The Lumin app uses smart meter data to empower users to stay on top of their energy bills.

Bringing the Benefits of Smart Technology to Chicago Consumers

Many low- and moderate-income consumers in Chicago and beyond struggle with unpredictable energy bills. For these consumers, it’s too easy to fall behind on payments and too difficult to find assistance within a system that’s not set up for them.

Even someone like Maxine, who budgets every month, gets surprised now and then. Maxine has lived all 59 years of her life in Chicago. Each month, she diligently sets aside money for her utility bills, including electricity. But this past July — the hottest month on record — her bill was twice the amount it normally is at that time of year. She had to make cuts to other parts of her budget to avoid falling behind on her energy bill.

“If I knew how much I could spend, I would be stress-free.”

— MAXINE DAVIS, FROM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Lumin workshops teach users how to reduce their energy use.

It’s for people like Maxine that Delta created Lumin, an innovative, SMS-based service that uses smart meter data to empower low-income consumers in Chicago to pay their energy bill in a way that’s convenient for them, instantly access financial assistance when they need it, and reduce their energy use.

Developed in partnership with design firm IDEO and based on conversations with hundreds of Chicago residents like Maxine, Lumin empowers users to stay on top of their energy bills by providing real-time bill estimations based on usage, as well as flexible payment options. If Maxine falls behind, she can ask for help with a text and receive instant approval without having to leave her house. A small subsidy will be applied to her account, keeping her lights on and providing her with peace of mind.

Maxine looks forward to signing up as a Lumin member in 2017 when the beta version is rolled out: “I would put my two extra paychecks a year into that account. If I knew how much I could spend, I would be stress-free.”

Advancing energy innovation

Lumin empowers users to stay on top of their energy bills by providing real-time bill estimations based on usage, as well as flexible payment options.

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