Spokesperson Mary Jo Warskow from Elevate Energy encouraged and educated us about saving and using energy.  Her presentation touched on programs, technology, and knowledge available to us. She first talked about "Smart" meters being installed throughout the area, pointing out how they can benefit us and society.  She also discussed programs which may save consumers money, citing Hourly Electricity Pricing and Peak-time Savings.  There is an energy use assessment process available which can be helpful too, possibly in part because of a certification of energy savings improvements.  And she asked a question which could be of help when we see ads for energy saving products -- Where do we lose the most heat, the attic or walls/doors or windows?  The answer was 68% from the attic, 22% from walls/doors and 10% from windows.  Knowing this can help us decide where to we'll get the most return for our investment in home updates/improvements.
Mary Jo is Marketing and Outreach Coordinator for Elevate Energy, 322 S. Green Street - Suite 300, Chicago, IL  60607. Phone is 773-922-3018, MaryJo.Warskow@ElevvateEnergy.org.  For more about Elevate Energy, click/paste this link: http://www.elevateenergy.org/team/ .  It seems to be an interesting company in terms of goals and efforts.  For more details from her talk, click More.
In talking about Smart Meters, Mary Jo said they could help with efficiency, customer power generation, improved security and reduce peak usage.  Having such a meter can enable the user to receive notifications about outages at home.  There are reports available as part of the metering project which can give greater information and control to the homeowner.
The Peak Time savings program enables a user to save $1 for every kilowatt hour reduced.  She noted there aren't any penalties or risks.  Hourly electric pricing is available and can save 15% compared to standard pricing.
One can pay $99 for an energy use assessment or get it for free by having a house party about energy savings and conservation.  Having upgrades/inprovements certified through the program can be an additional tool when selling the house.
Questions included whether the meters permitted ComEd to curtail a homeowner's power and whether power companies are the main support of her organization.  She said no to both -- the meters can't do this and there isn't such control/support.