ComEd launches nation's first energy efficiency education program for adults with developmental disabilities Program to hire people with disabilities as liaisons to peers
CHICAGO, Oct. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ComEd today announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind energy efficiency program designed for and taught by individuals with developmental disabilities. The program is the first to be organized by a U.S. utility company.
Tens of thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities live in assisted living communities or with their families across Illinois, where many are responsible for their energy usage.
"Ensuring that all our customers have the tools to manage their energy use and save money is a priority. What better way to do that than equipping individuals to teach their peers?" said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO, ComEd. "We are committed to serving the communities where our customers and employees live and work and this innovative new program is an important part of that."
"My colleagues in the General Assembly and I are constantly working to help remove obstacles and make sure that each Illinoisan can live life to their fullest potential," said Rep. Esther Golar, chair of the House Disability Services Committee. "By empowering individuals with developmental disabilities with the knowledge and tools to save energy and money, they can achieve a higher level of independence and pride."
"Introducing the nation's first energy efficiency education program for adults with developmental disabilities right here in Illinois is a demonstration of fiscal and environmental responsibility," said Sen. William Delgado, chair of the Senate Public Health Committee. "Our hope is for this to grow into a sustainable program that will bring value and improve the lives of thousands of Illinois residents."
"Thanks to ComEd, this program is going to educate individuals with developmental disabilities on available low-cost or no-cost options in helping them manage and understand their energy costs and reduce their energy usage," said Rep. Mary Flowers, chair of the House Health Care Availability and Accessibility Committee.
ComEd is partnering with eight nonprofit organizations throughout Chicago that work with people with developmental disabilities, including: Clearbrook (Arlington Heights), Easter Seals Chicago, El Valor (Chicago), Gigi's Playhouse (Aurora), Lambs Farm (Libertyville), Misericordia (Chicago), Neumann Family Services (Chicago) and Special Olympics Chicago.
Each of the nonprofit organizations nominated an individual to serve as an ambassador. ComEd trained each of the ambassadors and staff from their respective organizations, equipping them to create fun, interactive demonstrations that provide easy and simple energy-efficiency tips to a larger audience.
ComEd will assist the organizations to identify existing events on their calendars or create new outreach events during the fall that allow the ambassadors to return to their organizations and share their knowledge about energy-efficiency techniques. Each participating organization will conduct eight to 10 outreach events before the end of the year.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 6.6 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population.