CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ComEd today announced a new milestone achieved in a program to advance the electrification of low-income homes across northern Illinois. To date, 56 single family homes have been retrofitted as part of ComEd’s Whole Home Electrification program, a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to convert single family and multi-unit homes to energy-saving, all-electric heating and cooling systems and appliances.
Through the Whole Home Electrification program, ComEd is investing $40 million to deliver no-cost retrofits to qualifying low-income customers through 2025. Since launching the program last year, ComEd has fully electrified 56 homes in Chicago, with hundreds of additional single family and multi-family units signed up to receive full home retrofits through the program. These residential customers will receive new heat pumps and other highly efficient electric technologies at no-cost, with a goal of reducing reliance on fossil fuels, eliminating carbon emissions, and lowering overall energy use, which can deliver net savings on energy bills.
“ComEd is committed to ensuring that all customers are able to access the benefits of clean energy technologies, including heat pumps and other home upgrades that can help lower energy usage and overall energy costs,” said ComEd CEO Gil C. Quiniones. “We’re proud to bring the benefits of home electrification to low-income customers, building on commitment to expanding programs that will enhance air quality for our communities and provide sustainable savings for the customers who need it most.”
The new Whole Home Electrification program prioritizes electrification for those who can benefit most from energy savings, a key priority identified in Illinois’ landmark Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). The program focuses on converting low-income homes – which tend to be older, use more energy, and located within community areas historically and disproportionately impacted by pollution. Placing these customers first in line for converting to all-electric technologies offers a way to prioritize lowering the energy burden for low-income customers.
Customers participating in the Whole Home Electrification offering may receive a range of ENERGY STAR-qualified upgrades to convert to all-electric energy systems, depending on the unique characteristics of their homes, including: heat pumps, which are essentially two-way air conditioners to provide year round heating and cooling; heat pump water heaters; induction or electric stoves; and electric or heat pump clothes dryers.
ComEd is working through partners – including Elevate, Resource Innovations, Franklin Energy, Chicago Bungalow Association and BlocPower – to deliver upgrades to customers who are eligible to participate in the program and to identify homes capable of realizing net energy savings as a result of going electric. Each home modification is different, with upgrades determined through a home assessment and completed by a qualified ComEd Energy Efficiency Service Provider (EESP).
"Resource Innovations couldn't be more excited to leverage our extensive experience in clean energy implementation to support ComEd’s Whole Home Electrification Program," said Resource Innovations CEO, Lauren Casentini. "With the power of our diverse network of authorized service providers, we're making the entire process of home electrification easy to access for the customers that need it the most."
Early data indicates that participating customers are expected to see significant cost and energy savings through participation in the program – with over $800 in expected annual savings, and high efficiency upgrades expected to save 22,000 kWh a year, the equivalent of conserving over 1,700 gallons of gasoline. Actual savings and energy usage will vary by customer, and depend on age of housing, type of equipment installed and other factors.
“The benefits of electrification can be incredibly meaningful to someone living in an older home, such as added cooling and lower energy bills,” said Anne Evens, CEO of Elevate. “Electrifying Chicago’s older building stock can be complex, and it’s been important for us to work in partnership on these projects. We’re excited to continue this work with ComEd and expand the impact of equitable electrification across the city.”
To be eligible to participate in the Whole Home Electrification program, customers must demonstrate annual income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), as well as other qualifying criteria determined through an assessment. Multi-Family buildings that provide housing the income-eligible tenants and buildings owned or managed by Public Housing Authorities are also eligible to participate. The program covers 100 percent of costs for single family homes and 70 percent for multi-family buildings.
“We’re so grateful to be a part of this program and to be able to offer homeowners increased energy security at a time when everyday living expenses are skyrocketing,” said Mary Ellen Guest, Executive Director of the Chicago Bungalow Association. “All of our members live in vintage homes, and many are disproportionately affected by climate change due to limited incomes—this program helps level the playing field and brings tremendous relief.”
ComEd and its partners continue to evaluate and connect with customers who may be eligible for whole home modifications, or other home electric upgrades available through the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program, which has collectively saved customers over $7 billion on energy bills in recent years.
The launch of the whole home electrification program is just one example of how ComEd is investing to increase adoption of modern, high efficiency electric technologies, a key priority outlined in the state’s landmark Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) law. To help its communities achieve new goals for lowering carbon emissions, ComEd is working to remove barriers to EVs and other electric technologies. To help customers unlock the benefits of clean transportation, ComEd launched the EV Toolkit.
Customers can also explore how to qualify for ComEd incentives that help lower the cost of purchasing and installing electric HVAC and appliances, including heat pumps, induction cooktops, and electric clothes dryers, by calling 1-855-433-2700, or visiting the ComEd’s Home Energy Savings page.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 250 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 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, Instagram and YouTube.