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Project Launch: 04/01/2020

Partner: ILLUME Advising

This research surveyed customers and energy efficiency service providers to understand the barriers and drivers to adopting networked lighting controls.


There is growing industry recognition that networked lighting controls (NLC) may represent a significant source of potential future savings for utility energy efficiency programs. While ComEd’s NLC offering has been successful in adapting to and capturing an emerging market, there are still many barriers to customer adoption. ILLUME conducted qualitative research in the form of in-depth interviews with commercial and industrial customers and energy efficiency service providers.

These interviews explored:

  • Knowledge, perception and experience with NLC technologies
  • Primary motivators and perceived benefits/downsides to NLC installation
  • Perspectives on NLC equipment and current ComEd offerings
  • Business decisions and priorities
  • Equipment and system operation practices


The project team found that manufacturers are a critical source of education and expertise for customers installing and commissioning NLCs, and that small business energy efficiency service providers are trusted messengers for new and emerging technology offerings. However, differences exist between small business and larger commercial customers in their decision-making and desire for options in a NLC program offering. The research also suggested that including NLCs in a larger or full-service package offering may help overcome return on investment barriers.

The Emerging Technologies Team is using these findings in conjunction with overall portfolio planning efforts to shape future NLC research.

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