The ERC supports the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and their Illinois Energy Now programs in program planning/modeling, program design, and program implementation. The program planning/modeling includes working closely with the DCEO staff and their partners in modeling the entire program and assisting in preparing the DCEO three year plan submitted and approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission and utilized by DCEO to implement their Illinois Energy Now program.
The program design efforts include identifying energy saving opportunities and creating a program aimed at improving that specific market. Through our research and monitoring of daily activities we are able to obtain a clear understanding of the energy use across the state of Illinois. When we observe an unmet demand in the market, we investigate why current savings are not taking place. We collaborate with industry experts and interview members of the public market sector to understand their needs (technical, financial, and market) and work with our DCEO partners to develop cost effective programs that can benefit the market sectors. Program implementation includes testing the program design in a pilot activity and once proven, expanding the program into full implementation. This includes finalizing program guidelines, program application forms, and educating the end users and trade allies. Incentives for the programs are designed to cover a portion of the incremental cost associated with the efficiency measures.
The ERC creates the program applications, staffs live events, markets the program on the internet and at workshops geared toward public sector clients and trade allies. The ERC works to ensure that clients and contractors understand their roles and makes sure that applying for program participation is easy. The ERC reviews applications, performs site visits, collects and enters data into the State Energy Office reporting system, and responds to market changes by adapting programs when necessary.