American utility service provider Ameren Illinois has announced a plan to put 300,000 smart thermostats in homes and businesses, as part of the company’s commitment to help customers become energy efficient.
The announcement was made with support from Illinois Commerce Commission, the Environmental Law & Policy Center, and smart thermostat makers ecobee and Nest.
Ameren Illinois customers will be able to purchase a qualified ENERGY STAR® smart thermostat and apply online to receive a US$100 discount.
An instant smart thermostat rebate and an online marketplace will be available in the next few weeks to make the process easier.
Rebates are being provided through energy efficiency program funding approved by the ICC under the landmark Future Energy Jobs Act.
The initiative also seeks to get smart thermostats into the homes of income-eligible customers. Those qualified can now have one of the devices installed for free as part of the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program.
“We made a bold commitment to ensure that benefits of energy efficiency would be available to all of our customers, especially those with limited financial means,” said Ameren Illinois Chairman and President Richard Mark.
Proven Record to Conserve Energy
Easy to install and operate, use of a smart thermostat can save between 10 and 15 percent on heating and cooling costs. The devices enable customers to adjust settings on the go via smartphone apps. Additionally, many smart thermostats models can sense when the residents are away from home and automatically modify the temperature, which further reduces energy usage.
“Smart thermostats will empower Ameren Illinois residential and business customers to better manage their energy usage, and give them more control over their monthly bill,” said Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Brien Sheahan.
“Smart thermostats will help consumers to stop cooling and heating empty homes,” said Rob Kelter, Senior Attorney for the Environmental Law & Policy Center. Ameren Illinois is helping its customers save money and reduce pollution at the same time, he said.
The initiative is bolstered by the involvement of multiple smart thermostat brands, including Nest and ecobee. Nest thermostats are said to have helped customers save more than 22 billion kilowatt-hours of energy since 2011 around the world.
ecobee introduced the world’s first smart Wi-Fi thermostat to help homeowners save money, conserve energy and live more comfortably. “We applaud the commitment that Ameren Illinois is making, and are thrilled to offer the Ameren Illinois customers a better way to save on their energy bill and reduce their carbon footprint,” said Stuart Lombard, president and CEO of ecobee.
Ameren Illinois said over the past nine years it has helped customers reduce their energy usage by nearly 12 million megawatt-hours, saving them approximately US$781 million. This improved energy efficiency has enabled Ameren Illinois customers to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 8.3 million metric tons – the equivalent of taking 1.8 million cars off the road for a year.