ComEd & Nicor Home Energy Assessment – A Personal Follow-up

ComEd and Nicor Energy Efficiency Program (Photo by John Hudzik)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A few weeks ago, I wrote an article for eNews Park Forest about free Home Energy Assessment offered through ComEd and Nicor.  To be honest, the program seemed too good to be true.  To check it out, I signed up for an assessment of my house in Park Forest.

The online sign-up process did not work for me for some reason, so I called (855-433-2700) to schedule the appointment.  That process was very quick, and I was able to schedule an appointment for about a week out.  While a virtual assessment was available, I opted to have a representative make an in-home visit after being assured that the representative would follow strict safety protocols.

After receiving several email and text reminders about the appointment, my representative, Demetrious, arrived promptly at 8 a.m. as scheduled and after he called while on his way.  Demetrious explained that he worked for Franklin Energy, which is contracted by ComEd and Nicor for the assessment program.  Throughout his visit, he was extremely courteous, professional, and wore a mask and booties.

The assessment took just over an hour.  Demetrious checked each room and offered energy-saving tips as needed.  Every time that he identified a lightbulb that was not an LED, he changed it (32 in total) and returned the old ones to me.

There was a quick check of the furnace (old, but in good shape), the air conditioner (even older, but still working well), as well as the hot water heater, washer, dryer, dishwasher, and refrigerator.  He gave his assessment as to how energy efficient each appliance was but there was no judgment.

A new faucet aerator was installed in one bathroom, but because of the style of the faucet in the other bath, he was unable to replace it without potentially damaging the fixture.  New water-saving showerheads would have been installed at no charge to replace the basic versions, but again not needed in my house.

The program does offer a basic programmable thermostat for free, or a NEST thermostat at a discounted price, but as I already have a NEST, we kept moving. 

I did purchase a smart power strip that minimizes power draws from various electronic items even when turned off (e.g., game consoles).  The cost was $10.  I found the exact same model available at Amazon for $35 — nice savings.

Finally, Demetrious provided a self-installation kit which includes a door sweep and weatherstripping for the front door.  The kit also includes a 5-minute shower timer to help shorten my morning shower.  (That one is just not going to happen.)  He also left a folder containing a wide variety of energy-saving tips and available rebates from both ComEd and Nicor.

According to the report that I was sent shortly after the assessment, my expected annual savings are $116, mainly from the installation of the LED lights.  This is less than the estimated $170 quoted on the ComEd website since I did not need many of the offered items, but it is still a nice savings.

Is the assessment worth the time and effort involved?  Based on my experience with Demetrious, the 32 LED bulbs, the aerator, the reduced price power strip, and the projected $116 in savings, the answer is yes, and I would strongly encourage others to sign up.  This is a program that delivers on its promises.