Bringing Residential Real-time Pricing to Scale in Illinois

As the national debate on smart grid technologies rages, Illinois’ real-time pricing programs can serve as a valuable lesson to the nation. These programs have reduced participant’s electric usage and bills and are shifting usage to non-peak times of day, when electricity is cheaper to produce and our infrastructure is less congested. However, to lower electricity prices and improve reliability for everyone, the programs must have enough participants to significantly impact electricity markets. So far, Illinois’ programs have not garnered as much participation as anticipated. Consequently, they are not living up to their potential to benefit customers.

Three main factors limit enrollment: the price used to bill customers, the 12-month commitment period, and a chronic lack of marketing. CNT Energy has developed the following recommendations, based on our extensive experience as a program administrator, to address these issues. We believe they will increase enrollment dramatically and help these programs reduce electricity prices and increase reliability for all Illinois customers.

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