Startup created at Northwestern partners with ComEd on energy use program

Benjamin Din, Digital Projects Editor

A customer engagement startup created at Northwestern has partnered with Commonwealth Edison, the largest electric utility in Illinois, to launch a pilot program for ComEd customers to track and improve their energy consumption habits.

The startup, MeterGenius, uses an online customer portal to give users increased access to their energy use data. Currently based in St. Louis, the company was created by four NU graduate students in 2013 as a part of the sustainable energy track of the entrepreneurship course NUvention.

The partnership was established through SmartGridExchange, a forum for ComEd to connect with local universities and startups focused on smart grid technology.

Through the program, nearly 6,500 randomly selected ComEd customers with smart meters will have unlimited access to the startup’s web and mobile applications for six months. The applications will help customers track their energy usage with data from smart meters, devices that energy utilities use to monitor and bill customers’ energy consumption.

Customers who use MeterGenius tools are able to earn points, which can be redeemed for rewards such as gift cards and energy-efficient products. They can also compete with other program participants to see whose electricity use can be reduced the most.

“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,” Val Jensen, ComEd’s senior vice president of customer operations, said in a news release.

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