEd could stimulate widespread energy savings
Home Energy Management for Peak Load Reduction
  • Pilot technologies or platforms to help residential customers and small/medium businesses manage their energy use in real time in response to price signals, carbon information, or other data; platforms may include direct management of energy-using devices such as smart thermostats or other technologies
  • Identify ways to integrate distributed energy resources with smart home technologies to reduce grid impact and/or energy costs
Customer Transportation Electrification Optimization
  • Identify cost-effective ways to integrate electric vehicle transportation with innovative home technologies or implementation strategies, enabling customer controllability and reducing grid impact
  • Provide customers with technologies and data to enable adoption of electric vehicles, through charging infrastructure, innovative rates, and energy use information

1 The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program defines income eligible as customers with total household income at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI).

Scoring Criteria

High-level scoring criteria for all idea and pre-proposal submissions are provided below. Please align your submission with these guidelines to maximize its chance of being selected and funded. Note that if your idea or pre-proposal is selected to advance to the full proposal stage, we will provide the full proposal scoring rubric at that time.

Customer Value. Project provides at least one of the following values to customers:

  • Energy savings (kWh)
  • Bill savings ($)
  • Carbon reduction (MMTon)
  • Peak load reduction (MW & $/MW)
  • Home energy management
  • Qualitative customer benefits, such as health and safety

Program Value. Project provides at least one of the following values to ComEd:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy efficient electrification
  • Peak load reduction and non-wires alternatives
  • Increased adoption
  • Expanded and/or enhanced customer engagement
  • Long measure life
  • Cost-effective implementation


Portfolio Transferability. The technology or concept included in the project is likely to be well-suited for successful integration into the existing ComEd portfolio. This means the technology or concept included in the project exhibits real potential for energy savings and has enough technical and market maturity to be able to create adoption at scale in the near-to-mid-term.


Income Eligible and Disadvantaged Community (DAC) Benefits. While not a requirement, priority will be given to projects that provide value and benefits to these communities.


Quality of Idea/Pre-Proposal. A high-quality submission will clearly:

  • Define the project scope and expected outcomes, including how it will be researched, substantiated or achieved.
  • Explain how the subject technology or technology deployment tool/method are different from current technologies or technology deployment tools/methods, including why this project is different from any past and present research on the technology. The submission should provide energy, carbon or demand reduction estimates, with explanations or references for calculations and data.
  • Explain how the project will be executed, including identifying critical partners, and describing a clear path for completing the project and deliverables within the estimated budget and timeframe.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the market for the technology or technology deployment method the project will focus on, including barriers to adoption, relevant industry, size of industry in ComEd’s territory, etc. as well as feasible paths to engage the market.
  • Provide an estimated budget that is reasonable given the research objectives and associated tasks and partners.
  • As appropriate given the Project Type, establish a market and/or a direction for utilities to take to continue researching the technology or designing incentives for customer adoption.


Focus Area Alignment. While not a requirement, priority will be given to projects that align with the current set of focus areas (listed above).