The Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF) was created to inform and engage Illinois consumers in the transformation to a digital electric grid. ISEIF accomplishes this through funding innovative education, outreach, and research projects in correspondence with smart meter deployment timelines.
Our mission is to empower consumers to understand and adopt smart grid technologies and related programs; to create positive changes in consumer behavior related to patterns of energy use; and to transform cultural norms regarding the relationship between the consumer, the utility and energy consumption.
ISEIF’s Community of Practice
A community of practice is a group of people who work in a shared domain, share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. It’s bound together through relationships, trust, history, and commitments. It shares tools, resources, and ways of doing and approaching things that are shared among community members.
Our community of practice is comprised of our grantees who represent a range of engagement approaches connected to amplifying the benefits of the smart grid to people. Two overlapping cohorts of organizations meet regularly, share approaches and tools, connect each other, and ultimately play a role in advancing the shared agenda of furthering energy literacy. The success of the smart grid will depend in part on consumers taking a more proactive role in managing their energy use—our community of practice is working on creative and inclusive ways to achieve that.
In 2011, the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act set the stage for Illinois to make a significant investment in modernizing its outdated electric infrastructure. These physical investments will create a statewide smart grid that is more reliable and efficient, and will deliver economic and environmental benefits to consumers in the form of more energy choices and new technology, including clean energy resources. One of the key building blocks for creating a smart electricity network is the smart meter. Illinois’ future deployment of nearly five million smart meters represents a landmark effort – it is one of the largest and most comprehensive statewide plans for grid modernization in the nation. The digital smart meter provides opportunities to every consumer to be a part of the game-changing smart grid economy in which they are empowered and informed through unprecedented access to their energy use data.
Illinois power providers Ameren and ComEd recognized the opportunity for investment in the emerging smart grid economy and in the consumers that will power it, and the result was a $72.5 million investment to create two funds under the same umbrella: ISEIF and the Energy Foundry. While ISEIF invests in educational infrastructure, Energy Foundry invests in technological infrastructure by offering capital and turn-key support to locally grown smart grid innovations. Together, they are essential pillars in the smart grid economy, supporting market creation and consumer empowerment through investing in two areas: innovative technology and its main adopters, people.
Through our consumer education initiatives, ISEIF will foster positive change for Illinois consumers. ISEIF was created in the 2011 Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act as a private not-for-profit organization, funded by ComEd and Ameren to help consumers understand and harness the benefits of a more modern, efficient electric grid.