To help customers transition off of the 10-year rate freeze, ComEd, Chicago, Illinois, has enhanced its Customers Affordable Reliable Energy (CARE) Web site to include a number of tools to help customers manage their energy usage. The site now features a variety of new resources including home energy improvement how-to videos, a component for businesses, and a coupon for customers who conduct energy audits on their homes.

"With the recent transition off of a 10-year rate freeze, we are continuing efforts to educate our customers about the various tools available to assist them in managing their energy usage and potentially lowering their bills," said Anne Pramaggiore, senior vice president, ComEd regulatory and external affairs. "We urge our customers to utilize the resources on our Web site that will best meet their individual needs."

ComEd launched the site in July 2006 as part of its CARE initiative, to educate customers about the programs available to assist them in transitioning to new rates. After a 20% cut and 10-year freeze, electric rates have increased because the cost of energy has risen nationally, and ComEd's costs for conducting business have gone up.

Following are details about the new tools available to help customers manage their energy usage:

  • Energy Efficiency Showcase Update--The Energy Efficiency Showcase serves as a practical resource for customers who are looking for ways to make energy- and money-saving improvements to their homes. Customers can now click on the "Get Results" tab to view narrated how-to videos of actual energy-efficiency upgrades made to homes in Chicago and Rockford.

    Owners of the featured homes are expected to save 20-35 percent on their energy bills as a result of the energy efficiency improvements. Improvements included installing energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, weatherization, and mechanical system improvements. In 2007, ComEd will select several more homes of varying sizes, types, and ages throughout northern Illinois to receive a free CARE energy efficiency overhaul.
  • Business Customer Tools--New to the CARE site is a section tailored to meet the needs of business customers. A key resource now available is the Business Energy Analysis Tool, which helps businesses understand how they use energy. By answering a few simple questions, business managers can learn about their energy consumption breakdown, low-cost energy saving opportunities, cost savings from making energy efficiency upgrades, and usage comparison to similar businesses.

    In addition to the Business Energy Analysis Tool, the CARE site offers energy-saving tips for businesses with electric heat, as well as ideas for commercial and industrial businesses based on their specific industry and sector. It also offers discounted, energy-saving products through the Online Energy Store and the "Ask the Energy Doctor" feature.
  • Home Energy Analysis Tool--Customers can take an interactive online energy audit at http://www.comedcare.com/ to understand how they are using electricity and what they can do to reduce their bill. The ComEd Home Energy Analysis Tool includes energy-saving tips customized to the individual's home. Beginning next month, as part of ComEd's partnership with Energy Federation Incorporated, residential customers who complete the online energy audit can download a coupon for $10 off a product from ComEd's Online Energy Store.