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US energy provider ComEd has secured an approval to reduce consumer energy bills from the Illinois Commerce Commission.

ComEd will reduce delivery service charges by $24 million as from January 2019.

This is the third time since 2012 for ComEd to reduce its energy charges.

The need to reduce consumer energy charges is a result of improved grid efficiency owing to smart grid investments made by the utility since 2012.

Smart grid technologies have helped ComEd reduce the frequency and duration of outages by nearly 50% and bills by 14% since 2008.

ComEd’s per kilowatt-hour residential rates trend below the average across the entire US, including 11% below rates in the top 20 utilities and 17% below the top 10 US cities by population as of June 2018.

The utility is increasing its focus in smart technologies as part of the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) that took effect in 2017.

The FEJA authorises ComEd to invest $1.4 billion over four years in smart grid programmes to achieve $7 billion in consumer savings and to eliminate 95 billion pounds of carbon emissions.

To date, the utility has implemented 30 new programmes as part of FEJA.

Joe Dominguez, CEO of ComEd, said: “This is more good news for our customers.

"Through our smart grid investments and other initiatives, we’re transforming the energy infrastructure in our region, and we’re doing this work with a strong focus on efficiency and cost management to keep service affordable and provide superior value for customers.”

The approved request covers costs of installing more than 330,000 smart meters this year, completing ComEd’s deployment of four million smart meters.

Also included are costs for expanding new customer data and distribution centres and new technologies, such as voltage optimisation, which enables more precise and efficient energy usage while improving power quality.