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ComEd Reveals Top Finalists in Student Innovation Contest

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Today ComEd announced the five finalists in its Student Innovation Contest, challenging college students 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. These finalists will present their proposals before industry leaders and entrepreneurs at an award ceremony on Oct. 23 for $10,000 in prize money.

The top five finalists are Peter Graff from the University of Chicago, Abiodun Iwayemi from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Christina Noonan from IIT, Ryan Reichelt from Midwestern University, and student team Xinli Lin and Szu Ying Ching from IIT.

The contest submissions include a device that visually alerts home occupants of the home’s current rate of electricity consumption, a pre-paid electricity card whose balance and energy usage can be tracked via smartphone, electronic devices that interface with a home’s smart meter or individual appliances and broadcasts energy usage data to a smartphone or tablet, and an app that helps homeowners budget a daily amount of electricity use and allows for monitoring throughout the day.

“Through this contest we are tapping tomorrow’s innovators to help us explore the opportunities to further increase the value that is provided to customers from smart grid and smart meter technology,” said Val Jensen, senior vice president of Customer Operations, ComEd. “Smart grid provides consistent, reliable energy to power innovation, and smart meters are at the heart of what we believe will become the basis for creating innovative solutions that customers will want and need.”

Launched in May, 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. The contest was open to individual students or team of two to five students (including recent graduates) attending any college or university within ComEd’s northern Illinois service area. Forty-four students or student teams registered to participate and the top five proposals were chosen by ComEd based on published contest criteria.

The Oct. 23 award show judges include 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.

View a compilation video of all submissions. 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.

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