ComEd Announces Winner of Student Innovation Contest

Collaborative initiative empowers low-income customers to take advantage of smart grid and smart meter benefits

CHICAGO — Student team Xinli Lin and Szu Ying Ching from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) took first in ComEd’s Student Innovation Contests. More than 60 students from colleges and universities across northern Illinois registered for the contest, which challenged students in ComEd’s service area to envision products, services or software apps that leverage smart meter technology to help low-income customers better manage their electricity use and save money.

The first place winners were awarded a check by ComEd totaling $5,000 for their winning concept, which included a prepaid electricity program, featuring a prepaid value card, real time tracking of account balances, and the presentation of customized energy savings tips and rewards.

The contest launched in May and the top five finalists presented their concepts during an awards ceremony held on Oct. 23 to a panel of industry judges, including Karen Weigert, chief sustainability officer, City of Chicago; Andrea Zopp, president and CEO, Chicago Urban League; Jason Blumberg, CEO and managing director, Energy Foundry; and Emile Cambry, CEO, Blue 1647.

The finalists included Abiodun Iwayemi, from IIT (second place); Ryan Reichelt from Midwestern University (third place); student team Hamsel de la Cruz, Steven Krejcik, Nick Savidge and Peter Graff from the University of Illinois at Chicago (fourth place); and Christina Noonan from IIT (fifth place), each receiving a portion of prize money.

“We were hugely impressed with all the ideas that were submitted in this competition and congratulate each of the finalists on their innovative concepts and presentations,” said Val Jensen, senior vice president of Customer Operations, ComEd. “Innovation is key to helping us expand the value proposition offered by smart grid and smart meter technology to our customers, and we believe that tapping tomorrow’s innovators is a great way to realize the added benefits of a smart utility infrastructure system.”

The Student Innovation Contest is part of ComEd’s SmartGridExchangeSM initiative, a collaboration between ComEd, technology companies, universities and customers to spur innovation that will shape what the electric grid of the future will offer.

For more information on ComEd’s Student Innovation Contest, visit

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 6.6 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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