ComEd is a division of the Exelon Corporation, an energy provider to 70 percent of the state of Illinois, where it recently launched the first energy efficiency program of its kind geared toward people with disabilities. Across the “Prairie State,” tens of thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities are responsible for their energy usage, whether they reside in assisted living communities or with their families.
Recently ComEd rolled out a unique peer-to-peer teaching program. Through community-based organizations, it set out to find ambassadors to provide useful, energy and cost-saving information to people with developmental conditions. “We are committed to serving the communities where our customers and employees live and work; this innovative new program is an important part of that,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO of ComEd.
To launch the innovative platform, the company selected eight community-based organizations that work with a population with developmental disabilities, and each organization nominated its own ambassador. ComEd trained these individuals, along with staff from their respective departments, using fun, interactive demonstrations providing simple energy tips. The company assisted the participants with finding existing events and creating new ones that allowed ambassadors to perform outreach and share their knowledge base.
“The first 12 months of ComEd’s Energy Force proved the program works, gets meaningful results and saves money for ambassadors, audience members and their families,” says Martha Swaney, senior communications specialist for ComEd. The program also instills confidence and a sense of leadership among the ambassadors, who earn a stipend to cover their costs and the time they invest in the program.
Building on the success of ComEd’s first year, Energy Force ambassadors are expanding beyond educating and empowering their peers to educating Illinoisans from multiple regions and all walks of life, engaging them in taking the simple steps to save energy and money at home.
ComEd has expanded the program to 10 partner organizations in this, its second year,
by Marge Plasmier