Through grantmaking, we’re working to create a more energy literate society that’s ready for the smart grid.

Our century-old power grid is upgrading to a smart grid. By 2020, most Illinois homes will have a smart electric meter. Our mission is to empower a community of organizations to make sure everyone understands smart meters and how to benefit from them.

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The smart grid is changing how people engage with energy.

New tools, behaviors, and attitudes need to accompany major electrical infrastructure upgrades. Our funding supports programs that empower the diversity of Illinois residents to become actively engaged in their energy usage.

Program Focus Areas

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ISEIF is a unique model in the energy world.


We address the human and community sides of energy and the electric grid. Through the use of data and stories, we’re learning what it takes to get consumers energized about the smart grid.


From Our Blog

Watch “Empowered: An Energy Story”

Empowered has played for over a million guests as part of the Shedd Aquarium’s aquatic show. Focusing on responsible energy use, the video highlights the many [...]

Three Little Questions – Bob Wengel at The Shedd Aquarium

Did you ever wish you could ask someone who does something really cool for a living three little questions to understand their world better? We’ve [...]

Nudging people into saving energy

How can behavioral science add to our understanding of how people think about energy? Cass Sunstein’s keynote talk at the Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change [...]

Tilting at Windmills – and Winning

As part of our Surge Summit in September, ISEIF staff took the time to tour some local sustainable businesses. I got to go on the [...]

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