Utility Brings Customer Education Campaign to Michigan Avenue

ComEd is putting a new twist on promoting energy efficiency among customers. In partnership with the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association (GNMAA) and Leo Burnett, 24 topiaries shaped like compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs -- the spiral-shaped, energy-saving ones -- will grace the garden beds of Michigan Avenue.

Standing approximately three feet tall amongst the flowers of The Magnificent Mile, the green bulbs are meant to educate Michigan Avenue shoppers about energy efficiency in a light-hearted, yet thought-provoking way. Curious passersby will be able to read about CFL bulbs on an information plaque designed in a style typical of horticultural signage, authentic right down to the Latin "species" name (Compactus fluorescent illuminus bulbus). The bulbs will be equipped with energy-efficient lighting to help tell their story during the evening hours. In addition, two larger 8-foot installations will grace Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo and Rockford's Sinnissippi Park later in June.

Leo Burnett partnered with ComEd to conceive this installation as a way to promote the use of CFL bulbs, which use 75 percent less energy than traditional bulbs and last up to 10 times longer, saving on energy costs. Information on a new program to provide incentives for efficient lighting will be available on http://www.ComEd.com within the next few weeks.

The topiaries are an integral part of ComEd's latest advertising campaign to raise awareness about energy efficiency and environmental impact in its Northern Illinois service territory. In the multi-platform campaign encompassing TV, radio, out-of-home and print ads, ComEd is asking customers to "Go Green. Save Green." through the company's various environmental programs and offers.

"This campaign is a part of ComEd's ongoing commitment to helping our customers conserve energy, save money and benefit the environment," said Anne Pramaggiore, executive vice president of Customer Operations, Regulatory and External Affairs, ComEd. "We hope that the topiaries will increase awareness of a very important message -- that CFL bulbs are a simple, easy way to make a difference, both in the environment and on your bill."

ComEd will hold an event in front of 700 N. Michigan Ave., from 6 to 10:30 a.m. Wed., June 11, to showcase the new CFL topiaries and go directly to customers with its energy efficiency message. A special stationary bike installation will provide a real-life comparison of energy savings by measuring the amount of physical energy required to power a CFL bulb versus a traditional bulb. ComEd customers will be invited to pedal the bike that powers the bulbs, showing the difference in energy in a very tangible way. Additionally, the ComEd Energy Doctor will be on-site to discuss the importance of conserving energy and provide tips on how to "go green" at no- or low-cost, while street teams hand out free CFL bulbs to passersby.

As main sponsor of the Gardens of The Magnificent Mile campaign, ComEd's topiaries will be a part of the garden's broader seasonal exhibit that includes a combination of fashion and flowers from green-friendly designer and student creations. The exhibit begins in June and lasts through September.

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