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Cash for Clunkers? Yes, for clunker lights

November 12, 2010

Businesses in the Chicago area can upgrade to more energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, under an incentive program sponsored by Commonwealth Edison. ComEd’s "Smart Ideas for Your Business" program reimburses up to 50 percent of the installation cost of energy-efficient upgrades.

Whether a dealership is large or small or whether its facility is new or old, upgrading to energy-efficient equipment can provide savings that go right to the bottom line. And the Smart Ideas program helps accelerate a businesses’ payback.

The program has provided about $36 million in incentives to help business customers save some $50 million in energy costs. The incentives help businesses make improvements in lighting, HVAC, motors, and other energy-using equipment.

Many businesses start by focusing on lighting — upgrading obsolete T12 fluorescent lighting indoors and high-pressure sodium lighting outdoors to energy-saving fluorescent, LED and induction lighting. Next up often is heating, ventilation and air conditioning, which can account for as much as 30 percent of a building’s annual energy use.  

Interested? Most non-residential ComEd customers can participate in the utility’s "Smart Ideas for Your Business" program. For more information, visit, and read fact sheets and case studies to help get started, plus applications and a list of contractors that have been trained on the program and its paperwork.

Or, call the program hotline at (888) 806-2273, or send an e-mail to