PEORIA, Ill. — Ameren Illinois, Google and Easterseals of Central Illinois are launching a pilot program that will service utility customers with disabilities.
Greg Doyle, an Easterseals client, recently had the smart thermostat and technology installed in his home. This technology is controlled by voice commands.
Doyle can change the temperature in his home, turn lights on and off, and control his fan all by saying a few words to his Google Home mini.
“I didn’t even know that this stuff existed,” Doyle said.
Angie Ostaszewski, an energy efficiency advisor for Ameren Illinois, said the company wants to learn how to better include all customers.
“To help them be more in control of their energy usage and more empowered in their daily lives,” Ostaszewski added.
Doyle said before the installation of this voice-command program he had a hard time controlling lights and the thermostat in his home.
“I’m a human bruise,” Doyle said. “I kind of fall down and didn’t see this or didn’t see that.”
Now, that is no longer an issue for him.
“I don’t have to worry about trying to find light switches in the dark which is always great and it kind of helps with the overall flow of my day,” he said.
Ostaszewski said people facing mobility challenges can save time and energy using this program.
“It’s just been a blessing I didn’t know this was possible I’m definitely grateful and they are spoiling me,” Doyle said.
Ameren also provides holiday lighting with dusk to dawn timers. Ostaszewski said the company hopes to bring this offer to more people and wants everyone to find more accessibility in their home while being energy efficient.