CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush, the Chatham Business Association and ComEd announced a new pilot program to train 10 residents of Chatham and neighboring communities in outreach efforts to secure the installation of smart meters at local residences that will give customers access to greater savings once in place. The program participants will be trained by ComEd to talk to customers about the benefits of smart meters in an effort to help installers gain access to the existing meters. This pilot came as a result of a call to action by Rep. Rush to bring jobs and economic development to the Greater Chatham area.
“I commend ComEd and the Chatham Business Association for launching this initiative in Chatham. By pairing employment opportunity with consumer education on energy efficiency, the entire community stands to gain. ComEd’s pilot program provides an example of the type of investment and collaboration that I encourage other corporations to follow. They can provide the impetus to turn Chatham around,” said Rep. Rush.
“This digital smart-meter system will not only better power our homes and create real savings for families; it will also power job creation in our neighborhoods like Chatham," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I applaud Congressman Rush and ComEd for partnering together to make sure that residents in Chatham have the skills and training to take part in this exciting 21st-century technological innovation that is bringing with it greater value to customers across Chicago and well-paying, middle-class jobs to families in Chatham.”
"The Chatham Business Association (CBA) has been working with local officials to bring new opportunities to residents of the Chatham neighborhood,” said Melinda Kelly, Executive Director of Chatham Business Association. “CBA is glad to partner in this business savvy smart meter pilot program launched in Chatham. In week one, CBA’s Community Outreach team was able to contact 903 addresses, schedule 45 appointments and eliminate 83 vacant properties from ComEd’s Unable To Complete (UTC) list, bringing the benefits of smart meters and cost savings to area residents. If electric bills go down due to energy efficiency, that means more money in people’s pockets to spend in our neighborhood businesses, thus directly helping small businesses that are thriving in our community. On behalf of CBA’s Board of Directors, I would to thank Congressman Rush for his leadership and ComEd for working with CBA to create an innovative model program that creates jobs with economic value in our community.”
“More than 3,600 full time equivalent jobs have been created as a result of Smart Grid work in northern Illinois,” said ComEd President and CEO Anne Pramaggiore. “This pilot program will help ComEd ensure all customers in the area can benefit from smart meter technology while meeting the need for jobs in the Chatham area. We are pleased to have worked with the Chatham Business Association and Rep. Rush to bring this program to the area.”
The pilot is expected to last for three months and the results will be reviewed by all parties to determine next steps.
Last year ComEd committed to bringing additional meter reader and customer service jobs to the Chatham area. Several Chatham area residents have applied and begun filling those positions.
Public officials who support the endeavor include: 8th Ward Alderman Michelle Harris, 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer, 34th Ward Alderman and Budget Chair Carrie Austin, Senator Donnie Trotter, Congressman Danny Davis and Commissioner Richard Boykin
Chatham Business Association Small Business Development Inc. (“CBA”) is a non-for-profit organization formed with a mission to promote political and economic stability in Chatham over 43 years ago. Since then as a result of our expertise in small business growth and development our market has expanded to serving businesses throughout the City of Chicago and State of Illinois. CBA’s purpose is to serve as a vehicle for enhancing social and economic growth of Chatham and surrounding communities by creating opportunities and programs that promote community stability.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 6.6 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.