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Smart Grid History: IL’s First Peak Time Savings Hours ever!

When Judy Cashen got the call from ComEd last Thursday morning announcing the summer’s first Peak Time Savings Hours, she jumped into action.

The retiree, who lives in Chicago’s Pullman Historic District, turned off her air conditioning unit in order to earn credit back on her bill for cutting energy use as part of ComEd’s Peak Time Savings program.

Even though she was tempted to crank the AC on a warm day, she thought, “We can live four hours without it.”


Peak Time Savings Hours are periods on the hottest days of the summer when ComEd gives program participants the option of delaying heavy power usage to earn bill credits. ComEd expects to call three to five Peak Time Savings periods per summer. The periods will typically occur for a few hours between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Judy first heard about the program in CUB’s newsletter, The CUB Voice. She was convinced to finally sign up when the ComEd worker who installed her digital smart meter said that he was joining, as well.

“Well, if he’s going to, I’m going to,” she said.  “I thought it would be worth checking out.”

Enrolled customers received calls, emails or texts the morning of July 23 stating that the first Peak Times Savings Hours of the year would occur that day from noon to 4 p.m. During that time, customers could earn $1 for each kWh they saved compared to their typical electric use.

In addition to the money she saved by cutting back on electricity use, Cashen earned a $3.67 credit on her bill for the few simple actions she took during the designated time period.  She says that she is happy with the results and would recommend the risk-free program to others, as well.

CUB staffers Laura, Bryan and Christie are also all Peak Time Savings participants who earned credit for cutting down. (Way to go, you three!)  Christie was kind enough to show us her earnings email, which you can see below.


Christie earned $6.80 back on her bill for cutting 6.8 kWh.  She’s on track to earn $20 in credits this summer.

If you would like more information on Peak Time Savings, read CUB’s fact sheet.  Enrollment is open for the summer of 2016 for customers with digital smart meters.