ISEIF funds new projects to engage consumers about smart grid and home energy management technology

Industry: Environment

Over a million smart meters have been installed in Illinois. Educating consumers about the technology and programs enabled by smart meters is key to energy savings.

Chicago, Illinois (PRUnderground) June 25th, 2015

Today the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF) announced a new cohort of grantees. This marks the fourth cohort that has been funded through the foundation for the purpose of educating and readying consumers to reap the benefits of the smart electric grid, including engagement of energy usage data monitoring, smart energy management technology, and connected home devices.

Grantees in this cohort will, through a variety of approaches, further consumer education about the smart grid and technology enabled by it.  Education and outreach projects funded this cycle are:

  • Delta Institute: Renewed for a project that teams up with world renown design firm IDEO to develop and test a product that uses human-centered design principles to more effectively translate smart meter insights for senior and low-income consumers in Chicago;
  • Partnership for Intelligent Energy Efficiency: Through partnerships with product developers, university faculty, municipal leaders, and nonprofit educational organizations throughout the state, this project will identify the gaps between consumers and smart grid technology, and develop strategies for smart grid-related technologies to reach mainstream consumers;
  • Kindling Group: In its renewal project, the Kindling Group will continue to add to its approachable and engaging suite of media tools related to the smart grid. In their first project year, they developed the first-ever Spanish language smart grid literacy graphics for all ISEIF grantees to use for outreach activities. The graphics will help organizations access the state’s Spanish-speaking population, comprising 18% of the state’s total population.

ISEIF has also announced grantees selected for its small grants program. Now in its second cycle, the small grants program provides funding to smaller neighborhood and community organizations for convening their established audiences for smart grid education opportunities through ISEIF’s larger outreach organizations with energy education expertise. This cycle’s small grant program recipients are:

  • Erie Neighborhood House, a social service agency that works with low-income and immigrant communities in Chicago’s northwest side, will integrate information about programs that can help people save money using their smart meters into their financial literacy and counseling programs;
  • Legal Prep Charter Academy, a high school for students in West Garfield Park and Chicago’s West Side, will educate parents and staff about the smart grid at select events hosted by the school.

About Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF)

The Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF) is the largest independent smart grid consumer education fund in the country, dedicated to educating Illinois consumers on the benefits of a stronger electrical system that will save residents billions by reducing outages, increasing efficiencies, and providing faster restoration times. ISEIF was formed as a part of the Illinois Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2011 (EIMA), or, the Smart Grid Law, which mandated the creation of a $50 million fund ($5 million per year over ten years) to ensure consumers understand and have access to the benefits of the new smart grid and enhanced energy literacy. The EIMA statute requires a 30% allocation of total grants toward hard-to-reach populations such as low income and seniors.

Our mission is to empower consumers to understand and adopt smart grid technologies and related programs; to create positive changes in consumer behavior related to patterns of energy use; and to transform cultural norms regarding the relationship between the consumer, the utility, and energy consumption. For more information visit

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