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Commonwealth Edison Company Customer Applications Program – Objectives, Research Design, and Implementation Details
G. Horst

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) launched an ambitious and comprehensive pilot program designed to resolve uncertainties about how advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technology can be used to stimulate changes in residential electricity consumption. The study was launched in response to the Illinois Commerce Commission order in Docket 07-0566.

Industry determination of the value of AMI technology is incomplete because customer impacts have been determined from pilots and experiments that involved only two or three applications operated under varying design protocols. As a result, previous conclusions were somewhat generalized. The ComEd Customer Applications Program (CAP) was designed to address aspects of the shortcomings through implementation of a comprehensive and scientific pilot to test alternative price structures and enabling technologies.

The ComEd CAP is an 8,500-customer field trial of dynamic rates, enabling technology, customer education, and customer experience, using an opt-out customer enrollment methodology. Customers were assigned randomly to applications (treatments) that include alternative rate structures and enabling technologies. The rates entail time-of-use, inclining block rate schedules, and dynamic aspects that are routine (real-time pricing) or episodic (critical peak pricing and peak-time rebates) reflections of electricity supply prices. Enabling technology delivers information via several types of in-home displays, a web-based information system, and individualized comparative reports for each consumer.

This report provides a detailed description of how the CAP was designed, constructed, implemented, and deployed, including a depiction of the testable hypotheses that enable subsequent analyses of the results.

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