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Why Is a ComEd Nest Rebate Available in Illinois?

Why Is a ComEd Nest Rebate Available in Illinois?
Apr 01 2018

A ComEd Smart Thermostat Rebate exists for one reason in Illinois – programmable and smart thermostats save energy.  The Comed Nest Rebate, Comed Ecobee Rebate, and other smart thermostat rebates can help you explore this new technology. Since 2007, Illinois has been offering ComEd energy efficiency rebates and incentives to help encourage folks to make smart choices. They want to encourage us to make equipment upgrades that save energy, including smart thermostats, sensors, and control systems. 

Since smart thermostats have become popular in 2016 and 2017, we will focus on those thermostats in this article.  However, programmable thermostats do save energy and are eligible for a ComEd thermostat rebate. They just don’t save as much as smart thermostats.

How Do Smart Thermostats Save Money?

Smart thermostats basically save energy by acting like highly intelligent programmable thermostats. In addition, they can accept as many programs as you can think of, for any day of the week. Many of the programmable thermostats only allow a 5-2 program. This means you can set a schedule for Monday through Friday, as well as the weekend.

Setting back the temperature at night is a major way to save money, both on heating and cooling.  Not just when on vacation, but even just for the 8 hours that your home or business is basically unoccupied.  In fact, Energy Star states that you can save 10% by setting back the temperature 7 – 10 degrees for 8 hours at a time. With a Smart or Comed Nest rebate in Illinois, you can get an energy-efficient thermostat at a lower price.

How Much Do Smart Thermostats Cost?

Smart thermostats basically cost $160 to $400, depending on the model. Whether you are looking for a basic home unit or an advanced commercial unit, there are options.  After ComEd energy efficiency rebates, the cost can be as little as $60 for a home unit (not including installation) or $75 for a commercial unit (including installation).  Installation can typically be done by the homeowner or business owner unless you have complicated rooftop HVAC units.  Don’t be afraid to try yourself (on a mild day), and don’t feel bad if you need to get help. Each unit is different and I’ve seen even the best HVAC technician’s get stumped on what appear to be straightforward installations.  As long as it isn’t December and freezing outside, it is worth giving a shot for yourself.

Can I Get a ComEd Smart Thermostat Rebate and a Gas Utility Rebate on the Same Thermostat?

For residential, the answer is no in 2018.  In the past, there were combined Nest rebates in Illinois from People’s Gas, North Shore Gas, and Nicor Gas.  However, since the ComEd incentive is $100, this is really all you need to offset the cost of a smart thermostat if you don’t require professional installation.  Verde offers residential Nest and Smart thermostat installations for $99, but only if you need us.

For commercial customers in 2018, you are eligible for a combined $300 incentive for 0-100kW rated electric customers, as well as a $100 People’s Gas Incentive or $100 North Shore Gas incentive.  While the unit installed must be the ComEd Ecobee EMS Si with zigbee enabled capacity (a top of the line thermostat) – Verde offers this unit with installation and a 3 year warranty for $75 to businesses in People’s Gas and North Shore Gas territories.  For businesses in Nicor territory, Verde offers the ComEd Ecobee EMS Si for $175, as there currently is not a commercial Nicor Gas incentive for smart thermostats.

2019 IL Grant Guide

Can I Receive the ComEd Nest Rebate in Illinois if I Currently Have a Programmable Thermostat?

As of 2020, you are now able to claim a Comed Incentive when replacing a programmable thermostat. For smart thermostats replacing a programmable thermostat, your business may be eligible for $200. If your existing thermostat is a non-programmable thermostat, you would be eligible for a $250 incentive.

For homeowners, you are eligible for the ComEd smart thermostat rebate incentive regardless of your existing thermostat. You can buy this from the Comed Marketplace for instant discounts.

When Is a Nest Not Right for My Business

If your business has a split system for heating and cooling (furnace inside in a closet and air conditioning on the exterior roof or side of the building), then the Nest thermostat would be a good fit for you.

If you have a rooftop packaged HVAC system (heating and cooling are combined in one unit), then the answer depends. Modern rooftop units (RTUs) have advanced rooftop controls, which means that they have internal computerized systems that control their heating and cooling in complicated algorithms. They don’t just heat and cool, they heat and cool in different stages and with different levels of fan speed.

Nest can control up to two stages of heating and two stages of cooling. If your rooftop unit controls more than 2 stages of either, then the Nest is not a good fit.

Fans that move the air through your space can also sometimes have VFDs or variable frequency drives. Fans can run at two or three speeds, or even ramp from 0% up to 100% based on demand and usage. In this case, it depends. Nest would be the best point of contact through their technical support, or you can call the rooftop unit manufacture and ask them.

Our experience has been that it is better to call Nest first, but a good technician can help you determine this as well. Verde would be happy to provide a free commercial assessment to help you determine this, and we can install the Nest if you decide to move forward.


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