Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Start-up helps ComEd with energy saving pilot

Steve Rogerson
January 5, 2016
 
Nearly 6500 randomly selected ComEd customers with smart meters are participating in a six-month pilot that will help them efficiently manage and reduce their energy use and save money. The pilot is part of a partnership with Chicago-based electric utility ComEd, and MeterGenius, a Missouri start-up company focused on customer engagement for energy providers.
 
The partnership itself is an outcome of ComEd’s SmartGrid Exchange forum that connects the utility with local universities and start-ups to explore and design innovative products and services that help customers benefit from smart grid technology.
 
Pilot participants will have unlimited access to MeterGenius’ web and mobile applications, which will allow them to budget and track the details of their energy usage by the hour, day, week or month. They will also receive monthly communications with customisable tips on how to lower their electricity bills, and energy-efficient habit reminders such as defrosting the freezer on a regular basis to increase its efficiency.
 
“Innovative smart meter solutions benefit our customers by giving them control to monitor their energy use, lower their consumption and reduce their monthly electric costs,” said Val Jensen, ComEd’s senior vice president of customer operations.
 
In addition, by using MeterGenius’ tools, participating customers can earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards and energy efficient products, as well as register for weekly competitions with other programme participants to see who can lower their electricity consumption the most.
 
“By providing incentives for customers to control electricity use, we believe we can help promote sustainable energy habits while also helping customers save money,” said MeterGenius CEO Ty Benefiel. “We are thrilled to be working with ComEd on this project and hope this can be expanded upon in the future.”
 
MeterGenius, a technology start-up created in Northwestern University’s Nuvention energy entrepreneurship course, also won first place in the Illinois Clean Energy Student Challenge 2014, a business competition sponsored by the US Department of Energy and administered by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust. MeterGenius leverages the smart meter network to show participants their 30-minute usage data.