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Exelon Marks Successful First Year of Comprehensive Low-Carbon Strategy by Reaffirming 2020 Emissions Reduction Targets

Nation’s largest electric and gas utility will expand opportunities for customers to reduce their emissions



CHICAGO (July 1, 2009) - One year after Exelon unveiled its strategy to eliminate the equivalent of its 2001 carbon footprint by 2020, the company continues to work toward its goal, including new efforts to help the customers and communities it serves to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To report on its progress to date and how the economic landscape has reshaped its options for achieving its goal, Exelon has published a one-year update, which is available at

Exelon 2020 is the company's comprehensive strategy to reduce, offset or displace more than 15 million metric tons of GHG emissions per year by 2020 by greening its own operations, helping customers and the communities Exelon serves reduce their GHG emissions, and offering more low-carbon electricity in the marketplace. The 2009 update reports that Exelon so far has reduced more than one-third, or 6 million metric tons, of its GHG emissions.

"We have demonstrated already that we are capable of achieving meaningful carbon reductions," said Exelon Chairman and CEO John W. Rowe. "But Exelon still has considerable work to do, and we have picked most of the low-hanging fruit."

Exelon has relied on greening its operations to achieve the bulk of its emissions reductions to date. It also has announced plans to offer substantial new low-carbon electricity in the marketplace by raising the output of Exelon nuclear plants and investing in new renewable energy projects. Going forward, the company will increase its investment in customer initiatives to continue progress toward its 2020 goal. Exelon's energy delivery companies - ComEd in northern Illinois and PECO in southeastern Pennsylvania - will spend more than $350 million through 2011 on energy efficiency and demand response programs that will help residential and business customers reduce their energy consumption by more than 1.6 million MWh and reduce peak load by 226 MW.

Just last month, ComEd introduced an Advanced Metering Infrastructure pilot program that will provide automated "smart" meters to as many as 141,000 customers, allowing them to use real-time electricity usage data to better manage their electricity bills and reduce energy consumption. Also, after the first year of its energy efficiency programs, ComEd has sold nearly 3 million discounted compact fluorescent light bulbs, recycled close to 12,000 appliances, and is saving customers more than $20 million in annual energy costs. Just today, PECO filed a plan with regulators to spend $342 million on customer programs to reduce overall electricity consumption by 3 percent and peak load by 4.5 percent by 2013. Another filing this summer will propose the deployment of two-way smart meters to PECO's 1.6 million customers.

Beyond Exelon's one-third reduction in emissions, other achievements reported at the one-year mark include:

  • Completing a 38 MW nuclear uprate, the first of many planned uprates that could yield 1,300 to 1,500 MW of additional, virtually GHG-free capacity - the equivalent output of a new advanced nuclear reactor - by 2017, without turning a spade of earth
  • Reducing energy usage across Exelon's facilities by 16 percent from 2001 levels
  • Recycling or reusing more than 30 million pounds of scrap metal and other solid material and 700,000 gallons of oil in 2008 alone
  • Acquiring 198 MW of wind farm output, 4.8 MW of landfill gas output and 4.5 MW of solar output
  • Unveiling plans for the nation's largest urban solar power plant (10 MW) in Chicago.

The one-year update also shows how the flexibility of the company's plan will allow it to respond to two potential scenarios for the future U.S. economic recovery - one more optimistic in its assumptions, and one more pessimistic - and examines how each would affect the potential requirements for achieving Exelon's 2020 goal.

"Since we prepared the initial Exelon 2020 analysis, economic growth has slowed and the natural gas prices that set the market price for electricity have plummeted," said Rowe. "Technologies that once looked attractive are less so, and other technologies that once looked prohibitively expensive look more reasonable. As such, we are continually reassessing our options for reducing emissions and adjusting our strategy accordingly."

Exelon's 2009 update also reaffirms the company's position that although it will not wait for Washington to act, it is encouraged by recent progress Congress has made on climate legislation.

"To fully realize our goal - and for other companies and our society to realize national greenhouse gas reduction goals - we need focused federal action," Rowe said. "With the House's passage of the Waxman-Markey bill last week, the nation is one step closer to enacting comprehensive climate change legislation during this Congress. Exelon will continue to work with policymakers in the Senate to encourage the adoption of a sound national energy policy that balances the need to protect consumers, business and the economy with the urgent need to reduce our nation's greenhouse gas emissions."